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CNET News Video: Goodbye 'bill shock'

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CNET News Video: Goodbye 'bill shock'

1:19 /

The days of cell phone "bill shock" may soon be over. A new agreement between wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission means consumers will get alerts when they're close to going over the limit on their phone, text, or data plan. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports.

-We all talk, text, and even browse the web on our mobile devices, sometimes to excess. And when it's time to pay up, we can face extreme overages known as bill shock. -You've used the data, you're missing calls, and you don't really realize that what you're using it costs a lot more money and then you get home, you open your bill, and you say "Uh-oh I used $200 worth of data" or even more than that. -The Federal Communications Commission says 1 in 6 mobile device users has experienced bill shock and nearly a quarter of those people face a bill that can be 100 bucks more than normal. That can be very serious, I mean, depending how much you use. I mean, some people can go home and find $30,000 or even more than that. -That's why the FCC and cellphone companies have struck a deal for a new alert system. Users will soon get a text or phone call alerting them that they're reaching their monthly limit on voice, data, or messaging plan. -Customers should know about their plan. They should know the what if, what's in store for them. They should know their overages, but I think it's also very fair to carriers to be-- to send out this message and say you're almost gonna go over. It's gonna cost you so people can understand that and, you know, take that into account. These mobile alerts will be free and automatic. Consumers can opt out of them if they choose. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com, for CBC News.

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