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Third Quarter 2012 Consumer Inquiries and Informal Complaints Report

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Released: October 25, 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:
October 25, 2012
Michael Snyder at (202) 418-0997

e-mail: Michael.Snyder@fcc.gov


QUARTERLY REPORT OF CONSUMER INQUIRIES AND INFORMAL

COMPLAINTS FOR THIRD 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 third quarter of calendar year 2012.
2012 Third Quarter Inquiries. During the third quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories decreased by nearly 8% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 14,138 during the second
quarter of 2012, to 13,074, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services
inquiries increased by more than 9%, from 1,511 to 1,661, due to an increase in inquiries
regarding Service, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, Over-the-Air Reception
Devices, and Programming issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues constituted more
than 33% of the inquiries in this category during the third quarter. The number of Radio and
Television Broadcasting inquiries decreased by more than 24%, from 3,444 to 2,608, primarily
due to a decrease in inquiries concerning Programming issues. Wireless Telecommunications
inquiries decreased by more than 18%, from 2,109 to 1,720, with a decrease in the number of
inquiries regarding License Information and Service issues. Wireline Telecommunications
inquiries increased by less than 1%, from 7,074 to 7,085, with Telephone Consumer Protection
Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than 58% of the third quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 Third Quarter Informal Complaints. During the third quarter of 2012, the overall
number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories decreased by more than 14%
from those received and processed during the second quarter of 2012, from 87,883 to 75,453.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints increased by more than 4% this quarter, from
1,847 to 1,931. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 15%, from 1,449
to 1,675. The number of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than
24%, from 2,183 to 2,714, due to an increase in complaints regarding Other Programming issues.
Wireless Telecommunications complaints decreased by more than 30%, from 42,254 to 29,221,
with TCPA-related complaints comprising the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline
Telecommunications complaints decreased by nearly 1%, from 40,150 to 39,912, 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 third 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
third 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


Third Quarter, Calendar Year 2012

Executive Summary

This Report tracks the top subject areas of consumer inquiries and informal complaints
received and processed during the third 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 Third Quarter Inquiries. During the third quarter of 2012, the overall number of
inquiries for the top four reported inquiry categories decreased by nearly 8% from the number
received and processed by CGB during the previous quarter, from 14,138 during the second
quarter of 2012, to 13,074, as described below. The number of Cable and Satellite Services
inquiries increased by more than 9%, from 1,511 to 1,661, due to an increase in inquiries
regarding Service, Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, Over-the-Air Reception
Devices, and Programming issues. Inquiries regarding Billing and Rates issues constituted more
than 33% of the inquiries in this category during the third quarter. The number of Radio and
Television Broadcasting inquiries decreased by more than 24%, from 3,444 to 2,608, primarily
due to a decrease in inquiries concerning Programming issues. Wireless Telecommunications
inquiries decreased by more than 18%, from 2,109 to 1,720, with a decrease in the number of
inquiries regarding License Information and Service issues. Wireline Telecommunications
inquiries increased by less than 1%, from 7,074 to 7,085, with Telephone Consumer Protection
Act (TCPA) matters constituting more than 58% of the third quarter inquiries in this category.
2012 Third Quarter Informal Complaints. During the third quarter of 2012, the overall
number of informal complaints in the top five reported categories decreased by more than 14%
from those received and processed during the second quarter of 2012, from 87,883 to 75,453.
Bundled and VoIP Service-related complaints increased by more than 4% this quarter, from
1,847 to 1,931. Cable & Satellite Services complaints increased by more than 15%, from 1,449
to 1,675. The number of Radio and Television Broadcasting complaints increased by more than
24%, from 2,183 to 2,714, due to an increase in complaints regarding Other Programming issues.
Wireless Telecommunications complaints decreased by more than 30%, from 42,254 to 29,221,
with TCPA-related complaints comprising the bulk of the complaints in this category. Wireline
Telecommunications complaints decreased by nearly 1%, from 40,150 to 39,912, 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 third 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
third 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 July 1 to September 30, 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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