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FCC Wants to Eliminate Cell Phone Bill Shock

by Tom Moccia | October 19, 2010October 19, 2010 6:00 pm PDT

Remember the days when you had to keep track of the dreaded roaming charges on your cell phone bill?  When you had to be careful even if you traveled to a neighboring state not to talk on the phone too much otherwise you would be forced to mortgage your house just to pay the roaming charges?   Now roaming charges have not been eliminated by carriers yet, they have simply made the entire country of the United States users “home” areas, but once you travel internationally roaming charges kick in again.

real-fcc-logoToday, the cell phone carriers have a new way to generate revenues, the dreaded “overage” charges. These are charges that consumers incur when they exceed their allotted plan minutes or text messages.  There is nothing wrong with charging extra fees when you exceed what you have paid for in advance. The problem that consumers have been complaining about for a while now, and the FCC has taken an interest in, is the lack of information given to consumers. There is no reliable way for consumers to find out how close they are to exceeding their allotted minutes or text messages.

The FCC is proposing a new law that will require cell phone providers to inform consumers via text or voice message when they are about to exceed their monthly limits. I wonder why this hasn’t been implemented already considering if you are even one day late paying your bill a text message pings your phone as a reminder to give up your cash.  Considering the fees and taxes we pay on our cell phones every month it’s refreshing to see the FCC proposing a law that will further protect consumers.

Have you ever been hit with overage charges that dropped your jaw?  If so let us know how much and what you did to remedy the charges. We will be keeping a close eye on the decisions of the FCC in relation to the cell phone industry so check back often.

Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...