This document was obtained from the FCC web site using the preview document function of PlanetSearch. Because this process makes some changes to the appearance of the document, some minor alteration of the document content may have occurred.Here's how to file complaints regarding telephone or other telecommunication common carrier services
Because the document is no longer available from its original source at www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Factsheets/complain.html we cannot guarantee that the information is still current.
Q: What should I do when I
have a complaint?
A: If you have a problem with a telephone company or other company providing these services you should first try to resolve your complaint with the company providing the service or the company billing for the service If you are unsuccessful in resolving the problem then you should file a complaint with the proper regulatory agency
Q: Do all complaints about these
services come to the FCC?
A: complaints about rates or services provided within a state intra state should be addressed to your state public utility commission You can contact either your local or state consumer office to obtain the phone number and address for your state public utility commission This information also may be listed in the government section of your telephone directory
Complaints regarding services provided from one state to another, interstate services, and foreign communications should be addressed to the FCC. Consumers may file either an informal complaint or formal complaint
The FCC established the informal complaint process to make it easier for consumers to file complaints about telecommunications common carrier services and for carriers to act promptly to satisfy complaints Informal complaints are no less important than formal complaints
Q: How do I file an informal
complaint Do I need to get a form
from the FCC first Is there a fee?
A: There is no special form to fill out to file an informal complaint with the FCC There is no charge You simply send a letter in your own words describing the problem to
FCCIt will expedite processing if your complaint is typed or legibly printed. Your letter should include
Common Carrier Bureau
Stop Code 1600A2
Washington DC 20554
If you are requesting a refund or adjustment for calls charged to your account you should include a copy of the telephone bill or bills listing the disputed charges. Please circle the charges that you are disputing on the copy of the bill you send to us
If your complaint concerns calls placed from a telephone location such as a hotel motel convenience store airport etc, you should include
Q: What happens to an informal
complaint after it is received by the
A: All complaint letters are reviewed to ensure that the issues are within FCC's jurisdiction complaints are sent to other federal or state agencies if the issues raised are more appropriately handled by those agencies If we send a complaint to another agency the complainant will receive a copy of the referral letter
If the complaint issues are within the FCC's jurisdiction the Branch sends or serves the complaint under a cover document called a Notice of Informal Complaint on the company providing the service
The FCC serves the complaint on all companies identified in the complaint that are under the FCC's jurisdiction The company is directed to investigate the complaint and to report the results of that investigation in writing to the FCC within a prescribed time period usually 30 calendar days
Under the FCC's rules the person filing the complaint should receive a copy of the company's response at the same time that the company files the response with the FCC The FCC reviews the complaint and the company's response to ensure that the company fully addressed all of the issues and that the company's actions are consistent with relevant statutory provisions FCC rules and decisions and industry practices After this review the Branch decides what additional action if any is required
If it appears from the complaint and from the company's response that the company may not be in compliance with the law the FCC will take appropriate action After the review process is completed the Branch will send a letter to the complainant advising them that the Branch has completed its review of the complaint
Q: If I am disputing charges
should I send a check for the FCC a check for the disputed amount to
hold until the issue is processed?
A: No The FCC does not accept escrow checks for disputed charges However several state public utility commissions have escrow procedures for disputed charges If your complaint concerns disputed charges for calls placed within your state you should contact your state public utility commission to determine whether or not you should send an escrow check to that commission for disputed charges
Q: What can I do if I am not
satisfied with the carrier's response
to my complaint?
A: The Commission's rules provide that the complainant may file a formal complaint if he or she is not satisfied by a carrier's response to an informal complaint and the Commission's disposition of that complaint
Q: Are formal complaints more
important than informal
A: No Informal and formal are simply terms chosen by the FCC to distinguish the procedural differences between two different complaint processes The terms are not intended to infer that formal complaints are more important than informal complaints
Q: Are there specific procedures
to follow to file a formal complaint
A: Yes Formal complaints must be filed in the manner prescribed in the Commission's rules and must show facts which establish that a violation of the Communications Act or a Commission rule policy has occurred
The facts stated in a formal complaint must be supported by relevant documentation or affidavits of sufficient specificity to develop a record which will permit the Commission to determine the facts of the case and to decide what if any remedies may be appropriate Because allegations must be developed in the complaint which are sufficient to comply with the FCC's rules and case law formal complaints generally require an attorney's assistance
Q: Does it cost any money to file a
A: Yes A filing fee of 140 applies to each formal complaint filed with the FCC
Q: Is it a requirement to file an
informal complaint first?
A: No You may file a formal complaint with the FCC even though you did not first file an informal complaint Other inquiries about various aspects of interstate or international common carrier services should be addressed to Consumer complaints at the address listed above
Questions about how to file complaints regarding cellular telephone paging commercial mobile radio and other wireless common carrier services should be directed to
Federal Communications Commission
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Enforcement and Consumer Information Division
2025 M Street N W Room 8308
Washington, DC 20554
Phone Number 202 418 0569