EU wireless regulatory body looks into mobile phone billing – European Commission wants per-second mobile phone billing

European Commission wants per-second wireless billing in EUThe EU has just started enjoying the fruits of the European Commission’s (the EU’s wireless regulatory body) labor to put caps on EU roaming rates, and the European Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding is turning her attention to carrier’s wireless billing practices.

It’s well-known that operators like to bill customers on a per-minute basis – which means that all those 20 or 30 second phone calls are getting charged as 60 second phone calls. The European Commission said that they are “concerned that customers are being charged on a per-minute basis instead of for the actual time of the call…At the retail level, the difference between billed and actual minutes appears to be typically around 20 percent.”

So, chances are that you’re getting docked for 20% more minutes than you are actually using every month. And, if Reding gets her way, carriers will be required to bill customers on their actual wireless-minute usage, rather than rounding up to the nearest whole minute.

Reding also mentioned that caps on SMS text message and data services could be levied if carriers fail to cut costs to Reding’s satisfaction. Damn, she’s got some serious sway (read: balls).

We’d love to see per-second billing become an official regulation! We’re always making 20-second phone calls that get billed for a bull 60 seconds – that means we’re getting billed for 200% more wireless-time than we are using. It’d be nice to see this sort of consideration in The States. Go Reding!

[Via: AFP]

  • Gregory

    When you regulate a company in such a way or penalize a practice that the company makes money on, you’re just going to shift the way they get income.
    Regulation of banks or credit card companies on interest for example always produces the same effect–high fines for just about anything.

  • Turly

    Here in Spain they introduced a similar per-second billing law last year. So all the mobile phone companies simply upped their “connection” fees to 15c (originally between 5c and 8c IIRC.) Meaning that just getting through to someone costs 15c with per-second-billing from that point on.

    You can rest assured that the consumer will rarely win against mobile operators.

Back to top ▴