Wireless carriers think that free alerts will help with “bill shock”

Last year the FCC, after much public pressure, agreed to look into the billing practices of the wireless carriers after people complained about unexpected overages and the astronomical fees charged by the carriers on those overages.

Well today the FCC, the Consumers Union, and the major wireless carriers announced that they have come up with some guidelines to help consumers avoid those overages, and the resulting “bill shock”.

Guess what the guideline is … come on … guess….

Free alerts.

Yup that’s it folks. You now get a free alert when you get close to your data and minute caps to let you know that you are headed into overage territory; and get this – you don’t need to sign up for them, they’ll head your way free of charge without you having to sign up for them.

Needless to say the carriers are all patting themselves on the back saying how they came to this solution without the government agency having to get tough with them, and of course the FCC has said that they are going to take a “trust, but verify” approach when it comes to monitoring the carriers.

Of course they won’t have much monitoring to do until October 2012 because these free alerts won’t be available until then at which point only two of the four alerts for data, voice, text and international roaming will be in place. The remaining two alerts won’t be available until April 2013.

So until then folks I guess you’ll have to go back to keeping an eye on your bills and hoping you don’t go over.

via TechFlash

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