FCC Doesn't Want You Spending Too Much On Your Mobile Plan

Last week, we asked you what annoyed you most about your mobile phone plan, and most of you picked “cost.” Now comes news that the Federal Communications Commission is going to review new proposals intended to keep you from spending more on your phone bill than you’d planned.

Writes the NY Times:

In an interview on Tuesday, [FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski said that the five-member commission would consider proposed rules that also would require cellphone and mobile Internet companies to notify customers when they were about to incur roaming charges or other higher-than-normal rates that were not covered by their monthly plans.

A recent Government Accountability Office study found that one in three users of wireless phones and data networks had received unexpected charges on their bills.

“The solution is a 21st-century solution,” said Genachowski. “One that is workable, one that is nonburdensome and one that is a terrific example of a 21st century consumer policy.”

As an example of something positive being done by mobile companies, Genachowski singled out AT&T’s system for the iPad, which notifies customers when they are reaching the monthly limits in their plan. “But that has been the exception and not the rule,” he said. “The magnitude of consumer complaints about bill shock has been very significant.”

For its part, AT&T isn’t thrilled with the FCC proposals. In a filing with the agency, the company wrote, “To the extent that the commission adopts a static rule ‘defining’ part of the customer experience, it was serve as an obstacle to attempts to improve it.”

F.C.C. Wants to Stop Cellphone ‘Bill Shock’ [NY Times]