In a recent survey the FCC has discovered a shocking reality of life with a cell phone. One in six cell phone users are going to suffer from ‘bill shock’ when their monthly charges increase substantially by exceeding their plans’ limitations. The FCC also has learned that over one half of cell users do not understand early termination fees and for broadband users, this number increases to over 70%.
The report also states that:
The FCC has been proactively working to clear up consumer confusion surrounding bill shock, ETFs, and other issues. Last August, the Commission launched a proceeding to examine ways to empower consumers to make smart, informed decisions when it comes to communications services. In January 2010, the Chiefs of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus sent letters to the major wireless carriers to learn more about their early termination fees. And as one of the first initiatives undertaken by the FCC’s Consumer Task Force, in early May the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice asking about possible solutions for bill shock.
The survey released today supports the agency’s efforts by supplying essential data about the consumer experience. The survey notes that 83 percent of adults in this country have a cell phone, and 80 percent have a personal cell phone (i.e., one for which their employer does not pay the bill). It also asked about cell-phone coverage: 58 percent of cell-phone users say they are very satisfied with the number of places they can get a good signal.
The survey finds that of the 30 million Americans who have experienced bill shock:
- 84 percent said their mobile carrier did not contact them when they were about to exceed their allowed minutes, text messages, or data downloads.
- 88 percent said their carrier did not contact them after their bill suddenly increased.
Shocking, just utterly shocking! How about this, people? Get a prepaid plan and avoid any kind of shock at all. We certainly don’t need any more governmental regulations. For you broadband users, ask your carrier how much the early termination fee is. DUH! Take responsibility for your life.
This reminds me of when the airline flight attendants need to explain to us how to snap and unsnap our seat belts. How about this? If you don’t know how a seat belt works, maybe you shouldn’t be flying by yourself! LOL