After an almost two-year investigation, the Federal Communications Commission said Monday it had reached an agreement with most of the nation’s cell carriers that should protect consumers from “bill shock” — unexpected increases in a monthly wireless bill.

Starting in October of next year, many wireless companies will alert consumers when they are approaching their monthly limits for voice, data and text messages, or when they are about to incur international roaming charges; a second alert will be sent when those limits are reached.

An FCC study found 84% of Americans who experienced bill shock claimed they were not warned when they were about to exceed their limits, with even more stating they heard nothing from their provider after they went over.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “Every consumer deserves to be treated fairly. [The new agreement] harnesses technology to empower consumers, to ensure consumers get a fair shake and not bill shock.”

[CNN Money]