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FCC seeks to remedy cell phone users' "bill shock"

FCC seeks to remedy cellphone users' 'bill shock'

By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 7, 2010; 8:18 PM

The Federal Communications Commission wants cellphone customers to know: It can hear you now.

Consumers are complaining in record numbers about their wireless bills, and the FCC has promised to act. Next week, the agency will unveil a proposal to address "bill shock" by requiring that carriers notify users of overcharges and sudden increases in their bills.

But advocacy groups say the FCC has barely begun to address the massive problems generated by increasingly bewildering phone bills.

As cellphones are "bundled" with television and Internet services, and with the exploding number of applications available for smartphones, consumer groups say bills have become multi-page puzzles. They complain of confusing language, third-party charges, mystery fees for data and other services - all amounting to monthly totals that aren't what a user signed up for at point of sale.

The recent announcement that Verizon Wireless wrongly charged 15 million customers for data fees and will shell out $50 million in reimbursements doesn't help public sentiment.

Keep reading here for full story.

By Cecilia Kang  | October 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  AT&T, Apple, Consumers, FCC, Mobile, Verizon  
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Next: FCC chair signals agenda items ahead: USF, consumer issues

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