FCC introduces plan to eliminate cell phone "bill shock"

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| October 13, 2010

Bill shock

Those of us that don't want to shell out for an unlimited cell phone plan can sometimes be in for quite a surprise when the phone bill finally comes if we go over our allotted minutes, texts, or data.  This surprise is commonly known as "bill shock," and it's something that the Federal Communications Commission is actively trying to end.  The FCC has proposed a new plan that would require carriers to notify a subscriber if he or she is beginning to accrue overage charges.  This alert would come in the form of a voice or text message when the customer is nearing the end of their allotted minutes/texts/data for the month.  The CTIA isn't quite on board with the FCC's new plan, saying that carriers already alert customers of imminent overage charges.  They feel that if the FCC's rule were put into place, the carriers may give even less information than they do now, doing just enough to meet regulations.

The FCC's plan sounds like a great move, especially considering how high overage charges can be on some carriers.  Considering that it's reported that 30 million Americans have experienced bill shock, I'm sure that there are more than a few of you that would be on board with the FCC, as well.  Along with the FCC, some carriers are trying to eliminate bill shock on their own, like U.S. Cellular and their new Belief Project.  How many of you have been charged overages in the past?  How does your carrier handle overage notifications?

Via MobileBurn, USA Today (Image via directnews.co.uk)