Monday, October 18, 2010

The Anti-Bill Shock Rules

There have been recent talks of the FCC's efforts to lessen the occurrences of bill shock. But what is "bill shock" anyway and why should consumers be concerned over it.

Well, here's a good illustration of bill shock from Cnet:
When Kerfye Pierre returned home to Maryland from a visit to Haiti in February after the devastating earthquake, she received yet another shock: a $30,000 phone bill from T-Mobile USA.

Pierre, who had gone to Haiti to visit her sister who was having a baby, was there when the earthquake struck in January. Before her trip, she had suspended her phone service to avoid expensive charges. But after the disaster struck, she was told by a T-Mobile representative that she could use a courtesy plan that allowed her to communicate with people back home.

What she didn't realize was that the plan only included voice minutes. But because the voice network was so unreliable after the quake, Kerfye used texts, e-mails, and Facebook posts from her phone to update loved ones.

Eventually, Pierre was able to get a $25,000 credit to her account, but she still owes T-Mobile $5,000.
Have you ever experienced this? Well, I sure hope not. Fortunately, the FCC has started making a way to counter bill shock. The agency has proposed new regulation that would require wireless operators to alert customers with a text or voice message when they are about to exceed a bundle of voice, text, or data.

The FCC also suggested that wireless operators notify customers when they are about to incur international or other roaming charges that are not covered by their monthly plans, and if they will be charged at higher than normal rates.

The agency proposed that all wireless carriers offer easy to find and use tools that help customers monitor usage and review usage balances.

Hopefully, these efforts will not go to waste and consumers will be able to avoid any incidences of bill shock.

That's it for this post. See you next week for more wireless contract news and related topics.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pros and Cons of Wireless Contract Services

Last week, we discussed the pros and cons of prepaid offerings. This week, we'll go to the other side and look at the advantages and disadvantages of phones and plans that come with a contract agreement.

Hopefully, this info will help you decide between prepaid services or post pais offers that require a wireless contract.

Contract Pros:
  • Subsidized price on mobile phones: Contract consumers can get subsidized prices on phone upgrades every two years.
  • Strong phone selection. the latest and greatest cell phones on the market come with contract plans.

Contract Cons:
  • Early Termination Fees: If you break your contract, then a hefty fee awaits.
  • Expensive: contract plans could be more expensive than a prepaid offering especially for consumers with an individual cell phone plan with expensive data and texting services.
  • Credit check: a credit check is a requirement for those who want a taste of contract goodness.
That's it for now. Keep on visiting for more information on mobile phone contracts as well as related news and updates.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pros and Cons of Going Prepaid

The current trend in consumer preferences show that a majority of subscribers are choosing prepaid options of phones and services that come with a wireless contract. Should you also choose the prepaid route?

Well, here are the advantage and disadvantages of prepaid services. This should help one decided to choose this option or go for services with mobile phone contracts.

Prepaid Pros:
  • Cheaper. Prepaid can be less than some postpaid contract service plans depending on the consumer's usage pattern.
  • Absence of credit checks. Prepaid has historically offered the best option for consumers with less than perfect credit.
  • No wireless contract. One can cancel service at any time without a penalty. yeah, no need to worry about annoying ETF's or early termination fees.

Prepaid Cons:
  • Can be more expensive. Individual usage patterns may cost an individual more. Contract family plans can be less expensive than some prepaid deal.
  • Limited Mobile phones. prepaid handsets are getting better but the best mobile phones come with a contract
  • No subsidized price. Consumers will need to pay the full retail price for a new device that may locked to a single operator's network.

That's it for this post. Check out our blog every week for more on mobile phone contracts and related subjects