The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its report on complaints made by consumers to the agency’s Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau during the quarter ending December 31, 2013.
The Bureau regularly tracks complaints from consumers on matters within the scope of the Commission’s jurisdiction. In the area of wireline telecommunications matters, the Bureau is particularly interested in instances of “cramming” (the placing of unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on a telephone bill) and “slamming” (the practice of changing a subscriber’s telecommunications service provider or calling plan without the subscriber’s permission). The Commission also tracks violations of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which includes regulations covering both the “Do Not Call” registry and unsolicited fax advertisements.
During the period from October through December 2013, the Bureau received a total of 51,501 complaints related to the services it regulates, including cable and satellite service, radio and television broadcasting, and telecommunications services. The total includes just over 36,000 complaints (69.9% of all complaints) related to violations of the TCPA in connection with wireline and wireless telephone services. TCPA-related complaints in connection with wireless services are showing significant growth, and account for more than 30% of all TCPA-related complaints. Unsolicited faxes accounted for just 1886 (about 5%) of TCPA complaints.