FCC studies wireless 'bill shock'

May 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- Cellphone users should be alerted when wireless bills increase suddenly and excessively, the U.S. Federal Communication Commission said.

The agency, in a release Wednesday, said so-called "bill shock" may be widespread with customers who unintentionally exceed their wireless, text and data usage plans.

The FCC is studying rules recently adopted by the European Union that require companies to notify customers when bills spike.

The agency, during a public comment period, is seeking input from consumers about the problem and whether differences in technology would prevent U.S. wireless providers from establishing usage alerts, said Joel Gurin, head of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

"Avoiding bill shock is good for consumers and ultimately good business for wireless carriers as well," Gurin said, noting the FCC has received hundreds of complaints from consumers about excessive wireless bills.

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