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Udall: Verizon Alert System to Avoid ‘Bill Shock’ a Positive Step

July 7, 2011
  • WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) released the following statement today after Verizon announced a plan to notify customers when they begin to reach data usage limits:

    "Verizon today announced a plan to alert customers before they exceed their monthly data usage limit. This is a positive step that will help many avoid cell phone 'bill shock' and it shows that sending an automatic notification to a person's smartphone is a simple solution that does not place a burden on companies. I hope other wireless companies will soon follow Verizon's example.

    "I also encourage Verizon and others to go further in their efforts to prevent bill shock. As wireless companies build faster networks and drop their unlimited data plans, bill shock problems will only get worse. My legislation, the Cell Phone Bill Shock Act, would require both alert notifications before going over those limits and customer consent before charging 'overage fees' for services not in their monthly plan."

    An FCC survey found that 30 million Americans - or one-in-six adult cell phone users - have experienced "bill shock," and 84 percent said their cell phone carrier did not contact them when they were about to exceed their allowed service limits. In about one-in-four cases, the bill increased by more than $100.

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