No kidding, but consumers send many laments the FCC’s way about all kinds of communications service providers, and they do it quite often. Many times you’ll hear somewhat vague references to these informally submitted grievances, but unambiguous and comprehensive data about them can prove hard to obtain quickly — for both the public and service providers alike.
The FCC says it wants that to change that, and it’s proposing a remedy via a new online Consumer Complaint Data Center. The platform aims to provide more information about consumer complaints and offer tools to customize how to view the data, the Commission reports.
“We take very seriously the input we get from American consumers and the issues they bring to our attention,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says. “Greater transparency of our consumer complaint data further empowers consumers and provides the public — as well as communications providers — with greater insight into consumers’ concerns.”
Informal complaints submitted to the FCC are added to the database, which is said to be updated on a daily basis. The database includes the service the consumer is complaining about (phone, TV, Internet, radio, emergency or accessibility), the method by which the consumer receives the service (such as wireless vs. VoIP), the issue the consumer is complaining about and the consumer’s general location.
“Today’s launch expands the data that the Commission produces from a handful of charts and graphs to a comprehensive database of individual complaints filed at the Commission since 2015,” an FCC statement reads.
The Consumer Complaint Data Center will reportedly allow users to do the following:
• Easily track, search, sort and download information.
• Build their own visualizations, charts and graphs.
• Build applications, conduct analyses and perform research since the data is also available via API (application programming interface).
• Embed data on other websites.
• Utilize visualizations of various communications issues profiled in the consumer complaints as well as geographic search features by city, state and zip.
The FCC reports that it plans to continue to provide access to more granular data “as appropriate.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations