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The Need for Wireless Telephone Consumer Protections: A Survey of New York Residents

Cell phone service is one of the industries with the most frequent complaints in the nation. This study was commissioned by AARP New York to gauge public support for new legislation that would bring stronger consumer protections and mandatory disclosures to the wireless telephone industry. Data were collected during May 2004 in a telephone survey of 801 New Yorkers age 18+. The results show overwhelming support for the proposed consumer protections. Some of the specific findings are as follows:

  • 95% support requiring cell phone companies to provide information to the best extent possible about where "dead zones" exist.

  • 89% support mandating many aspects of the industry's now voluntary Consumer Code for wireless services.

  • 87% support the option to cancel their contract after getting the first bill, not simply after getting their phone.

  • 87% support disclosure concerning the availability of E-911 service.

  • 82% support a requirement that cell phone companies give prospective customers a list of charges and a monthly estimate of their bill.

For more information, contact Kate Bridges, AARP Knowledge Management, at 202-434-6329. (18 pages)

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