Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Official FCC Blog

The FCC's Consumer Empowerment Agenda

by: Julius Genachowski

October 13, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:88:height=93,width=70]]

On the way in this morning, I got an email from a friend that rings familiar to way too many Americans.

My friend said that he incurred $2,000 in extra data charges while on a trip overseas, despite buying an "international plan." He added that this was "more than 15 times" what he had expected to pay.

He was a victim of what we at the FCC call "bill shock," and, according to our research, there are 30 million Americans just like him.

Bill shock occurs when consumers see their bills jump unexpectedly by tens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars from one month to the next. Common cases are when a subscriber is charged for unknowingly exceeding his or her allotments for voice, text or data, or gets hit with roaming charges that are unexpected.

A few hours ago, I delivered a speech highlighting what the FCC is doing to put an end to bill shock, as well as other fees and billing practices that are giving consumers headaches.

I'm proud that the FCC is pursuing an aggressive Consumer Empowerment Agenda. In a nutshell, our strategy is to educate, empower, and enforce.

We are working to harness technology and promote transparency to empower consumers with the information they need to make smart decisions and to make the market work. And when there is bad conduct in the market, the FCC has acted, and we will continue to act. Consumers must know that the FCC's got their back.

I hope that you will read the speech to learn the details of our Agenda. I also invite you to check out FCC.gov/consumers, where you can access digital tools like our broadband speed test, and learn more about preventing bill shock.

There's never been a more exciting – or complex – time to be a consumer of communications technologies. Be assured that the FCC is working to make sure that you and all Americans have the tools to take advantage of new technologies, without having to worry that somebody is taking advantage of you.

blog comments powered by Disqus
close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.