FCC Ready to Rescue Consumers from ‘Bill Shock’ with New Rules

When it comes to your wireless bill, it looks like the FCC has your back. How often have you opened up your cell phone bill only to be hit with outrageous charges and overages? Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about that as the FCC looks to make it mandatory for carriers to notify you when you’re about to incur overages.

While most of us have become savvy enough to monitor our minutes usage – most carriers offer free text message alerts – some of us might have some difficulty keeping track of our data usage. For those of us who don’t have unlimited data plans, these overages can be a real killer.

According to PCMag:

Part of the problem, [FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski] said, is that people don’t know how best to keep track of their mobile usage. “Most people still don’t know what a megabyte is,” Genachowski told the Times. “So it’s hard to expect them to know when they have reached their limits.”

Perhaps you have a 250MB or 2GB limit on your data usage. Great! What does that mean? You take a look at your bill and you see several “kb” here and there, but you don’t know what it means. All you know is that you’re paying an additional $60 because you exceeded your allotted data usage.

The FCC reported that over 30 million Americans are hit with “bill shock,” which is earning the wireless industry a pretty penny. This means that the industry may put up a bit of a fight in the way it handles this proposal. Even the CTIA has gotten into it with the FCC:

In the wake of the commission’s report about 30 million Americans experiencing “bill shock,” wireless industry trade group CTIA hit back, questioning the FCC’s data-gathering tactics as well as the vague phrasing in the survey questions. The FCC defended its report, and said CTIA has “been hard at work finding unfounded ways to criticize the FCC’s data.”

Not much of a surprise from the organization that also took Apple’s side against jailbreaking once it became legal.

At any rate, once this goes through, your days of fainting at the site of your wireless bill will be behind you.

[Via: PC Mag]

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