Minute Mania? FCC To Stop Crazy Cell Phone Charges
Just when you thought our government was absolutely good for nothing and seriously started considering burning up your voter registration card, it turns out that Uncle Sam finally did do something right. To be more specific, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reached a deal with cell phone service providers that should put an end to what has been termed bill shock—you know that feeling you get when you expected a cell phone bill you could afford and wound up with one you couldn’t?
How do they plan to do it? It’s simple, really. Basically, from here on out you will receive messages from your service provider letting you know when you are approaching your monthly limits for voice, data, and text messages and/or when you are going to incur international roaming charges. Not only will they let you know you are approaching these limits and conditions, but they will send you another message when you actually exceed your limits.
Of course, neither of these options is as good as charging a fair, even monthly rate and prohibiting the raising of prices or addition of charges at any point beyond this. However, in this economy, we’ll take what we can get. Even more important is the fact that two different groups with different views and aims actually came to agree upon a solution to the problem. Imagine that.
Perhaps Steve Largent, president of telecommunications trade group CTIA, said it best:
“Today’s announcement shows there’s a different way to get things done in [Washington, D.C.]. We are proud to provide our customers with these free alerts to help manage usage and avoid unnecessary charges.”
Two of the four expected notifications will go into effect by October 17, 2012 and all notifications will be in effect by April 17, 2013.
Until then, keep an eye on those minutes and if you are looking for a new phone, check out the cool ones below.