Bill Shock Survey: End of Unfair Overage Charges

Surprise overage charges on cell phone bills will soon cease to exist. The FCC and most American wireless providers came to an agreement this week to let consumers know when they are approaching their monthly limit for voice minutes, text messages, or data use. This will end “bill shock” for customers and hopefully keep them happier with their wireless service.

cell phone bill

Cell Phone Contracts

Monthly contracts are currently the most popular form of wireless service in the country. In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 53.5% of respondents said they currently have a wireless contract. 36% said they have a cell phone but no contract. And 10.5% don’t have a cell phone at all.

Unlimited vs. Limited

Within said contracts, customers have the option to choose unlimited or limited amounts of voice minutes, text messages, and data use. Only 33.6% of respondents have unlimited voice minutes in their contracts, while 52.8% have a limited amount of voice minutes. Customers with texting and data plans were more likely to have unlimited plans though. 70.1% of respondents with a contract have unlimited texting and 38.3% have unlimited data, while only 14.5% have limited texting and 22.4% have limited data.

Unexpected Fees

With unlimited plans, extra fees usually aren’t an issue, but when you go over your limited minutes/text messages/data, the fees can really add up. 37.9% of respondents said they have gone over their limited minutes at some point, and most of them said they were surprised by the overage. 74.3% of respondents said they don’t believe the overage charges are fair.

With the new change in wireless billing, customers shouldn’t have to experience bill shock anymore. Will this change greatly improve customer satisfaction?

Photo Credit: 052407: cell phone bill from Flickr

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.