Filing a Complaint Questions and Answers

This article provides information about the informal complaint process, including how to file a complaint, and what happens after a complaint is filed.

 

How do I file an informal complaint?

You can file an informal consumer complaint from the Consumer Complaint Center home page.

To file a complaint from the home page, choose the category that best describes your issue:

  • TV
  • Phone
  • Internet
  • Radio
  • Access for People with Disabilities
  • Emergency Communications

 

You will be taken to a series of complaint questions related to your concern. Fill in the required information, including a description of your issue and your contact information. Then hit submit to file your complaint. Once your complaint has been submitted you will receive a notification from the FCC acknowledging your submission.

Detailed guides for filing accessibility complaints can be found in the Access for People with Disabilities category

Related FAQ: What's the difference between filing informal and formal complaints with the FCC?

What happens after I file my complaint?

If you've submitted a complaint about issues such as availability, billing, privacy or service, your complaint is being processed by the FCC's Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division.  You will be given a tracking number and you will receive periodic emails about the status of your complaint.  You may be contacted by an FCC consumer representative if more information is necessary to complete your complaint.  When all required information has been gathered, the FCC either responds to you by providing relevant educational material or sends your complaint to the service provider.  The provider is required to respond in writing to the complaint within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.  The provider must provide you and the FCC with a copy of the response.  The provider will likely contact you to resolve your complaint. 

Complaints about issues such as loud commercials, the Do Not Call List, robocalls, unwanted telephone calls, unsolicited faxes and similar issues covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act are not served but are shared among FCC bureaus and offices.  We do not resolve individual complaints on these issues and you will not receive status emails about your complaint. However, the collective data we receive helps us keep a pulse on what consumers are experiencing, may lead to investigations and serves as a deterrent to the companies we regulate.

Does the FCC contact me directly about my complaint? 

No, the FCC serves your complaint on your provider(s) and the provider is obligated to respond to your complaint within 30 days and provide the FCC with a copy of that response.  It is likely that your provider(s) will contact you to attempt to resolve your complaint. 

What if I have completed the form and can't submit it?

All of the forms have certain fields that are required and/or have specific formatting.  Review your form to make sure have filled in all of the required fields (those with a red asterix) and used the specified formatting.  Also, make sure you are using a browser listed below. 

What browsers work best with the Consumer Complaint Center?

The FCC's Consumer Complaint Center is compatible with several different browsers, including Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. 

If you are not using the latest release of your browser, you may want to download the current version to navigate this site effectively.  Older browsers can still be used, but features may not look or work as intended.

 

Note: To identify the browser currently running on your computer, use the "Help" menu item on your browser and select "About [your browser name here]".

What is Audioeye?

Audioeye allows people with disabilities to read content on the FCC's Consumer Complaint Center and file complaint forms. 

Can I correct/change information in a complaint that has already been submitted?

You can amend or supplement your complaint by replying directly to the email that you received from the FCC.

Why can't I see the provider's response letter in my online complaint?

Under our rules, the provider is obligated to send you a copy of your response as well as send a copy to the FCC. 

Can I continue adding information to my complaint if it has been closed/solved? If so, will the FCC check on my new postings?

You can provide rebuttal information to the FCC after your complaint has been solved.  The FCC will review your information and determine if it is sufficient to send to the provider triggering a new obligation to respond.  If your additional information actually constitutes a new complaint, you will be asked to fill out a new form.  

How do I check the status of my complaint?

You will receive periodic emails from the FCC as to the status of your complaint. 

Why was my complaint closed?

Once a response is received from the provider, the FCC reads the response and if sufficient, closes your complaint.  If your complaint was about issues such as loud commercials, the Do Not Call List, robocalls, unwanted telephone calls, unsolicited faxes and similar issues covered by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, your complaint was not served but was shared among FCC bureaus and offices.  We do not resolve individual complaints on these issues and you will not receive status emails about your complaint.  Your complaint is closed once we refer it internally to other FCC Bureaus and offices.  However, the collective data we receive helps us keep a pulse on what consumers are experiencing, may lead to investigations by our Enforcement Bureau and serves as a deterrent to the companies we regulate.

The provider response did not solve my complaint. What can I do?

If you believe the provider response you received was insufficient, you may send rebuttal information to the FCC by replying to the email that you were sent by the FCC.  The FCC will review your information and determine if it is sufficient to send to the provider triggering a new obligation to respond.  If your additional information actually constitutes a new complaint, you will be asked to fill out a new form. Another option is filing a formal complaint with the FCC.

What's the difference between filing informal and formal complaints with the FCC?

Complaints filed through the Consumer Complaint Center are categorized as "informal" complaints. There is no fee for filing an informal complaint.

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 response to your informal complaint. The current fee for filing a formal complaint is $540.00, 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. No attorneys fees may be awarded.

Complete information on how to file formal complaints can be found in sections 1.720 through 1.740 of the FCC's rules, located at 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.720 – 1.740.

You can also visit the FCC's Enforcement Bureau website.

Where should I go if the FCC can't help with my complaint?

The FCC handles a wide range of telecommunications service and billing issues. However, some consumer concerns that may seem like they would be handled by the FCC are legally under the jurisdiction of other agencies. Learn more: Issues Outside the Jurisdiction of the FCC