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Addressing Bill Shock: Phone companies may need to change ways May 18, 2010

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Bob St. Germain was in the news in May 2010, but we have heard the story before in some form. St. Germain opened his phone bill to discover that he owed $18,000. As it turned out, his son connected his cell phone to his laptop for Internet access and did not know that the two-year promotional period for the service had recently expired. St. Germain fought for years with Verizon, which eventually cut his debt down to $9,000, and then closed the matter entirely without an apology after his story appeared in news reports.

Although phone companies have been dealing with this matter on a case-by-case basis, they may have to change their ways, and their image, in light of comments by the FCC about the need to deal with “Bill Shock” through new legislation.

For another story, like the one above, that has given phone companies a bad name, see the video below:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is the impact of these kinds of stories on the public image of certain phone companies?

2.  If phone companies are put in a bad light by these reports, why have they not changed their ways?

3.  What might some phone companies do voluntarily to repair their image after so many reports of “Bill Shock”?

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