Every year, approximately 30 million Americans get stuck with an unexpectedly high cell phone bill. These “bill shocks” often result in charges 100-500 percent higher than one’s usual monthly bill. The cause of these overages can be varied, but most commonly stem from using more minutes than allotted for in one’s cell phone plan.
However, this situation can easily be avoided. The reason most consumers go over their allotted minutes is because they didn’t know they were doing so. Because cell phone companies do not notify consumers that they are reaching, or exceeding, their allotted minutes, most users continue making calls in complete ignorance of the gigantic bill they are racking up.
In Europe, this problem is avoided by requiring cell phone companies to notify customers when they are approaching or exceeding their monthly limits. The result there is that far fewer consumers are struck with bill shock.
Naturally the cell phone companies are opposed to such notification requirements. Overage charges are a major source of revenue for them, and they know that warning customers that they are approaching their allotted minutes will eliminate that massive revenue source.
However, the Federal Communications Commission is looking into this problem and is currently seeking out consumer input. To tell the FCC that you support their efforts to end bill shock, sign the petition below.