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      FCC rules seek to avoid surprise wireless bills

      Federal regulators want to stop cell phone "bill shock" by requiring wireless companies to alert subscribers before they run out of minutes, hit data usage or text messaging caps or start racking up international roaming charges.

      The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday to seek public comment on such rules, which are on the table after a flood of consumer complaints about unexpected and costly overage fees.

      The proposed regulations would require wireless companies to send voice or text alerts to customers as they approach monthly usage limits on their plans and when they reach those limits. The rules would also mandate that carriers notify customers who travel overseas if they will be charged extra to use their phones outside the U.S. or roam on a foreign network.

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