Why can't US wireless carriers better warn consumers when they're approaching the limits of their cell phone plan, or beginning to rack up roaming charges?
Both conditions can boost wireless bills significantly, leading to "bill shock" at the end of the month. In Europe, the Federal Communications Commission points out, carriers are required to text customers to let them know when such charges may be imminent.
In a public notice [PDF] announced today, the FCC is asking for comment on reasons why American carriers might not provide similar warnings. It's also inviting carriers, and others (including consumers and consumer advocates), to weigh in on the extent to which consumers may already be able to easily get this information by other means.
The initiative is among the first undertaken by the FCC's Consumer Task Force, which was launched in January. It's chaired by Joel Gurin, Chief of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and a former Executive Vice-President of Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports.