Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We need our cell phones. Do we need bill shock from them? Why can’t the big phone companies send me some kind of smoke signal when I’m nearing my minute limit? Nah, that would be a real service from the cell phone companies. After all, they make more money on their late and shut off fees than their plans. A monthly plan entails a minimum payment, whether or not the service is used. Your bill will never be lower than expected but the sky’s the limit for extra usage.
In a recent study by Consumer Affairs, about one in five used more minutes than were anticipated. There is a 1-in-25 chance during a year of getting a cellphone bill that is $100 more than expected. Recently, the Federal Communication Commission proposed requiring wireless carriers to alert consumers when they’re about to reach their plans’ limits. That includes call minutes, text messages or data use specifically so they would not be shocked. Their estimates are about 30 million people experiencing a sudden increase in their bill at some point.
Consumer groups like the Consumer Federation of America and the New America Foundation are urging the F.C.C. to require wireless carriers to get a customers permission to continue service when use limits have been reached. Unless the consumer expresses his or her willingness to continue, the service would be suspended, removing any possibility of bill shock. Guess what! The wireless industry is fighting regulation of any kind. Yes, once again screw the public. Lets rake in the profits for corporate companies.
The wireless industry’s trade group, C.T.I.A.-The Wireless Association goes a step further and argues that the F.C.C.’s proposal, “violates carriers’ First Amendment protections”. Overage charges may simply reflect a customer’s intentional extra use of a service, suggests Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president for regulatory affairs at the C.T.I.A. “There are months when my water bill or electricity bill goes up significantly,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with the water or electricity utility.” What a idiot! We really need water and electricity. We tolerate those going up. But someone’s nonsense texting or non-essential blab on a phone should be warned too shut up or you will be charged a lot!!!

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