The 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 first quarter of calendar year 2010.
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 January through March 2010, the Bureau received a total of 26,391 complaints regarding wireline telecommunication services, with 22,398 complaints (84.8% of the total) in the area of TCPA issues alone, and more than 5600 complaints in connection with unsolicited fax advertisements. This compares with 34,427 total complaints during the January-March 2009 period, with 31,526 (91.6% of the total) involving TCPA issues.
In the area of inquiries, the Bureau also received 12,107 inquiries in connection with wireline telecommunications, including 6397 inquiries dealing with TCPA issues, during the period from January through March 2010. This compares with 12,568 total inquiries during the first quarter of calendar year 2009, of which 8315 were related to TCPA issues.