FCC Challenged to Further Combat “Bill Shock”

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newsSuccessful recruiters keep their fingers close to the Internet, so that they can be among the first to know who needs new employees. Recruiters also tend to be voracious mobile users, as it is a recruiter’s job to talk to people constantly.  Unfortunately, this winning attribute of the recruiter is often costly.  What seems like a solid and clear mobile plan too often results in giant bills and overage charges.

In October, the Federal Communications Commission announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to curb the “bill shock” so many consumers face when receiving astronomical charges for their data plans.  Under this plan, providers would be required to warn customers when they are about to exceed their budgeted minutes of wireless connection.

This week Free Press, along with the Center for Media Justice, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Media Access Project, National Consumers League, National Hispanic Media Coalition and New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative, urged the Federal Communications Commission to expand their ruling.

These organizations urged the FCC to adapt a policy in which devices would be automatically stopped when customers are about to exceed their budgeted plans.  They call this shut-down of the appliances a “circuit-breaker”– making it impossible for c0nsumers to be ignorant of the money they spending on new technologies.  An opt-in circuit breaker makes it so subscribers must request continuation of service after being notified of the fees associated with continued use.  Subscribers would also be able to discontinue service once the limit was reached.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it sure can be expensive.  Advocacy groups in favor of the circuit-breaker policy suggest that subscribers have the right to be better informed about the ramifications of their mobile contracts and data plans. Your recruiting department might want to take a second look at your mobile plan to make sure that it’s cost effective and transparent.

By Marie Larsen