Verizon releases data management tools

Verizon announced that it will send free text messages to users when they have used 50, 75, 90 and 110 percent of their monthly allotted data usage. The company will stop offering its unlimited data plan Thursday, though existing customers’ plans will remain unchanged.

Verizon said that users who have registered with its My Verizon online account management center can also opt to receive e-mail alerts about their data use.

Verizon also allows customers to check on their data usage at any time by entering “#DATA” on their phones and hitting send. The company also has a data usage calculator and smartphone app.

Text message alerts are a common suggestion included in anti-bill shock proposals and legislation, aimed at giving consumers more information about what charges and fees are included on their monthly mobile bills.

Sen. Tom Udall’s bill, the Cell Phone Bill Shock Act of 2011, would require companies to alert users when they have used 80 percent of their text messages, data usage and voice minutes. The European Union already requires carriers to alert users when they hit 80 percent of their monthly data roaming services.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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