The FCC, CTIA (the major U.S. wireless industry trade association), and Consumers Union announced the new "Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines" on October 17 as an alternative to the pending wireless "bill shock" rules proposed by the FCC last year to help consumers avoid unexpected charges. Specifically, wireless carriers have made commitments to send free alerts to consumers both before and after they reach monthly limits on voice, data and texts as well as similar notifications regarding international roaming charges when traveling abroad; all subscribers will be covered unless they opt-out. These commitments will become part of CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service, and participating carriers (covering 97% of U.S. wireless consumers) will provide customers with at least two of the four notifications for data, voice, text and international roaming by October 17, 2012, and all four of the alerts by April 17, 2013.
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