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MassCops Angel
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Cell phone users 'Bill of Rights' sought in Massachusetts

Legislation in the Massachusetts statehouse would give cell phone users in the state clearer bills and shorter contracts.

Dubbed the "Cell Phone Users' Bill of Rights," the first-in-the-nation effort would address common cell phone annoyances by fixing dead zones, shortening contracts from two years to one, and requiring companies to issue monthly bills that are easier to understand.

Sen. Jarrett Barrios, D-Cambridge, said the legislation is a "Lemon Law" for cell phones.

Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, said the bill would offer protections similar to those provided by the landline industry.

Additional provisions in the bill include:

  • A requirement that roaming calls be itemized on the bill within 60 days of the call, identifying the date and location of the call;
  • All providers must provide consumers with coverage map that are as accurate as current technology allows;
  • Consumers would have a trial period during which they could cancel any new service contract without having to pay a termination fee.
  • Carriers must get customers "express permission" prior to making cell phone numbers public. They would be prohibited from charging a fee to keep numbers private.
Cell phone industry representatives said the regulation is unnecessary because the industry is so competitive it must adjust to consumer demands.

They also predict some companies will drop nationwide plans for Massachusetts customers if the legislation passes.

The bill - SB1790 - is in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.
 

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Thread Killa
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I'm a bit nonplused about the continued use of the term "Bill of Rights" when talking about health care, cell phones, Internet, Cable TV, Chinese Buffet's etc and so on. It sort of demeans the original Bill of Rights.

I would hate to see the world wiped out and then 10,000 years later people think that we had various "bills of or rights" and that the dude in the Verizon commercial was somehow a "founding father".

Not a big deal, just a pet peeve.
 
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