The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its quarterly report on inquiries and complaints made by consumers to the agency’s Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau during the final quarter of 2011.
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 “Do Not Call” registry and unsolicited fax advertisements.
During the period from October through December 2011, the Bureau received a total of 29,638 complaints regarding wireline telecommunication services, with 26,893 complaints (90.7% of the total) in the area of TCPA issues alone, and more than 3353 complaints in connection with unsolicited fax advertisements. This compares with 22,553 total complaints during the October-December 2010 period, with 19,478 (86.4% of the total) involving TCPA issues.
In the area of inquiries, the Bureau also received 6072 inquiries in connection with wireline telecommunications, including 3552 inquiries dealing with TCPA issues, during the period from October through December 2011. This compares with 7878 total inquiries during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010, of which 6730 were related to TCPA issues.