CHICAGO, Oct. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following last year's commitment from major wireless carriers to help consumers avoid unexpected overage charges on their monthly bills, U.S. Cellular announced today that it has added more tools for its postpaid customers to help prevent "bill shock." U.S. Cellular customers have been receiving free voice and text overage notifications on request since 2009, and have been receiving automatic alerts when they approach and exceed the limits of their data plan since June of this year. Now customers also receive automatic alerts when they may incur international roaming charges. The "Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines" were voluntarily agreed to by several major wireless carriers in October 2011 as part of CTIA – The Wireless Association's "Consumer Code for Wireless Service." They call for wireless carriers to provide overage alerts for voice and messaging, data, and international roaming automatically at no cost to customers. These new guidelines require each wireless carrier to provide its customers at least two of these alerts by today and all of these alerts by April 17, 2013. "At U.S. Cellular, our goal is to create a better wireless experience for customers, and we have led the industry in providing tools for customers to help keep track of their wireless bills," said David Kimbell, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer. "We want customers to get the most out of their wireless device and not have to worry about being surprised when opening their monthly bill. With all that our devices can do, it's important for customers to know their provider is looking out for them." U.S. Cellular 3G and 4G LTE customers have been receiving automatic data usage alerts since June 2012. Tiered data plan customers receive these notifications for every data tier limit they approach and exceed. U.S. Cellular offers 100 MB, 300 MB, 2 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB data plans. Customers now also receive automatic alerts when they may incur charges for international usage, such as when traveling abroad or on cruise ships.
Launched in 2009, U.S. Cellular's free Overage Protection program sends a text message when customers reach 75 percent of anytime minutes or texts in their billing cycle and another text when they reach 100 percent of the minutes and texts in their monthly plan. So far, 4.8 million U.S. Cellular customers have signed up for this free service. In the coming months, this will become an automatic alert for customers.U.S. Cellular provides additional resources for customers so they can personally manage and monitor their usage and help ensure they are on the right plan for their needs. These tools include a data estimator on its website, usage tracking on My Account, a web page dedicated to helping customers manage their data usage and the recently launched free "Wi-Fi Now" app that easily connects customers to Wi-Fi hotspots wherever they are to conserve their data allotment. To say hello to a better wireless relationship, visit any U.S. Cellular store, go to uscellular.com or check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook. About U.S. Cellular U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, 31 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds and 58 percent will have access by the end of 2012. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2012 for the second year in a row. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp. Katie Frey, U.S. Cellular, firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-355-3275 This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com