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CU launches “bill shock” web page on CRO

Friday, May 4, 2012

Consumers Union launches “bill shock” web page on ConsumerReports.org
Site provides information from FCC on carriers’ compliance, consumer tips

WASHINGTON – Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, has launched a new web page on ConsumerReports.org about cell phone “bill shock,” the surprise charges that appear on your wireless bill, often for exceeding usage limits.
The new “bill shock” page is located at consumerreports.org/cro/billshock. A link to the page will be highlighted periodically on ConsumerReports.org’s home page and its electronics page.
In October 2011 Consumers Union joined the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the wireless trade association CTIA to announce an agreement among carriers representing more than 97 percent of the nation’s wireless customers.
The carriers agreed voluntarily provide consumers with free alerts before they go over their voice, data, or text plans. Plus, they agreed to provide free alerts about additional charges when customers use their wireless devices while traveling abroad. The carriers must provide their subscribers with at least two of the four types of alerts by October 17, 2012, and all of the alerts by April 17, 2013.
The new page on ConsumerReports.org features the latest updates from the FCC about carriers’ efforts to comply with the agreement. The FCC recently launched its own web tool devoted to bill shock at http://fcc.us/billshocks, which features a table for tracking the progress made by each of the carriers.
Consumers Union highlights the FCC chart on its new page. The CU page also offers tips for avoiding bill shock.
Contact: David Butler or Kara Kelber, 202-462-6262