Dems Worry that FCC Rule Change Would Make Consumers Pay to File Complaints

Labor News

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has been widely criticized for moving forward with rollbacks of regulations aimed at protecting local media. (Photo: FCC/Flickr)

Reprinted from Common Dreams by Jessica Corbett on July 11, 2018.

Under a proposal that the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is slated to finalize Thursday, two House Democrats are “deeply concerned” that consumers would have to pay a $225 fee to get agency staff’s help resolving complaints about communications companies’ shady business practices.

In a letter (pdf) sent to Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday, Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone (New Jersey) and Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania), high-ranking members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, expressed concern that the proposal “would eliminate the agency’s traditional rule of helping consumers in the informal complaint process” by directing staff “to simply pass consumers’ informal complaints on to the company.”

“Historically, FCC staff has reviewed responses to informal complaints and, where merited, urged companies to address any service problems,” wrote the congressmen. “We have all heard countless stories of consumers complaining to the FCC about waiting months to have an erroneous charge removed from their bill or for a refund for a service they never ordered or about accessibility services that are not working. Oftentimes these issues are corrected for consumers as a result of the FCC’s advocacy on their behalf.” …

Common Dreams 7/11

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