FCC: 'Bill Shock' Hits 1 in 6 Cell Phone Users

27 May 2010 | FCC , Financial | 1 comment


cell phone billAccording to the Federal Communications Commission, one in every six cell phone users (about 30 million Americans), have experienced "bill shock", an unexpected and drastic increase in their monthly cell phone bills related to a change in service they didn't know about.

The FCC is now trying to create new rules that will require mobile phone carriers to alert their users before they reach their voice or data limits on their plans.

More than 1/3 of the 3,000 people who took the survey said their phone bills have jumped by at least $50 in a month, and 23% said the increase went over $100. 84% said they were not contacted by the carrier before exceeding the limit for text messages or data usage.

The FCC is also looking at how fair early termination fees are for cellphone and broadband services. Of the consumers that took the survey, 43% said they would expect to pay $150 or more for an early termination, while 47% said they did not know how much. Only 36% of cell phone users said they were very clear about the fees.

~ 1 comment ~

by Alf on May 27, 2010

I don't think that the FCC can do anything about termination charges. After all, a company can put any terms it likes in a contract and it is up to the customer to decide whether or not to sign the contract. Up to a few years ago, if you wanted a cell phone, you had no option but to sign the contract. No, however, there are plenty of prepaid options with no contracts. I have gone for Net 10 because it gives me great service at a good price and there are no hidden costs.