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Rulemaking

Empowering Consumers to Avoid Bill Shock

10-207

Citizen's Summary

In this rulemaking, the FCC proposed new rules that would require mobile service providers to provide usage alerts and related information that will assist consumers in avoiding unexpected charges on their bills. The proposed rules would empower consumers with simple alerts and easy-to-find tools and information so they can make smart decisions about their mobile plans.

The record thus far indicates that mobile “bill shock” -- an unexpected increase in the monthly mobile bill -- is a growing challenge for the surveyed consumers, and that current tools could be improved. According to an April-May 2010 FCC survey, 30 million Americans -- one in six mobile users -- have experienced bill shock. More than half those consumers saw an increase of $50 or more, but many were not alerted by their provider before they incurred the charges.

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