Tuesday, May 11, 2010, PM | 5 Comments
The FCC thinks without automatic usage alerts, it can be hard to know when you are running up a surprisingly high wireless bill. Today it came out with some advice of how to go about avoiding your surprising high cell phone bill. The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) launched an initiative on “bill shock” – the experience of getting an unexpectedly high wireless phone bill.
The FCC recommends the following 7 strategies to avoid bill shock today.
Understand your calling pattern
Understand your calling pattern for making voice calls, and ask your carrier for a plan that would be best for your kind of use.
Infrequent phone user
If you are an infrequent phone user, consider a pre-paid plan. Because you “pre-pay” for all your minutes, these plans make it impossible to go over your set limit.
Understand roaming charges
Understand what your roaming charges are and where you will incur them. Make sure that the phone’s screen will tell you when you are roaming.
Understand data and text plans
If you have used data and text plans before, talk to your carrier about the plan that will be best for you. Consider an unlimited plan if your data or text usage is high enough.
Understand International calls
If you expect to be taking your phone outside the U.S. and potentially using it for voice or data (including email), make certain to find out beforehand what charges may apply.
Ask your carrier for help
Ask how your carrier can help you avoid bill shock – with phone or text alerts, by letting you monitor your account online, or by giving you other information.
File complaint with FCC
If you have tried to resolve the issue with your carrier and cannot reach an acceptable resolution, complain to the FCC. You can call FCC Consumer Center, toll-free, at 1-888-CALL FCC (1-888-225-5322), or file a complaint on the Web at http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm.
In a Nutshell
Take action in accordance with the above FCC directives of how to go about avoiding bill shock now.
- May 11, 2010: Tweets that mention 7 Tips for Avoiding Bill Shock Now -- Topsy.com