CTIA pushes "Consumer Code"

Sep 09 2003 - 01:36 PM ET | In The News
consumer_code_logo.gifCTIA has finalized a code of conduct for cellular companies. It has already been adopted by many carriers, and even has a prominent spot on Cingular.com. Here's the gist of what carriers must do if they want to be able to say they follow the CTIA consumer code. * Provide every new customer a minimum 14-day trial period for new service. * Provide coverage maps illustrating where service is generally available. * In every advertisement that mentions pricing, specifically disclose the rates and terms of service. * For every rate plan or contract, provide consumers specific disclosures regarding rates and terms of service. * On billing statements, carriers will not label cost recovery fees or charges as taxes, and will separately identify carrier charges from taxes. * When initiating or changing service, carriers will clearly state contract terms to customers and confirm changes in service. * Provide customers the right to terminate service for significant changes to contract terms. * Provide ready access to customer service. * Promptly respond to consumer inquiries and complaints received from government agencies. * Abide by policies for the protection of customer privacy. Who says free markets don't govern themselves? Update: SprintPCS has also embraced the new consumer code.