U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar released the following statement today in response to the agreement reached between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and wireless companies to alert consumers when they are reaching their monthly limit for voice, text, or data services. The agreement will help prevent cell phone “bill shock” that occurs when consumers receive exorbitantly high cell phone bills due to overuse of services or roaming charges.
“Wireless consumers shouldn’t have to open their bills every month to find an endless array of complicated charges they never knew they were accruing,” Klobuchar said. “This agreement will help give consumers the information they need to prevent excessive overuse fees. More work needs to be done to shed light on other hidden charges, and I will continue to work to bring more transparency to the cell phone billing process.”
Klobuchar has been a leader in pushing to make sure consumers have access to clear and accurate cell phone bills free from hidden charges. She recently introduced legislation with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to require wireless providers to disclose complete and accurate information about their 4G wireless data service, and she has also introduced legislation to pro-rate early termination fees and to require carriers to provide better coverage maps and clearer bills. Klobuchar has previously urged the FCC to strengthen its oversight of billing practices in the wireless industry and to crack down on “cramming,” which occurs when a third party adds unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges to a consumer’s phone bill.
Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, which has oversight over the FCC and the wireless industry.