6:12 am October 14, 2010, by Henry Unger
Get sticker shock from your cell phone bill? You’re not alone.
One in five consumers report getting unexpectedly high monthly bills when they exceed limits on voice, text or data, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of the magazine’s online subscribers.
That figure is higher than a recent Federal Communications Commission survey finding that one in six cell phone users had experienced a sudden increase in a monthly bill, Associated Press reports.
But both percentages are at odds with the very low figures acknowledged by the major cell carriers, Consumers Reports said.
As a potential remedy, federal regulators want to require the wireless companies to alert subscribers before they run out of minutes, hit data usage or text messaging caps or start racking up international roaming charges, AP reports.
The FCC is expected to vote Thursday to seek public comment on such rules, which are on the table after a flood of consumer complaints, AP said.
The proposed regulations would require wireless companies to send voice or text alerts to customers as they approach monthly usage limits on their plans and when they reach those limits, AP said.
But the reaction from CTIA-The Wireless Association was wary, AP said.
Chris Guttman-McCabe, CTIA’s vice president for regulatory affairs for the trade group, told AP wireless companies are concerned about “prescriptive and costly rules that limit the creative offerings and competitive nature of the industry.”
What do you think of the FCC idea? Do you think the problem is pervasive or limited?
Have you been surprised by your bill?
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.
Get inside Atlanta's and national business news and how it affects you.
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more