Complaints Rise for Used Cell Phone Industry

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Almost as many as 500 complaints were made about the used cell phone industry in just the last 12 months in the Chicago area in the United States alone, according to the Chicago version of the Better Business Bureau.  The bulk of the complaints are about the practice known as “roaming” with many cell phone users caught unaware that their data plan on their cell phones was still active outside of their normal area of coverage – even though they may not have actually even used the phone.
“When traveling abroad, many users fail to recognize their data plan is constantly in use, even when they think their phone isn’t,” the Better Business Bureau said in an advisory which was released yesterday.  A grand total of 482 complaints were received just in the Chicago branch of the Better Business Bureau, with consumers furious that they were incurring charges even though they hadn’t actually been using their cell phones.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines “roaming” as meaning that a wireless phone is able to both receive and make telephone calls even though they are outside of their coverage area.
The Better Business Bureau is advising consumers that they should consult their wireless carriers about their data plan before traveling abroad or anywhere else outside of their coverage area.  “For the occasional traveler who doesn’t frequently talk on the phone, it may be worth looking into an additional add-on plan,” the Bureau says.