FCC, Wireless Carriers Agree to New Overage Alert System

October 17, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission and the nation's wireless carriers have hammered out an agreement that will have wireless operators notifying customers when they are nearing their monthly limits on usage for voice, text, or data services. The FCC estimates that tens of millions of wireless phone subscribers are hit with overage charges each year; their data is based on their own studies on the issue, as well as data from the Government Accountability Office and private research firms.

The new agreement covers all the members of the industry’s largest trade group (CTIA — the Wireless Association), which means that it covers more than 300 million wireless accounts, according to the FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.

"I appreciate the mobile phone companies’ willingness to work with my administration and join us in our overall and ongoing efforts to protect American consumers by making sure financial transactions are fair, honest and transparent," said President Obama is a statement.

Steve Largent, president of CTIA said that this new deal fulfilled a government pledge without imposing new regulations.

A 2010 study by the FCC found that approximately one in six mobile users had experienced what they call "bill shock," with 23 percent of users facing unexpected charges of $100 or more for overages. Another FCC report found that around 20 percent of bill shock complaints it received during the first half of 2010 were for $1,000 or more in overage charges.

Even unlimited data plans often have a caps limiting downloads each month to a certain number of megabytes. Last October, the FCC pointed out the case of a 66-year-old retiree from Dover, Mass., who received an $18,000 bill after the promotional period for his unlimited data plan expired without warning.

While companies have the option to deliver alerts by text or voice, they must be free to customers and automatic. Consumers can also opt out of the service if they so choose. At least two of the four types of alerts must be started by carriers within 12 months, and all alerts must begin within 18 months, according to the agreement. The companies also agreed to promote and publicize tools so that consumers can monitor their own usage. The FCC is working with the nonprofit Consumers Union to track wireless carriers’ compliance.

This new agreement hopes to make that sort of event a thing of the past by notifying customers when overages occur. How carriers will implement this plan remains to be seen but the FCC expects them to have some sort of system in place within a year.

Source: New York Times


Comments

Re: FCC, Wireless Carriers Agree to New Overage Alert System

I'm fairly sure there's a loophole in here somewhere.

Re: FCC, Wireless Carriers Agree to New Overage Alert System

my wireless carrier already does this. In fact i've had 2 carriers in my adult life, and both did this.

I thought it was standard to be upfront and honest with your customers. Apparently if you live in the US you need government controls just to play fair.

Re: FCC, Wireless Carriers Agree to New Overage Alert System

Nope. You have to have the government asks and then hope:

"I appreciate the mobile phone companies’ willingness to work with my administration and join us in our overall and ongoing efforts to protect American consumers by making sure financial transactions are fair, honest and transparent,"

 
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Mattsworknamemeet ips. stupid phone.05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MattsworknameI feel ups should have a hard line expiration date. if a company doesn't use them for ten years they have to put it on the market or make it open source05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MechaCrashPride does play a factor. If you sell an IP to someone, and they make a ton of money off it, it makes you look like a tool: why didn't YOU make that money? Better to sit on it than be embarassed that way.05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
ZippyDSMleeAS far as I understand it the suits think sitting on a an IP till the time is right is more profitable than tradeing it around.....hevean forbit soemone use soemthing to make money with....05/27/2015 - 9:58pm
Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
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Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
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E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
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E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenSlightly Mad Studio comments on Wii U version of Project Cars: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/05/exclusive_slightly_mad_studio_head_ian_bell_sets_the_record_straight_on_project_cars_wii_u05/27/2015 - 11:54am
E. Zachary KnightGamasutra has a really interesting interview with the Hatred developers. http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertPalka/20150526/244229/Real_talk_with_Destructive_Creations_Hatred_interview.php05/27/2015 - 10:11am
 

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