WASHINGTON, December 10, 2009 – The Federal Communications Commission should improve its outreach to consumers about its complaint process for poor wireless phone service, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.
“To improve coordination with states in providing oversight, FCC should develop guidance on federal and state oversight roles, seeking statutory authority from Congress if needed, and develop policies for communicating with states. FCC agreed with the recommendation on monitoring, took no position on the remaining ones, and noted actions that begin to address most of the recommendations,” found the GAO.
For the report, the GAO surveyed 1,143 adult wireless phone users from a nationally representative, randomly selected sample. The GAO also surveyed state utility commissions and analyzed documents from the FCC and stakeholders representing consumers, state agencies and officials, and industry. The survey found that an estimated 84 percent of users of wireless phone customers are very or somewhat satisfied with their service.
“While the percentages of dissatisfied users appear small, given the widespread use of wireless phones, these percentages represent millions of consumers,” found GAO.
“FCC receives tens of thousands of wireless consumer complaints each year and forwards them to carriers for response, but has conducted little other oversight of services provided by wireless phone service carriers because the agency has focused on promoting competition,” the report reads.