**Editor's Note: Click here for a recap of some of the worst cases of bill shock of all time.**
The fight to combat bill shock has become a global one.
Wireless giant Optus of Australia revealed that it will begin sending text messages to its customers a full year before that nation's new Telecommunications Consumer Protection code requires it to do so. Specifically, the code says carriers must warn customers when they cross three thresholds in voice, texting and data capacity: 50 percent, 85 percent and 100 percent.
The TCP is a set of mostly voluntary guidelines that will be phased in over two years, beginning Saturday. The usage alerts, however, will be enforced by Australia's Communications & Media Authority, and must be in place by this time next year.
Australia is following the lead of other nations that are working with major wireless carriers to prevent customers from going over their voice, text and data limits – resulting in what's become known as "bill shock." Some of the horror stories have been well-documented.
The European Union instituted a number of mandates last year that crack down on carriers who put bill-shock prevention on the back burner. And several months ago, U.S. carriers agreed to follow voluntary guidelines regarding usage alerts for their customers.
Fellow Australian wireless operator Vodafone told Computerworld that it will follow Optus' lead and move forward with implementing a similar strategy by the end of 2012.