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Mobile phone users should now worry less about 'bill shock'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 17 Oct 2011 16:38 User comments (9)

Mobile phone users should now worry less about 'bill shock' New voluntary industry standards will force carrier to send customers who want them real-time alerts if they are near their monthly voice, data or text messaging limits.
The deal with the FCC has been in the works over the last year after reports of "bill shock" has increased significantly. Bill shock is the term given to monthly phone bills that have a severe excess of fees, usually because the user unknowingly went over their data limits.

Over the past year, there have been a few high-profile cases where the bill went as high as $20,000.

Carriers have agreed to start the real-time alerts within 12-18 months.

The EU has had similar rules in place since 2010.

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9 user comments

117.10.2011 23:11

They need to start doing this for Canada and other countries as well.

218.10.2011 6:23

Canada is the land of fees. It seemed every time I wanted to do something, I had to pay a fee. I must say VZ already has a data warning notice in place.

318.10.2011 9:16

T-Mo does, if you opt for it I believe (in US at least). I know I get alerts, just never about data or messaging since I'm unlimited; don't ever use enough minutes to get alerts for them. They make it pretty easy to check yourself as well with apps and contacts specifically for checking.


~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

418.10.2011 12:41

Originally posted by buxtahuda:
T-Mo does, if you opt for it I believe (in US at least). I know I get alerts, just never about data or messaging since I'm unlimited; don't ever use enough minutes to get alerts for them. They make it pretty easy to check yourself as well with apps and contacts specifically for checking.
Yep, T-mobile already does this but most of the other don't. My gf's Verizon Droid 3 has the data meter but I don't think it they send any alerts.

518.10.2011 15:42

wow $20,000 lol thats a down payment on a house!

618.10.2011 15:50

(CBS/AP) Cue the outrage button. A South Florida woman got a shock when she opened a recent cell phone bill: she owed $201,000.


Say what!

It was no mistake.

Celina Aarons has her two deaf-mute brothers on her plan. They communicate by texting and use their phones to watch videos. Normally, that's not a problem. Aarons has the appropriate data plan, and her bill is about $175.

But her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons never changed to an international plan. Her brothers sent over 2,000 texts and also downloaded videos, sometimes racking up $2,000 in data charges.

T-Mobile told Aarons the bill was correct. She called Miami TV station WSVN, which contacted T-Mobile. The station reports that T-Mobile cut Aarons' bill to $2,500 -- and gave her six months to pay.

The disclosure comes the same week that phone companies got in line behind an industry proposal to send alerts out to customers as they approach monthly limits on voice, text and data services. The same warning would go out before they get nailed for international roaming charges. This was a preemptive move against the threat of heavier regulation. Earlier, the Federal Communications Commission had floated a similar idea.

[url=[url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/18/scitech/main20122053.shtml](][/url]

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2011 @ 15:51

719.10.2011 13:33

AT&T sends alerts via text at 60%,75%,and 90% already

822.10.2011 8:01

Sprint doesnt send you jack shit cuz when you sign up they already have limits impossed of $125 PER LINE unless its a business line. Top that with the highest unlimited plan at under $100 and you dont have to worry about "Jack Shit"

925.10.2011 8:14

Getting notifications doesn't mean anything to me, or my family (who all have their own mobiles). Even with notifications, none of the contract carriers can make better offers than what prepaid has at the moment. Sure, you don't get th choice of the latest, or oldest iPhone, you still get a perfectly good working phone. I cannot imagine taking my folks off their SVC tracfones so they can get a better device, and then accidentally go over their plan limit by 10 minutes, and then be charged an additional $50...that's enough to ruin a perfectly fine month ahead for them - it's just not worth it. Notifications, or not.

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