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Commissioner Copps Statement on the Bill Shock Industry Guidelines

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Released: October 17, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



October 17, 2011
Joshua Cinelli (202-418-2000)



While I do not think today's announcement guarantees closing the book on consumer
worries over bill shock and unanticipated charges, it does represent good progress. Consumers
have a right to know--ahead of the monthly bill's arrival--if they risk high overage fees. So I
credit CTIA for taking this important step to acknowledge the very real impact bill shock has on
mobile consumers, and doing something about it. Industry efforts to address consumer issues are
always welcome and I think these guidelines can help.
As a consumer protection agency, the FCC must always be concerned with how fees
related to overages on messaging, minutes, data-roaming and international use affect everyday
Americans. This has been a serious problem well documented by the thousands of complaints we
have received at the agency. The Commission has a duty to remain vigilant here. So I am
pleased that the underlying docket and proceeding will remain open. Should bill shock remain a
problem despite industry efforts, a future Commission will be able to adopt and enforce anti-bill
shock rules.
Other items on our consumer empowerment agenda remain unfinished. I look forward to
the next chapter finishing our cramming rulemaking proceeding which, like bill shock, is a
drain on consumer pocketbooks.


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