Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[US] Bill Shock Prevention: VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile will Alert on Exceeding Data Charges

The FCC announced that "Consumers are getting help avoiding bill shock thanks to an agreement by the major U.S. wireless service providers to a change in the voluntary Consumer Code for Wireless Service sponsored by the industry trade group CTIA – The Wireless Association. The participating carriers, representing more than 97 percent of the nation’s wireless customers [i.e. Verizon and AT&T included], have agreed to start sending, by October 2012, a series of free alerts to subscribers who have wireless plans that impose additional charges for exceeding limits on voice, data and text usage, and to those who will incur additional charges when using their wireless devices while travelling abroad".
The history of this matter goes as follows:
  • [Oct, 2010] FCC: We have a "Bill Shock" Problem - here
  • [Jan, 2011] CTIA: FCC Bill Shock Alerts "would cost tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars to implement - here.
  • [Oct, 2011] Bill Shock Prevention is Coming to the US Mobile Service - here 
"The following table tracks the progress in providing the alerts by the carriers that have subscribed to the code, according to the latest information supplied by CTIA .. All alerts must be provided without charge and automatically. Subscribers will not need to take any action to receive the alerts. The carriers must provide their subscribers with at least two of the four types of alerts by Oct. 17, 2012, and all of the alerts by April 17, 2013".

CarrierVoiceDataSMS/TextInt'l Roaming
Cellular One of NE Arizona
Illinois Valley Cellular
SouthernLINC Wireless
T-Mobile USAYesYesN/AYes
US Cellular
Verizon WirelessYesYes

See "Bill Shock: Wireless Usage Alerts for Consumers" - here and "New FCC Website to Help Consumers Beat ‘Bill Shock’" - here.

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