An End to Wireless 'Bill Shock'? New Site Points the Way

Mashable

Just in case wireless companies such as Verizon and Sprint forgot they were supposed to help customers avoid bill shock for going over their monthly plans, the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just gave them a big reminder.

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The FCC has launched a "Bill Shock" website that keeps consumers up to date with where each wireless carrier is in the process of instating a plan to alert customers when their nearing voice, data and text usage limits.

In October 2011, industry trade group CTIA – The Wireless Association proposed to the FCC that its member carriers would provide alerts to customers. Participating carriers -- which are made up of more than 97% of the country's wireless customers -- have agreed to start sending alerts to customers by October 2012.

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Although there's still time, some carriers have gotten a jump start on alerting subscribers. According to the FCC's new "bill shock" tracking page, T-Mobile has made the most progress in telling customers when they are nearing their coverage limits for voice, data and international roaming. AT&T is currently sending alerts to customers for data limits, while Sprint is doing the same for international roaming.

"As part of our effort to empower consumers by putting information online, the FCC is providing consumers the ability to learn when carriers begin to implement their voluntary commitments," wrote Bill Freedman, deputy chief of the FCC's Consumer Bureau, via a blog post. "Today, the Commission is launching a web portal that contains a table showing which carriers are providing which types of alerts."

He noted that the FCC will regularly update the table to reflect each carrier’s progress in providing the agreed-upon alerts.

What do you think of the carriers' efforts thus far? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Damircudic

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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