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Guide

Unauthorized Equipment Sold on the Internet and in Publications

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) receives many complaints about alleged illegal (non-FCC certified) equipment being offered for sale on the Internet or in publications. The FCC is monitoring this situation carefully and requests your assistance. If you have a complaint or any information about illegal or uncertified equipment being offered for sale, please forward it to the FCC. Useful information includes:

  • an original advertisement or web address where the illegal equipment is being advertised or offered for sale, highlighting the types of equipment about which the allegations are being made;
  • the name of any web auction site selling the equipment, the exact item number, and auction opening and closing dates;
  • name and address of the individual or business offering the item(s) for sale;
  • your name and telephone number in the event follow-up is necessary. We will keep this information private;
  • specifically, why you think the equipment is not in compliance with FCC rules; and
  • number of pieces or types of equipment about which the allegations are being made (one piece, five pieces, how many models, etc.).

How to File a Complaint with the FCC

If you have a problem with any unauthorized equipment, you can file a complaint with the FCC. There is no charge for filing a complaint. You can file your complaint using an online complaint form. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

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

What to Include in Your Complaint

The best way to provide all the information the FCC needs to process your complaint is to complete fully the online complaint form. When you open the online complaint form, you will be asked a series of questions that will take you to the particular section of the form you need to complete. If you do not use the online complaint form, your complaint, at a minimum, should indicate:

  • your name, address, email address and phone number where you can be reached;
  • the type of company you are complaining about (telephone, wireless, Internet access provider, TV or radio station, cable or satellite provider); and
  • any additional details of your complaint, including time, date and nature of the conduct or activity you are complaining about and identifying information for any companies, organizations, or individuals involved.

For More Information

For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center using the information provided for filing a complaint.

Print Out

Unauthorized Equipment Sold on the Internet and in Publications Guide (pdf)

Reviewed: March 31, 2014
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