**Editor’s note: Please click here for a breakdown of some of the most egregious bill-shock moments of all time.**
So long, bill shock it wasn’t nice to know ya.
The FCC gave the unofficial “goodbye” to bill shock on Wednesday, announcing that 97 percent of wireless customers across the U.S. are protected from bill shock, thanks to a 2011 agreement by the major wireless service providers to a change in the voluntary Consumer Code for Wireless Service sponsored by the industry trade group CTIA The Wireless Association.
The participating carriers committed to sending a series of free usage alerts to their subscribers with wireless plans that impose additional charges for exceeding limits on voice, data or text usage, and to those consumers without an international roaming plan/package who may incur charges when using their wireless devices while travelling abroad.
These alerts help subscribers to better monitor and manage the use of their devices and avoid unexpected charges.
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Cellcom, Cellular One of NE Arizona, Clearwire, Plateau, SouthernLINC Wireless and U.S. Cellular are all participating in the program. The FCC says all have met the bill-shock standards for providing usage alerts for the categories (voice, data, SMS/text and international roaming) for which they provide service.
Now this is not to say mistakes won’t be made, but implementation of these practices over the past year and a half have clearly slowed the rate of bill-shock instances across the U.S. The European Union adopted similar measures more than a year ago, but those are mandatory and carry fines for violating their terms.
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