Mobile phone firms and the Fed

Commission reach agreement over bill shockMillions have had “bill shock” then they learn their cell phone bill is way more than they expected it to be. Federal regulators and cellular providers have attained a deal to let individuals know beforehand if they are due to get a large bill. Source of article: Cell phone carriers and FCC reach agreement over bill shock

Mobile phone bills got attention from Feds

The Federal Communications Commission decided to start investigating "bill shock," last year. This was because there are lots of consumers that get enormous bills but don’t realize it until later. The Federal Com-munications Commission sys mobile phone companies should warn their customers first.Daily Finance reports that there was a Federal Commu-nications Commission student done on this. They found that bill shock was experienced by one in six cellular phone users. Of those, 23 percent reported a $100 mobile phone bill or higher.According to Ar-sTechnica, 20 percent of people complained had a bill over $1,000. Then, 67 percent had bills over $100.One person ended up with a bill costing $68,505. Another woman in Massachusetts got an $18,000 bill.

Regulation talks with providers

A voluntary agree-ment was made where consumers will be notified if they are going to be given additional charges for a cellular phone bill in an agreement with the FCC and the CTIA, according to the LA Times.If a consumer is getting close to exceeding any monthly coverage, they'll get a voice or text messaging alert in the next year. Consumers can opt out of the service that will be offered for free, Daily Finance reports.The agreement was considered a great example of how the government can work with companies to get to agreements without regulation, as reported by CTIA President who used to play for the Seattle Seahawks, Steve Largent. A rule about bill shock was going to be enacted by the Federal Communications Commission.

Market code amended

The Wireless Customer Usage Notification Guidelines were amended to the code of ethics for the CTIA on its site. That means all members of the organization have to notify customers before they go over their limit.Corporations such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint are in the CTIA. This consists of 90 percent of all cell phone users in the country. The guidelines will be followed by other small carriers. This involves US Cellular and Clearwire.Though the CTIA insists "bill shock" is not very widespread, customers disa-gree. As reported by CNN, the Federal Communications Commission found that 84 percent of "bill shocked" customers received no notice and 88 percent got no statements from their wireless providers when they did go over. The Los Angeles Times reports that 60 percent of individuals like the idea of regulation for “bill shock.” This was shown in a Consumers Union poll.

Articles cited

Daily FinanceArs TechnicaLos Angeles TimesCNN