A state lawmaker wants to require cell phone companies to let customers keep their unused minutes.
With the majority of cell phone providers, customers lose unused minutes at the end of each month. State Representative Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) thinks it's an unfair business practice, since customers have paid for those minutes and just have not had enough time to use them.
Legislation from Schneider would require providers to allow customers to use those minutes for up to a year. The proposal is similar to an option already available to AT&T wireless customers.
Schneider says customers are being put in a difficult position because they're encouraged to buy more minutes than they expect to use in a month. He says many companies penalize their customers with high rates if they exceed their minutes, but few provide any benefit for those who don't use them all.
The Wisconsin Rapids Democrat admits cell phone companies may use the requirement to justify charging higher rates. However, he says officials should have to come before the Legislature and explain why people are being required to buy things they never get any use from.