Don’t Put a Price Tag on Consumer Rights

Target: Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

Goal: Make the FCC complaint process free and open for all consumers.

American consumers who often shell out hundreds of dollars a month for quality cable, Internet, and telephone services will now need to pay hundreds more to complain about these services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted by a narrow partisan margin to change its consumer complaint process. Since the FCC is the main regulatory body for most of this nation’s electronic or digital communications, consumers have long turned to this agency for protection against abuses by television, radio, and online providers.

In a break with tradition, the FCC will no longer consider informal complaints (the easier, less legally complex form of complaints). Rather, they will send any complaints about service providers directly to the service providers. In most cases, this means that an FCC official will not even read or consider the complaint, even if the target of the complaint does not respond to the customer’s issue. Frustrated consumers will have one option still available, however. For the low price of $225, customers can file a formal complaint, with much legalese and paperwork attached. Only then will a commission that once had a mission of shielding consumers from unfair practices actually listen to consumers.

Sign this petition to demand the FCC reverse its damaging policy and reaffirm its status as an advocate for everyday consumers.


Dear Chairman Pai,

“No one should be asked to pay $225 for this agency to do its job. No one should see this agency close its doors to everyday consumers looking for assistance in a marketplace that can be bewildering to navigate. There are so many people who think Washington is not listening to them and that the rules at agencies like this one are rigged against them—and today’s decision only proves that point.”

We could not have said it better. The consumers of this country echo every word spoken by your commissioner, and we demand accountability: accountability for the service providers that captain so much of America’s communications, and accountability for the agency tasked with ensuring these providers operate in good faith.

By making your complaint process more difficult in an effort to “streamline,” you have cut out the very heart of the FCC’s mission: consumer protection. Revisit this decision promptly before America’s consumers lose faith in you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: John Warren

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