Requests for Dispute Assistance: Special Process for Complaints Involving the Accessibility of Telephone and Advanced Communications Services and Equipment
The FCC has a special process for complaints regarding:
- telephone services and equipment;
- advanced communications services and equipment, which includes connected and non-interconnected VoIP, text messaging and email; and
- internet browsers built into mobile phones.
How to File a Request for Dispute Assistance
You may file Request for Dispute Assistance (RDA) with the FCC Disability Rights Office (DRO) by completing this online form. You may also file your complaint by mail, fax or other ways. The below instructions are available in American Sign Language (ASL) at: ASL RDA Video.
After you file:
- The Disability Rights Office will contact you to learn more about your accessibility issue.
- The Disability Rights Office must work with you and the company for at least 30 days to try to resolve your accessibility issue.
- If you and the company do not agree on a resolution within 30 days, you may take one of the following steps.
- You and the company may agree to continue talking for an additional 30 days, or
- You may file an informal complaint with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.
- If you take no action within 60 days, your accessibility case will be closed.
Next Steps for Unresolved RDAs
If your RDA is still unresolved, you can file an informal complaint with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. You may file an informal complaint only if:
- Thirty days have passed since you filed the Request for Dispute Assistance;
- Any 30-day extension of time for assistance has expired; and
- Your accessibility problem was not resolved.
Note: You must file an informal complaint within 60 days of the expiration of your Request for Dispute Assistance with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. If you take no action within 60 days, your accessibility case will be closed.
The FCC Disability Rights Office can help you write your informal complaint, based on information that you provided in the RDA and to the Disability Rights Office staff. Your complaint must include your contact information, the names and addresses of the company or companies involved, a summary of your complaint, and your request for relief.
When you file your complaint with the FCC Enforcement Bureau
- Assistance from the FCC Disability Rights Office to resolve your accessibility problem will end.
- If you decide to withdraw your informal complaint, you may contact the Disability Rights Office to seek additional assistance. .
- You may file your complaint again if your accessibility problem is not resolved.
What Happens to Your Complaint
- The FCC Enforcement Bureau will review your complaint.
- If your complaint does not describe an issue that is potentially a violation of the Commission’s rules or order or is missing information necessary to complete your filing, the Enforcement Bureau will dismiss your complaint, but you will have an opportunity to file it again to include additional information. If your complaint is complete in all respects for filing, including having the information needed to show a possible violation of the law, the Enforcement Bureau will send your complaint to the company (or companies) that you identify in your complaint (called the "Defendant").
- The Defendant must answer your complaint within 20 days from the date it receives your complaint.
- The Defendant will send you a copy of its answer or a summary of its answer.
- You are not required to reply to the Defendant's answer.
- If you choose to reply, you must reply within 10 days from the date you receive the Defendant's answer.
- In your reply, you may respond only to what the Defendant says in its answer.
You and the Defendant May Resolve Your Complaint
- You may withdraw your complaint if you no longer want to continue with the complaint or if you would like to resume the Request for Dispute Assistance process.
- You and the Defendant may talk to each other at any time to resolve your complaint by mutual agreement.
- If you and the Defendant resolve your complaint or you withdraw your complaint, you must tell the Enforcement Bureau.
The Enforcement Bureau Will Decide Your Complaint
- The Enforcement Bureau must investigate the allegations in your complaint and decide your complaint and issue an order, within 180 days, of the date of your filed complaint.
- The Enforcement Bureau will notify you and the Defendant about the Enforcement Bureau's decision.
For more information about telephone services and equipment; advanced communications services and equipment; video conferencing services and internet browsers built into mobile phones, visit https://www.fcc.gov/general/advanced-communications-services-acs. For more information on Requests for Dispute Resolution, visit https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/request-dispute-assistance-access-communications.
If you need assistance, please contact the FCC Disability Rights Office at email@example.com or call 202-418-2517 (voice), or 1-844-432-2275 (videophone).