Mobile Phone Operator Lobbyists Say No Laws Necessary To Prevent 'Bill Shock'

from the because-it-doesn't-happen? dept

For nearly a decade we've been covering stories of people getting bill shock when mobile phone bills show up that are in the tens of thousands of dollars. The issue, of course, is that mobile operators do a dreadful job informing their customers of the fees they may be facing. And, while it would be quite easy for the providers to set up some kind of alert (or credit card-style temporary block) if a bill starts to go outside of the "norm," none of the mobile operators seem interested in doing this.

Over in the UK they've put in place laws to prevent such ridiculous bill shock situations, and regulators in the US are considering the same... but the lobbyists for the mobile operators, CTIA, are protesting that such rules are "unnecessary." That would be a lot more convincing if people didn't send in stories about ridiculous bills every few weeks. CTIA also claims that "Members have adopted internal practices and procedures to remediate billing concerns directly with their customers," but in practice those "remediation" practices seem to basically be "wait until the press starts paying attention, and then finally back down."
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Filed Under: bill shock, regulations
Companies: ctia

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  1. icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mixed on this matter

    "Do we really need to tell people not to use the hair dryer in the shower?"

    Actually, yes you do - it's required by law! That's why all hair dryers come with a warning label on the cord.

    It's also why ladders have anywhere from 12-17 warning labels on them! To protect the company from lawsuits of people who hurt themselves and then say "No one ever told me it wasn't safe to use the top of the ladder as a step!"

    McDonald's coffee cups now warn you that the contents are "hot"! The lady who won her lawsuit after burning herself with a cup of hot McDonald's coffee had to be a moron to not know the coffee was hot, but she's a rich moron now!

    I don't necessarily agree with any or all of these examples but my opinion won't change the mind of a jury.

    In the case of the phone companies, good customer service practices would practically force some sort of consumer protection. Of course, much like the software and hardware industries, it's difficult to justify the cost for such programs because taking advantage of these circumstances is profitable despite the inherent "sleaze" factor involved. They would much rather collect every last dime, then spend millions on marketing to attract new customers when the dissatisfied ones leave. Customer service and tech support people hate this mode of operation but marketing folks love it because they get to travel to trade shows hawking the services at the expense of the company (consumer).

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