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FCC Releases Report for Top Consumer Issues for Q4 of 2012

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Released: May 9, 2013

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:
May 9, 2013
Michael Snyder at (202) 418-0997

e-mail: Michael.Snyder@fcc.gov


QUARTERLY REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL

COMPLAINTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER OF CALENDAR YEAR 2012 RELEASED

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:
May 9, 2013
Michael Snyder at (202) 418-0997

e-mail: Michael.Snyder@fcc.gov


QUARTERLY REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL

COMPLAINTS FOR FOURTH 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 fourth quarter of calendar year 2012.
2012 Fourth Quarter Inquiries. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories increased by nearly 1% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 13,074 during the third quarter
of 2012, to 13,190, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services inquiries
decreased by more than 15%, from 1,661 to 1,400, due to a decrease in inquiries regarding
Service, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, Over-the-Air Reception Devices,
Programming, and Billing and Rates issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues
constituted more than 34% of the inquiries in this category during the fourth quarter. The
number of Radio and Television Broadcasting inquiries decreased by more than 12%, from 2,608
to 2,271, primarily due to a decrease in inquiries concerning Digital Television issues. Wireless
Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 19%, from 1,720 to 2,059, with an
increase in the number of inquiries regarding License Information, Tower, and Service issues.
Wireline Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 5%, from 7,085 to 7,460, with
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than 58% of the fourth
quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 Fourth Quarter Informal Complaints. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the
overall number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories increased by more than
4% from those received and processed during the third quarter of 2012, from 75,453 to 78,608.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints decreased by more than 9% this quarter, from
1,931 to 1,747. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 67%, from 1,675
to 2,799, primarily due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming issues. The number
of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than 104%, from 2,714 to
5,544, due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming – General Criticism issues.
Wireless Telecommunications complaints increased by nearly 3%, from 29,221 to 30,090, with
TCPA-related complaints comprising the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline
Telecommunications complaints decreased by more than 3%, from 39,912 to 38,428, with

TCPA-Other Issues, Do Not Call List and Unsolicited Faxes constituting the top categories of
such complaints. These three subcategories, combined, constituted over 94% of the Wireline
complaints in the reported subcategories during the fourth 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
fourth quarter Report, as well as previous reports on consumer inquiries and informal
complaints, can be viewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/quarterly-reports-consumer-
inquiries-and-complaints.
- FCC -

REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL COMPLAINTS



Fourth Quarter, Calendar Year 2012

Executive Summary

This Report tracks the top subject areas of consumer inquiries and informal complaints
received and processed during the fourth 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 Fourth Quarter Inquiries. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories increased by nearly 1% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 13,074 during the third quarter
of 2012, to 13,190, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services inquiries
decreased by more than 15%, from 1,661 to 1,400, due to a decrease in inquiries regarding
Service, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, Over-the-Air Reception Devices,
Programming, and Billing and Rates issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues
constituted more than 34% of the inquiries in this category during the fourth quarter. The
number of Radio and Television Broadcasting inquiries decreased by more than 12%, from 2,608
to 2,271, primarily due to a decrease in inquiries concerning Digital Television issues. Wireless
Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 19%, from 1,720 to 2,059, with an
increase in the number of inquiries regarding License Information, Tower, and Service issues.
Wireline Telecommunications inquiries increased by more than 5%, from 7,085 to 7,460, with
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than 58% of the fourth
quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 Fourth Quarter Informal Complaints. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the
overall number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories increased by more than
4% from those received and processed during the third quarter of 2012, from 75,453 to 78,608.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints decreased by more than 9% this quarter, from
1,931 to 1,747. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 67%, from 1,675
to 2,799, primarily due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming issues. The number
of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than 104%, from 2,714 to
5,544, due to an increase in complaints regarding Programming – General Criticism issues.
Wireless Telecommunications complaints increased by nearly 3%, from 29,221 to 30,090, with
TCPA-related complaints comprising the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline
Telecommunications complaints decreased by more than 3%, from 39,912 to 38,428, with
TCPA-Other Issues, Do Not Call List and Unsolicited Faxes constituting the top categories of
such complaints. These three subcategories, combined, constituted over 94% of the Wireline
complaints in the reported subcategories during the fourth 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
fourth quarter Report, as well as previous reports on consumer inquiries and informal
complaints, can be viewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/quarterly-reports-consumer-
inquiries-and-complaints.


i The data reported reflect the informal complaints and inquiries recorded in CGB’s automated tracking systems
during the period from October 1 to December 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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