New Rules Help Wireless Customers

These days it seems everyone is either talking, texting, or browsing the web using their iphone, Blackberry, or other smartphone.

And while no one plans on going over their monthly limit... It does happen.

Beverly Selby tells us, "I had a heart attack!"

The Colorado Springs mother has five cell phones connected to a family plan.

She says, "There was a $500 charge and it was too late to do anything about it and I wasn't warned."

The FCC identified "bill shock" as a big problem last year and came up with a solution, getting all cell major cell phone providers to agree to alert customers by text or call that they're about to go over their minutes when it comes to voice, text, data or international roaming.

The warnings will be in place by october 2012.

Judi Ingelido of Colorado Springs says, "I think it just makes good customer service sense."

Paul Reynolds, the electronics editor with Consumer Reports says, "Consumer Reports thinks this is a good effort to help people save money and avoid bill shock."

A recent Consumer Reports survey of 60,000 subscribers found one in five had experienced bill shock.

And while the FCC doesn't regulate the contract you sign with your cell phone provider, it does take complaints and if it gets enough of them will take action, like it did in this case.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Harriet Location: Denver on Oct 25, 2011 at 06:14 AM
    AH man! These carriers are playing cat and mouse with the FCC. They've had the option of doing the consumer a "favour" for years, by warning them that they'd be going into expensive waters, but that isn't what they want. They just see the potential for making even more money - of course at the expense of the average joe consumer. As for the technology of notifications are concerned - tracfone wireless has for Years now had a usage tracker on their phone's front screen telling their clients exactly how many minutes they have left....sendig people a text, is also just paramount to taking the chance that they won't read it. Unlike having a live counter on the phone at all times.
  • by Dan Location: CS on Oct 18, 2011 at 05:31 PM
    Odd, my carrier has notified me several times when we've been close to our limit. I just thought it was good customer service.
  • by lisa Location: colorado springs on Oct 18, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    Just another way to tell Americans that someone else should be responsible for them. Every carrier has ways that you can monitor your usage....by doing this we say ” it's okay. Its not your fault that you were an idiot and used way too many minutes”. It only took me having one bill with overage to realize that I should be mpore careful and responsible with my luxury. Yes, I said it, having a cell phone is a luxury and a privellege, not a right.
  • by TO FULL ! Location: COS on Oct 17, 2011 at 09:51 PM
    Ok this has been going on since cell phones came into exsistance NO shock it's great theve acted on it BUT why a yr thats like the car companies getting another 10 to increase the mpg on cars So? who's willing to bet it don't happen by Oct 2012 ? Besides the rules are ever changing so I'd like someone out there who knows thw business to tell us what its gonna cost us for this "service" next year ? Ya Think lol
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