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Guide

Filing an Informal Complaint

The Federal Communications Commission gives consumers the opportunity to file informal complaints about problems with the communications services that the FCC regulates. Complaints can be filed through the FCC's Consumer Help Center, which educates consumers about communications issues and guides them through the complaint process.

Filing a complaint with the FCC

You should always first try to resolve any problem directly with the company causing the problem or sending you a bill for service. If you can't resolve the problem directly, you can file an informal complaint with the FCC.

You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

  • File a complaint online by visiting the Consumer Help Center at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov
  • By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
  • By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

The informal complaint process requires no complicated legal procedures, has no filing charge, and does not require the complaining party to appear before the FCC.

If you submit a complaint about a telecommunications billing or service issue, your complaint is processed by the FCC's Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division and will be served on your provider, which has 30 days to respond directly to you, copying the FCC on its response.

Finding solutions

The FCC cannot resolve all individual complaints, but we can provide information about your possible next steps. Complaints about issues such as loud commercials, the Do Not Call List, robocalls, unwanted telephone calls, unsolicited faxes and similar issues covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act are shared among FCC bureaus and offices. We do not resolve individual complaints on these issues. However, the collective data we receive helps us keep a pulse on what consumers are experiencing, may lead to investigations and serves as a deterrent to the companies we regulate.

By filing a consumer complaint with the FCC, you contribute to federal enforcement and consumer protection efforts on a national scale.

Complaints about issues not covered by the FCC

While the FCC can help consumers with many types of complaints, there are many issues – such as consumer fraud or cable billing – which are be best addressed by local, state or federal agencies or authorities that have jurisdiction over these issues.

How to file a complaint with the FTC

For charges on your telephone bill for non-telephone services, file your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-382-4357 (voice) or 1-866-653-4261 (TTY), or write to:

Federal Trade Commission 
CRC-240
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Complaints about local telephone or cable service

If you have a problem with your local telephone service, including directory assistance, or telephone service within your state, contact your state public service commission. Contact information for your state public service commission can be found at www.naruc.org/commissions.cfm or in the blue pages or government section of your local telephone directory. For problems with rates for basic cable television service or cable television service quality that you can't resolve directly with the company, contact your Local Franchising Authority (LFA). Contact information for your LFA can be found on your cable service bill or in your local telephone directory. Also, your state or local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency or state Attorney General's Office may be able to help. Again, check for listings in your local telephone directory.

Filing a formal complaint with the FCC

If you are not satisfied with the response to your informal complaint, you can file a formal complaint. Your formal complaint must be filed within six months of the date of the response to your informal complaint. The current fee for filing a formal complaint is $225.00, but it is subject to change.

Formal complaint proceedings are similar to court proceedings. Each party must comply with specific procedural rules, appear before the FCC and file documents that address legal issues. Parties filing formal complaints usually are represented by lawyers or experts in communications law and the FCC's procedural rules.

Complete information on how to file formal complaints can be found in sections 1.720 through 1.735 of the FCC's rules, located at 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.720 – 1.735. You can also visit the FCC's Enforcement Bureau website at www.fcc.gov/eb/tcd/laction.html.

Print Out

Filing an Informal Complaint Guide (pdf)

Accessible formats

To request this article in an accessible format - braille, large print, Word or text document or audio - write or call us at the address or phone number above, or send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov

Updated: January 29, 2015
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