Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

FCC to take on cell phone bill shock

Molly Wood Oct 11, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

FCC to take on cell phone bill shock

Molly Wood Oct 11, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This week, the FCC is meeting to talk about cell phone bill shock.

Maybe this has happened to you: You get a bill with some crazy huge extra charge that you weren’t expecting. Suddenly you owe hundreds of dollars more than you thought and you can barely even understand why.

Those huge fees often come from accidentally connecting to a data network when you’re not on a plan. That was the case with lots of Verizon customers; last week Verizon announced they’d be paying out refunds to customers.

Roaming charges can be huge too and cause bill shock. But truth be told there are zillions of ways to get dinged on that monthly statement.

We talk to Schwark Satyavolu, CEO of the web service Bill Shrink. Even though his company specializes in helping people avoid such charges, he says he personally got tagged with a $500 bill for accidental data activation. Happens to everyone.

We also talk to Cecelia Kang, technology reporter for The Washington Post, about FCC chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan to call for wireless carriers to provide more warning for customers before levying huge surcharges.

Also in this show, a guy named Justin Bieber, who is really named Justin Bieber but is not THAT Justin Bieber, gets kicked off Facebook because they thought he was kidding about being Justin Bieber.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.