Military Consumer Protection Month Campaign

The FCC is proud to support this year’s Military Consumer Protection Month Campaign with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a host of other participating agencies and organizations. This effort is largely focused on highlighting institutions and resources that encourage financial literacy and consumer protection knowledge within the military community – especially service members and their families.  For each week in July, the campaign focuses on a different theme.  The FCC’s resources highlight this week’s theme, “Protect.”

We would like to highlight some of our most commonly referenced consumer guides that are also available at our Consumer Help Center

Military Service Members and Wireless Phone Service

Includes information about protections offered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act such as provisions governing release from long term service contracts due to relocation.  Military service members who are relocating may be able to cancel long-term mobile service agreements if they meet certain criteria.

Robocalls/Spoofing

Includes highly relevant points that dovetail with the FINRED messaging points about how fraudulent schemes often combine new technology with lies to get people to send money or reveal personal information about themselves.  It also includes tips on what to do if you think you have been targeted or scammed and how to report such incidents to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center.  Military members & families should watch out for imposter scams using illegal robocalls & spoofed caller ID.

Understanding Your Telephone Bill

Includes information on cramming, slamming, mobile phone bill shock.  This is helpful for military members who are always on the go and explains how to check your phone bill closely for unauthorized charges

International Roaming: Using Your Mobile Phone in Other Countries

Includes pre-planning travel tips. Read this document before traveling outside the U.S. to prevent disappointments such as lack of service or unexpectedly high charges on your next bill.

Surcharges for International Calls to Wireless Phones

Includes tips for how to place a call from a telephone in the U.S. to a wireless phone in another country. This activity could result in a surcharge in addition to usual charges on phone bills.

For more information about resources available to protect military consumers and their families, visit militaryconsumer.gov

28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

July 26, 2018 marks the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation.  The ADA prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in state and local government programs and services.

The FCC’s Disability Rights Office (DRO) leads the Commission’s efforts to address telecommunication accessibility issues.  Among its many responsibilities, DRO provides expert advice and assistance on issues relevant to people with disabilities, develops recommendations to ensure that communications are accessible to people with disabilities and supports the Commission's goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.  To learn more about their work, visit:  www.fcc.gov/dro

FCC's Broadcast Television and Post Incentive Auction Transition
 

More Information on Rescanning:  Remember to Rescan

Check your local stations:  Interactive Map

Information on the Incentive Auction:  Consumer FAQs: TV Spectrum Auction

 
FCC Consumer Guides in Additional Languages – Now Online!

We are pleased to announce that our top FCC Consumer Guides are now available in four additional languages:  Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.  Topics of the newly translated guides include robocalls; unauthorized charges on telephone bills; spoofing and caller ID; pre-paid phone cards; local, toll, and long distance calling; slamming; and other important issues.  The guides include links to the FCC’s Consumer Help Center and information about how to reach the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center.


Commission Meeting Updates

During the June 2018 Open Commission Meeting, the FCC approved new rules to help protect consumers from two illegal and harmful practices.  One harmful practice is slamming:  the unauthorized change of a consumer’s preferred telephone service provider.  The other is cramming:  the practice of including unauthorized charges on a consumer’s phone bill.

The Commission’s rules now include a ban on misrepresentations made during sales calls. It makes it clear that if a provider misrepresents the information they provide to a consumer, any authorization given by that consumer to switch telephone companies is invalidated.  

Under the new slamming rules, service providers that are found to be abusing the third-party verification process will be suspended from using that process for five years.  Suspended providers will need to rely on other approved methods to verify switches.  This action will discourage carriers from abusing the system.  It will also create an extra check on carriers with a history of misuse. 

The Commission’s rules now explicitly prohibit placing unauthorized charges on consumers’ phone bills.  Implementing these specific cramming rules will hopefully deter wireless and wireline providers from allowing these unauthorized charges to appear on consumers' phone bills,

For more information, please view:  Slamming and Cramming


FCC/ALA Partnership

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is working with the American Library Association (ALA) to distribute our consumer guides to state and local libraries across the nation.  For example, the Texas State Library shared our consumer guides in their blog. We have over 170 consumer guides on various FCC issues.  Our 5 most popular guides are the Children’s Internet Protection Act, Stopping Unwanted Calls, TV Antennas, Spoofing and Caller ID, and Text to 911.  We also offer all our guides in electronic format for interested partners to link to on their webpages.  If you would like to see our consumer guides at your local library, please contact us at outreach@fcc.gov.

 

 

 

 

Educational Resources
Click below to download our materials targeted towards parents, students and educators!

 

About The Division
The Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division (CAOD) engages the public through outreach and education initiatives to inform them about important consumer-related regulatory programs, telecommunications issues and other consumer issues that impact their day to day life.
 

 

 


 

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions about consumer issues and outreach at the FCC.

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File a Complaint

File a consumer complaint by topic or tell us your story at our Consumer Complaint Center.  Learn about consumer issues at our Consumer Help Center.

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Updated: 
Monday, July 16, 2018