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FCC Bill Shock Proposal in Process

Thu Oct 14, 2010 - 7:00 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rules requiring mobile phone companies to alert customers by voice or text message when they are have reached monthly usage limits and are about to incur extra charges.

A story in The New York Times mentioned that Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, is proposing what he calls the commission's consumer empowerment agenda, aimed at ensuring that users of new technologies do not have to worry about hidden costs, confusing billing practices and what the commission calls "bill shock."

Data usage is an area being targeted.

"Most people still don't know what a megabyte is, so it's hard to expect them to know when they have reached their limits." --Mr. Genachowski said.

In response, Verizon Wireless said that it agreed that consumers should have "access to clear information regarding their wireless usage." However, Verizon noted that due to intense competition, they were already providing consumers with usage information.

Let the record show the FCC has got the consumer's back, whether needed or not.


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