Proposed FCC changes try to discourage people from complaining

Proposed FCC changes try to discourage people from complaining
The FCC and its chairman, Ajit Pai, have been in the public eye for a while now, most notably for the removal of the net neutrality guidelines. Their next questionable move is apparently to stop listening to their complaints at all. Don't worry though, you will still be able to get their attention for the low price of $225!

The move came to light after two Democratic senators – Frank Pallone and Mike Doyle wrote a letter to chairman Pai, stating their concern about changes in the way informal complaints to the FCC will be treated.

The FCC allows for two types of complaints to be submitted – informal and formal. The informal complaints are easy to file by consumers and require no paperwork. For a formal complaint, the necessary forms must be filed along with a $225 fee, starting a long and complicated process. Currently, most of the informal complaints are handled by the FCC itself, but a proposed change in the rules will allow the commission to pass those complaints to the companies that people have trouble with. You can probably already see where the issue lies.

Here is the paragraph regarding the change, it's part of a 38-page document called "Streamlining the Rules Governing Formal Complaint Proceedings":

"§ 1.717 Procedure.

The Commission will forward informal complaints to the appropriate carrier for investigation and may set a due date for the carrier to provide a written response to the informal complaint to the Commission, with a copy to the complainant. The response will advise the Commission of the carrier’s satisfaction of the complaint or of its refusal or inability to do so. Where there are clear indications from the carrier’s response or from other communications with the parties that the complaint has been satisfied, the Commission may, in its discretion, consider a complaint proceeding to be closed. In all other cases, the Commission will notify the complainant that if the complainant is not satisfied by the carrier’s response, or if the carrier has failed to submit a response by the due date, the complainant may file a formal complaint in accordance with § 1.721 of this part."

To sum it up: If you have a problem with a carrier and it's not resolved, you can file an informal complaint to the FCC. It will then send the complaint to that same carrier that didn't help you. If the carrier continues to not help you, you're left with the option to file a formal complaint, paying a fee in the process.

According to FCC representatives, informal complaints will not be handled differently, and the purpose of the changes is to improve the process and reduce costs. They also state that the senators misunderstood the text and their concerns are unjustified. The text clearly says that the commission will forward complaints, instead of "may" or similar wording, which would leave the decision to the discretion of the FCC. What will actually happen, we will only know if the new text goes into effect.

If this change is passed, it will make it even harder for consumers to defend themselves against policies that are not in their best interest.

via: The Verge

FEATURED VIDEO

18 Comments

1. umaru-chan

Posts: 322; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

Well done murican, you have successfully elected a government that only cares about the rich. Middle class and poor people are F-ed under this government. Did I mention Ajit pie is a total POS? Indian born republican are the worst kind of people.

9. rouyal

Posts: 1550; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Left winger showing their true racist feelings.

14. applesnapple93

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

go to college and get a real degree and you can be rich too.

2. libra89

Posts: 2125; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Nah, this is not a good idea. Why would I complain to the FCC about the company who chose not to help me just to have them pass it on to continue not to help me?

5. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Because the carrier then has to respond to the FCC, not you. They only send a copy of their response to you, but the FCC will be on the hook for reviewing the response and determining whether or not it was handled satisfactorily. The cost for the formal complaint if nothing gets resolved does suck, but overall, I don't see this as that bad. A government organization like the FCC SHOULD have limited bandwidth, and they SHOULD be looking for ways to streamline the handling of complaints. From a superficial reading, it seems like these changes would allow the FCC to be more hands-off in vetting complaints, which would put that burden on the carrier. And it still gives them the ability to make a final judgment on the response from the carrier.

11. Paximos

Posts: 277; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

"Because the carrier then has to respond to the FCC, not you"....and FCC would do jack

12. TheOracle1

Posts: 1812; Member since: May 04, 2015

You are so mistaken it's troubling.

3. cncrim

Posts: 1530; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Vote in November people, mistake was make 2016 undo it before it too late.

4. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

People need to stop relying on the gov't to protect them from everything. That's not the purpose of gov't. You have free choice. If a carrier pisses you off and isn't willing to help, dump them and go to a new carrier. "The man" only has power over you when you sibmit.

6. kiko007

Posts: 7383; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

This is the dumbest s**t I’ve ever read. You do understand the entire purpose of the FCC is to protect consumer interests, right? Why even keep them around if they pull crap like this?

13. TheOracle1

Posts: 1812; Member since: May 04, 2015

Well said kiko. He should tell us wtf the purpose of government is then.

17. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Short answer... Read the constitution. The govt wants to be our overlord and protector. Of course we need someone to protect us from hostile threats. Far too often people think the govt is supposed to protect them from everyone and everything; that is not and should not be the role of govt. If a carrier (or any company) screws you over and does not make acceptable ammends, the best thing you can do is take your money elsewhere.

18. TheOracle1

Posts: 1812; Member since: May 04, 2015

Shorter answer......... You're talking nonsense. I guess you must have skipped the part of the Constitution that says "for the people, by the people". The folks in Flint Michigan can't "take their money elsewhere" for example.

7. TrumpsRuinedAmerica

Posts: 115; Member since: Dec 31, 2017

Yeah! That’s why I have the choice of Spectrum, and Spectrum, and also Spectrum in my area. If Spectrum pisses me off I’ll show them by canceling my account and going to Spectrum for internet. That’ll show em!

8. rouyal

Posts: 1550; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

That's all I have too. Charter Spectrum. Just down the road, the only choice they have is Comcast. Spectrum does have this neat thing going on with streaming live TV with an app plus on demand stuff. I've been eyeing it.

15. AxelFoley

Posts: 536; Member since: May 30, 2017

Considering all these carriers have a single lobbying firm pushing this on behalf of all the carriers, your simple-minded answer of "dump them and go to a new carrier" is pretty stupid. The spirit of competition that you mindlessly believe actually exist ignores the fact that all large companies conspire with each other to ensure they all make the most money possible. Since you're typing this on US government created internet, driving on government roads over government bridges, breathing air and drinking water that is only modestly clean because the government creates standards, flying on planes with a minimum chance of crashing because government enforces safety standards that no airline would follow if it saved them money.......are you also "submitting to the man"?

16. AxelFoley

Posts: 536; Member since: May 30, 2017

Considering all these carriers have a single lobbying firm pushing this on behalf of all the carriers, your simple-minded answer of "dump them and go to a new carrier" is pretty stupid. The spirit of competition that you mindlessly believe actually exist ignores the fact that all large companies conspire with each other to ensure they all make the most money possible. Since you're typing this on US government created internet, driving on government roads over government bridges, breathing air and drinking water that is only modestly clean because the government creates standards, flying on planes with a minimum chance of crashing because government enforces safety standards that no airline would follow if it saved them money.......are you also "submitting to the man"?

10. Paximos

Posts: 277; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

Do you really have to show his picture???

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.