The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its report on inquiries and complaints made by consumers to the agency’s Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau during the first quarter of 2012.
The Bureau regularly tracks inquiries and 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 Nationl Do Not Call Registry and unsolicited fax advertisements.
During the period from January through March 2012, the Bureau received a total of 36,032 complaints regarding wireline telecommunication services, with 33,132 complaints (91.9% of the total) in the area of TCPA issues alone, and more than 3,038 complaints in connection with unsolicited fax advertisements. This compares with 29,480 total complaints during the January-March 2011 period, when 26,020 (88.3% of the total) involving TCPA issues.
In the area of inquiries, the Bureau also received 7,551 inquiries in connection with wireline telecommunications, including 4,893 inquiries dealing with TCPA issues, during the period from January through March 2012. This compares with 8,536 total inquiries during the first quarter of calendar year 2011, of which 5,445 were related to TCPA issues.