Cell Phone Companies Are Terrified Of New Jersey

New Jersey has had enough. The New Jersey Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee has proposed several bills directed at cell phone companies, once of which is called the “Wireless Telephone Consumer Protection Act.” It would require “full disclosure of service levels and fees and set standards for cell phone advertisements, contracts and billing,” according to the Star-Ledger.

The other proposals would require cell phone companies to prorate early termination fees, prohibit them from requiring the purchase of a new phone when a customer returns a defective phone not covered by warranty, and ban them from charging customers for calling 911.

“Cell phone providers act as though they can charge whatever they want, whenever they want,” said Assemblyman Michael J. Panter (D-Monmouth), the lead sponsor. “It’s time that cell phone users had the edge when dealing with rapidly expanding industry.”

The cell phone company lobbyists are against the legislation, claiming that voluntary consumer protection guidelines have been in place in their industry since 2003. They also claimed that legislation on the state level would increase costs nationwide. —MEGHANN MARCO

Cell phone firms want ‘protection’ bills disconnected [Star-Ledger]


Edit Your Comment

  1. mathew says:

    I’d like to see a law banning all ads for services that don’t tell you what the actual regular subscription price is. I’m sick of everything being advertised with an asterisk next to the price and “(*) After 3 months we’ll bend you over and jack up the fees to unspecified levels”.

  2. esqdork says:

    This is great. Under Spitzer, the State of New York led the way to cleaning up the financial markets (there’s still a lot to clean up but it was a nice start) and embarrassed the SEC into acting. Maybe NJ can embarrass the FCC into doing something about cell phone companies.

  3. Emrikol says:

    Sounds like good news to me. I hate cell companies…but it’s so hard anymore to not have a cell phone.

  4. chartrule says:

    I agree 100% with you mathew

  5. waggss says:

    Not only are they charging a monthly fee for the 911 service they charge you an additional chunk whenever you do actually call.

  6. formergr says:

    Shut up, are you really charged for calling 911 from a cell? I know I did it once, but I honestly have no idea if I was charged (generally just skim the bill–I know bad consumer).

  7. healthdog says:

    Damn. This is the best thing to come out of Jersey since Springsteen.


  8. Among the phrases I never thought I’d say, but here goes:

    Woohoo New Jersey!

  9. FLConsumer says:

    Up-front pricing… what a concept! I wish they’d do it like my credit union has their brochures set up. “Plans” on the front of the brochure, with the back panel having a breakdown of additional fees and when they would be assessed. No surprises = happier customers. Happier customers = more profits. ‘Doubt Verizon Wireless would ever figure this one out ‘though.

  10. apeguero says:

    Stick it to them New Jersey. Let’s hope the rest of the states will follow.

  11. Roosh says:

    I trust corporations when they tell me rates will be changed due to new legislation. Just like how the bankrupty law lowered all my credit card fees and interest.

  12. Bourque77 says:

    To bad the federal govt. didnt do this instead of a state govt. Its about time those politicians do something to protect us from the cell phone weasels.

  13. They also claimed that legislation on the state level would increase costs nationwide.

    That sounds like a threat to me. Looks like they are threatening to punish everyone else just because NJ is forcing them to show their hand.

  14. emax4 says:

    I’ve never been to Jersey but being an old muscle car fanatic I’ve thought that the lawmakers there were evil (due to their pollution restrictions and “crush on site” laws). Now with this news I’m in priase of them! I say this needs to be a federal law…

  15. SexCpotatoes says:

    “will lead to higher prices in other states” of course, since they can’t rape new jersey customers as much, they have to up the raping level for all the other customers in the nation to cover that one state.

  16. wirelesslanai says:

    Cell phone companies have been thrashing the consumer for long enough. It’s high time for some regulation! Namely that they “unbundle” equipment from service contracts! As someone once observed on this blog, they are in the business of selling CONTRACTS, not phones, no matter how it appears in their advertisements.