On May 17th Boston.com reported that Verizon forgave the balance of a $18,000 cell phone bill. The customer’s son tethered his cell phone to a laptop to connect to the internet which accumulated $18,000 in charges. It looks like the FCC has already begun to help with this issue. Here’s an excerpt from their May 25th 2010 Announcement:

“… the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Public Notice (Notice) seeking to gather information on the feasibility of instituting usage alerts and cut-off mechanisms similar to those required under the European Union (EU) regulations that would provide wireless voice, text, and data consumers in the United States a way to monitor, on a real-time basis, their usage of a wireless communications service, as well as the various charges they may incur in connection with such usage (e.g., roaming services, voice service “minute plans,” text message plans).”

HmmmOk. So what are the European Union regulations? A few rules that I really like are:

"...per second billing after the first 30 seconds for calls made and immediately for calls received."

"…A cut-off mechanism once the bill reaches €50, unless they choose another cut-off limit (recently, a German downloading a TV programme while roaming in France faced a bill of €46,000). Operators have until March 2010 to put this cut-off limit in place. "

It seems like these types of usage regulations in the US should be a "no-brainer." But I’m sure our carriers will come up with an amazing story as to why it would be unfair for them to have to do this.

**Peace . Love. and Blackberries**
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A.Marie Woods

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