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1st Quarter 2012 Report of Consumer Inquiries and Informal Complaints

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Released: June 1, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

For Immediate Release:

News Media Contact:
June 1, 2012
Keyla Hernandez-Ulloa at (202) 418-0965

e-mail: Keyla.Hernandez-Ulloa@fcc.gov


QUARTERLY REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL

COMPLAINTS FOR FIRST QUARTER OF CALENDAR YEAR 2012 RELEASED

Washington, DC – The Commission has released its Report of the top subject areas of
consumer inquiries and informal complaints received and processed by the Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) during the first quarter of calendar year 2012.
2012 First Quarter Inquiries. During the first quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories increased by nearly 29% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 13,782 during the fourth
quarter of 2011, to 17,813, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services
inquiries increased by more than 36%, from 1,347 to 1,840, due to an increase in inquiries
regarding Billing and Rates, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, Over-the-Air
Reception Devices, and Programming issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues
constituted more than 32% of the inquiries in this category during the first quarter. The number
of Radio and Television Broadcasting inquiries increased by more than 42%, from 4,326 to
6,157, primarily due to an increase in inquiries concerning Programming issues. Wireless
Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 11%, from 2,037 to 2,265, with an
increase in the number of inquiries regarding Billing and Rates, Interference, and License
Information issues. Wireline Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 24%, from
6,072 to 7,551, with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than
64% of the first quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 First Quarter Informal Complaints. During the first quarter of 2012, the overall
number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories increased by more than 32%
from those received and processed during the fourth quarter of 2011, from 67,476 to 89,210.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints increased by more than 8% this quarter, from
1,847 to 2,003. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 28%, from 1,461
to 1,876. The number of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than
62%, from 2,406 to 3,903, due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming issues
involving particular broadcasts that drew a number of complaints, as well as complaints
regarding CableCards. Wireless Telecommunications complaints increased by more than 41%,
from 32,124 to 45,396, with Call or Message to Wireless Device-related complaints comprising
the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline Telecommunications complaints increased
by more than 21%, from 29,638 to 36,032, with TCPA-Other Issues, Do Not Call List and
Unsolicited Faxes constituting the top categories of such complaints. These subcategories,

combined, constituted over 91% of the Wireline complaints in the reported subcategories during
the first quarter.
The Commission receives many inquiries and informal complaints that do not involve
violations of the Communications Act, or a rule, policy or order of the Commission. The
existence of a complaint does not necessarily establish wrongdoing by the named company. The
first quarter Report, as well as previous reports on consumer inquiries and informal complaints,
can be viewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/quarter/welcome.html.
- FCC -

REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL COMPLAINTS


First Quarter, Calendar Year 2012

Executive Summary

This Report tracks the top subject areas of consumer inquiries and informal complaints
received and processed during the first quarter of calendar year 2012 by the Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB).i A consumer inquiry is defined as correspondence or
communications received by the Commission from or on behalf of an individual seeking
information regarding a matter under the FCC’s jurisdiction. An informal consumer complaint is
defined as correspondence or a communication received by a CGB Consumer Center, either via
U.S. mail, fax, e-mail, the Internet, or telephone from or on behalf of an individual that: (i)
identifies a particular entity under the FCC’s jurisdiction; (ii) alleges harm or injury; and (iii)
requests relief.
2012 First Quarter Inquiries. During the first quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories increased by nearly 29% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 13,782 during the fourth
quarter of 2011, to 17,813, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services
inquiries increased by more than 36%, from 1,347 to 1,840, due to an increase in inquiries
regarding Billing and Rates, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act issues, Over-the-Air
Reception Devices, and Programming issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues
constituted more than 32% of the inquiries in this category during the first quarter. The number
of Radio and Television Broadcasting inquiries increased by more than 42%, from 4,326 to
6,157, primarily due to an increase in inquiries concerning Programming issues. Wireless
Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 11%, from 2,037 to 2,265, with an
increase in the number of inquiries regarding Billing and Rates, Interference, and License
Information issues. Wireline Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 24%, from
6,072 to 7,551, with Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than
64% of the first quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 First Quarter Informal Complaints. During the first quarter of 2012, the overall
number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories increased by more than 32%
from those received and processed during the fourth quarter of 2011, from 67,476 to 89,210.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints increased by more than 8% this quarter, from
1,847 to 2,003. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 28%, from 1,461
to 1,876. The number of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than
62%, from 2,406 to 3,903, due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming Issues
involving particular broadcasts that drew a number of complaints, as well as complaints
regarding CableCards. Wireless Telecommunications complaints increased by more than 41%,
from 32,124 to 45,396, with Call or Message to Wireless Device-related complaints comprising
the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline Telecommunications complaints increased
by more than 21%, from 29,638 to 36,032, with TCPA-Other Issues, Do Not Call List and
Unsolicited Faxes constituting the top categories of such complaints. These subcategories,
combined, constituted over 91% of the Wireline complaints in the reported subcategories during
the first quarter.

The Commission receives many inquiries and informal complaints that do not involve
violations of the Communications Act, or a rule, policy or order of the Commission. The
existence of a complaint does not necessarily establish wrongdoing by the named company. The
first quarter Report, as well as previous reports on consumer inquiries and informal complaints,
can be viewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/quarter/welcome.html.


i The data reported reflects the informal complaints and inquiries recorded in CGB’s automated tracking systems
during the period from January 1 to March 31, 2012. The information generated for this Report is that entered into
the tracking systems on or before those specific dates. In addition, the data referenced in this Report account for
statistics at the national level as reported by the Commission and, therefore, are not necessarily indicative of
corresponding state or local trends.
-2-


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