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FCC Working on Rules to Prevent Ridiculous Cellphone Bills

Crazy AT&T Bill Quite a few people I know including myself have been in this situation before. Somehow your wireless carrier sends you a bill that is anywhere from twice the regular amount to hundreds of times the regular amount. It happened to me once way back in the day when I had a 1MB T-Zones (remember that?) data plan on T-Mobile. My cousin borrowed my phone for 3 days while in town and racked up over 25mb of data usage. One would think that would mean just 25 times the $5 a megabyte plan. Little did I know it added $300+ of overage charges to my $70/month regular plan.

This is not close to being as extreme as other cases where bills are in the thousands of dollars but the FCC has decided it will probably have to step in. (PDF Link) In Europe there are similar rules dubbed “bill shock rules.” It looks like carriers will have to start doing a better job of notifying customers of their usage before the end of the month. This includes voice and data usage.

What do you think? Would better tools and alerts to monitor your families cellphone usage help?

(picture courtesy of Intomobile)

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  1. IMHO it’s high time the carriers do more to let customers know as SOON as they’ve gone other their plan allowance and into billable, whether that be minutes, texts, or bytes. I’m sure we will hear all kinds of excuses from the carriers in response to this FCC inquiry, but honestly there is NO EXCUSE. Either a robocall or robotext or roboemail or all three for smartphone plans.

    • Here in Europe people had the same problems, aspecially when travelling abroad – and Europe has a lot of borders to cross. I agree there is NO excuse for a mobile network provider to present $20.000 bills or even $1000 bills to consumers just using their phones.

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