WASHINGTON, August 16, 2010 – Complaints to the Federal Communication Commission about various issues increased 230 percent during the first quarter of this year over the fourth quarter of last year. General inquires increased 7 percent during this timeframe.
The agency has released a report on the top subject areas for complaints and general inquiries processed by its Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
FCC spokesman Dan Rumelt said the spike in complaints had to do with “one or several” broadcast indecency incidents in the first quarter, although would not provide additional details.
Eighty-four percent of wireline complaints addressed issues in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) like the “do not call” list. Wireline inquiries increased more than 10 percent from 10,979 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 12,107 in the first quarter of 2010.
Wireless telecommunications complaints increased 3 percent from 16,145 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 16,753 in this year’s first quarter. TCPA issues comprised nearly 67 percent of the complaints in this category. General wireless inquiries increased more than 25 percent from 4,087 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 5,130 in the first quarter of 2010.
The number of radio and television broadcasting inquiries fell about 6 percent from 5,449 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 5,135 in the first quarter of 2010. Most of the complaints in the first quarter dealt with broadcast programming issues.
Cable and satellite services complaints increased 9 percent from 1,851 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 2,029 in the first quarter of 2010.
The number of cable and satellite services inquiries decreased nearly 3 percent, as compared to the fourth quarter from 3,981 to 3,868. Inquiries regarding billing and rates issues constituted more than 44 percent of the inquiries in the category.