Friday, January 27, 2012

Cell Phone User Bill of Rights Introduced

It did not take long for Minnesota state senator Mary A. Olsen, who was elected in 2006, to introduce new legislation calling for change in the cell phone industry. According to Businessweek, wireless operators have generated more complaints than any other industry in 2007. Some statistics show them to be in upwards of around 1,000.

Because of this spike in consumer concerns, Senator Olsen called for a consumer's Bill of Rights. The Democratic senator was reported as saying in a recent interview in Businessweek, "The cell-phone industry has been making a lot of money on [questionable] consumer practices."

Currently Minnesota is leading the way in the fight for a Bill of Rights for consumers in the cell phone industry, however 22 other states are following suit and have introduced some sort of the same type of Bill.

According to Spencer E. Ante of Businessweek, "The proposals vary widely, but they typically include clearer disclosure of fees and taxes and the end of unauthorized charges for ringtones and other third-party services. The Minnesota bill, which consumer advocates say appears to have the best chance of becoming law, could be voted on in the next two weeks."

Senator Olsen says she feels good about the bills strength to pass and become law. However the group of wireless carriers, who do not like being regulated to begin with, are not feeling so good as it puts them in a situation where they will be regulated by 22 different states all with their own different laws.

As these Bill of Rights get closer to passing and become law, lobbyists for the wireless industry are working hard, running ads telling people that these laws will only drive up the cost of their services.

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