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How to File a Complaint

The Federal Communications Commission regularly receives complaints from consumers on a wide variety of issues.  You should always try to resolve the problem first with the company whose products, services or billing are at issue.  However, if that does not succeed and you wish to file a complaint with the FCC, here are some tips that may help you.

Informal Complaints

The first step in the complaint process is filing an “informal complaint.”  Even though the process is called “informal”, we take these complaints very seriously and they receive substantial attention and consideration.  The informal complaint process, however, requires no complicated legal procedures, has no filing charge, and does not require the complaining party to appear before the FCC.

How to File Complaints

The easiest way to file your complaint is to go to the FCC’s on-line complaint form webpage. You will be asked a series of questions that will take you to the correct form, and section of the form, for providing all of the information the FCC needs to process your complaint. 

You can also file your complaint by sending an email to the FCC’s Consumer Center; 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 & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Formal Complaints

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 FCC’s response to your informal complaint.  The current fee for filing a formal complaint is $200.00, 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.


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