How Wireless Companies Rip You Off

...and what the FCC can do about it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 26, 2011 12:40 PM CDT
The wireless market is in need of more regulation, the New York Times editors write.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

(Newser) – Wireless carriers call for minimum regulations on their industry, claiming their market is competitive. But with consumers bound by two-year contracts, it’s easy for companies like Verizon and AT&T to take advantage. It’s time for the FCC to get serious about protecting wireless users, the editors of the New York Times write. The agency can start by curbing early termination fees on contracts to give consumers more power to shop around. Text messaging provides another disturbing example.

Texts cost companies a fraction of a penny to send, but the firms charge up to 20 cents. What’s more, companies make a killing separating voice, data, and text plans and making us shell out for separate plans for each of our gadgets—a practice that “makes little sense technologically.” An FCC deal with the industry announced last week to warn about usage limits is a step forward, but it doesn’t carry penalties for violations. The agency should assert its authority over broadband access to save us from a “deregulated, less-than-competitive market.” Click through for the full editorial. (Read more New York Times stories.)

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