The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a web portal aimed at helping users avoid unexpected charges on their mobile accounts.
The FCC said that the site, which is being run in partnership with a collection of US carriers, will allow users to see their carrier's policies and practices regarding notification of impending charges.
The commission said that the site was part of an effort to push carriers to better inform users when they run the risk of higher charges. Carriers have begun to implement features such as text message notifications and alerts when users are roaming or nearing their data limits.
The portal will also provide an extension to the FCC's ongoing battle against 'bill shock' and its work with the telecom industry to help prevent surprise charges. The commission said that the alert policies will become mandatory in October of this year.
"Bill shock can happen when a subscriber is charged for unknowingly exceeding plan limits for data, voice, or text, or is traveling abroad and gets hit with unexpected international roaming charges," FCC consumer and governmental affairs deputy chief William Freedman said in a blog post introducing the service.
"Thanks to the recent agreement by a group of carriers that account for service to 97 per cent of US wireless customers, important information is on its way that will allow consumers to save money on their monthly bills."
Such efforts to rein in mobile tariffs have become an international campaign. The EU recently began a programme to cut roaming costs, while the House of Lords has advocated additional measures to stop bill shock.
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