$68,505 cell phone charge? "Bill shock" relief on the way

By Matthew Lasar

The Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules today that would alert smart phone users when their mobile phone usage is about to ring up "unexpected charges"—a phenomenon commonly referred to as "bill shock."

The recommendations come as the FCC disclosed that it has received numerous complaints, including one about a $68,505 cell phone bill.

As FCC attorney Rebecca Hirselj put it at today’s Open Commission meeting, the proposals would require that mobile service providers offer, first, "automatic notifications, such as voice or text alerts, when subscribers are approaching or reach a monthly allotment limit of voice, text or data usage that would result in overage charges."

Second, carriers would have to provide "automatic notifications when consumers are about to incur international or other roaming charges in excess of their normal rates."

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