FCC Battles Cell Phone 'Bill Shock'

Haiti volunteer hit with $30K in roaming charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2010 10:00 AM CDT
FCC Battles Cell Phone 'Bill Shock'
The FCC's chairman says one in six mobile phone users has experienced "bill shock."   (Shutterstock)

A FEMA worker supporting the earthquake relief effort in Haiti was hit with a $30,000 bill for roaming charges when she arrived back in the US. Federal regulators say this kind of cell phone "bill shock" is all too common, and they hope to curb it with regulations that will help consumers avoid unknowingly running up huge bills, ABC reports.

The FCC wants to establish rules requiring wireless operators to notify users when they are about to exceed their limits and to offer customers the option of capping usage. The industry, shockingly, opposes the new regulations. Wireless operators are wary of "prescriptive and costly rules that limit the creative offerings and competitive nature of the industry," a spokesman for an industry group says.
(More FCC stories.)

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