Uncommon Wisdom

Jun 28 2010   1:13PM GMT

FCC may step in to regulate rules on mobile ‘bill shock’



Posted by: Tom Nolle
Tags:
billing
FCC
Mobile
Regulations
wireless

The mobile industry has been hit with a number of stories involving high monthly bills created by either a supposed misunderstandings of service terms or theft of a phone. The complaints have typically been handled badly. Carriers gripe and try to get the money even if they realize it’s not going to happen, reap a heap of bad PR, and then cave in while grumbling.

The FCC may now step in and do what most of Europe has already done, which is set a requirement for at least an optional threshold alert that would either warn a user or even suspend service use when a bill reaches a specific level.

We think this is a good idea; it could also be used by parents to enforce some discipline on kids and to insure that unwitting behavior doesn’t create a mammoth payday for the mobile operator. Operators have tended to resist this, which we think is as much a PR error as trying to collect on what was obviously an uncollectable debt.

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