Protecting Consumers and Preventing Cell Phone “Bill Shock”

For more than a year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working on a problem known as “bill shock.”  Tens of millions of Americans have opened up their cell phone bills and been surprised by hundreds of dollars in unexpected charges.  As President Obama said in a statement today, “we can put an end to that with a simple step: an alert warning consumers that they’re about to hit their limit before fees and charges add up.”

The FCC announced an agreement with the wireless industry that will protect 97 percent of wireless consumers from “bill shock.”  As a result of today’s agreement, your wireless provider will send you a free alert when you are about to hit your limit on voice, data or text messaging. You will also get an alert after you reach the limit. And you will be notified of international roaming charges when traveling abroad with your phone. All of these changes are part of what President Obama called “our overall and ongoing efforts to protect American consumers by making sure financial transactions are fair, honest, and transparent.”

Learn more about the agreement here.

Brian Levine is Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President

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