Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Got a Beef With Your Cell Phone?

What's your beef with your cell phones?

How about too much static and too many dropped calls? Or misleading coverage maps that don't really show the dead zones? Confusing extra charges on your bill? Huge early termination fees and automatic contract extensions that keep you from shopping around?

Or maybe this:

When you open your cell phone bill, or log on to manage your account, do you hold your breath for a moment? Did you blow your voice or text usage limit? Did the kids download something unexpectedly costly? Will this be another $400 bill?

According to a recent FCC study, an estimated 30 million Americans this year got hit by an unexpected, very high cell phone bill. Bill shock costs us all. We spend hours on the phone with customer service. We fork out hundreds in unexpected plan charges.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Cell phone customers in Europe get a quick call or text when they are getting close to their usage limits, and another one when they hit those limits. That puts you in control of your family's cell phone service again.

After such a notice, most of us would quickly change our calling behavior--stop using the personal cell at work, temporarily take away a child's phone, use the land line more if we have one. The FCC is asking for your thoughts on this idea. With your help, it could become the law here, and help us end this costly consumer headache. Take a moment right now to support this common sense idea.

Want to pursue this? It's pretty easy and this website at Hear Us Now provides you all you need to know. So, take a few minutes during Friday's halftime show and let the FCC know your opinions. It could just save you a nice bit of change.

(Thanks to Lonnie Nichols for the tip.)