"The FCC could ask you to pay to complain"

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W3WN, Jul 11, 2018.

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  1. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Article (news?) Item:
    "The FCC could ask you to pay to complain
    The FCC could ignore your complaint unless you cough up $225."

    "A proposed rule change at the FCC has raised concerns that the organization is attempting to abdicate its responsibilities to the public. This Thursday, the Commission will consider altering its complaints-handling procedure between individuals and their service providers.

    Until now, people have been able to make informal complaints to the FCC, which has to at least attempt to deal with their concerns. The concern with the rule change is that now, these issues would simply be forwarded on to the provider in question."

    While this proposed action is, at the moment, only affecting complaints by individuals against Service Providers, if adapted... one has to wonder if, should it be enacted, it will set precedent.

    Would you want to pay the FCC to read and (hopefully) respond to a complaint regarding an issue in the Amateur Service? If so, how much? What would you expect for your $$$ -- and what would you do if you still got ignored or blown off?
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why not pay for what we get now for "free"?
    KB4QAA and KA4DPO like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Would I pay FCC $225 to get real RFI enforcement whenever I run into an uncooperative Part 15 operator who is raining on my HF reception? Yes, absolutely.
    K7WFM likes this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "I want to complain."

    "You want to complain! Look at these shoes. I've only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through."

    "No, I want to complain about..."

    "If you complain nothing happens, you might as well not bother."


    "Oh my back hurts, it's not a very fine day and I'm sick and tired of this office."

    - The Argument Clinic, Monty Python, ~1970
    N5AL, K2CAJ, WS4JM and 1 other person like this.
  5. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This recently happened with the GAO, (Government Accountability Office), which handles protests related to Government acquisitions.

    They were free. But GAO had an obligation to respond, on a deadline, in a complete way to each one. Even when rejecting the protest as baseless, it took legal review and a detailed explanation.

    One guy filed like 300 protests in a year, all frivolous and he accounted for maybe 1/4 of all the GAO protests. He was a significant drain on resources.

    So now there's a fee, about the same amount. It is small enough to be "mice nuts" to a company or person with a legitimate beef about a significant matter. But high enough to get serial abusers out of the game.

    So, either the FCC would have to implement a fee as proposed, OR, eliminate as much of the wasted expense that goes into addressing such complaints when they are either baseless or insignificant. You'd like to think they could solve it with changes to their rules but, as GAO found, it might be easier to just put up a barrier.
    WD4IGX and K7WFM like this.
  6. K3KIC

    K3KIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only if I get my taxes back that I already pay to the government to perform these functions.
    AD5HR, W2PX and K4PIH like this.
  7. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The FCC has not exactly been concerned about amateur radio for a long time. I seriously doubt that paying them $225.00 would make them any more likely to care. So if my understanding is correct I will pay them to complain about some LID QRMing 75 or 40 meters and they will forward my complaint to the LID.

    Wow, that's pretty expensive, I hope they FedEx it at least.:eek:
  8. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right now, most of our tax dollars are spent by government on entitlement program which are a huge drain on government revenue we can't afford yet it appears some might not want to pay a small amount to obtain a government service. Notice the irony?
    WR2E likes this.
  9. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Note that this has nothing to do with ham radio. It might eventually impact how ham radio is (or is not) dealt with, but it isn't ham radio related. This is for consumer complaints about service providers.

    Also note that right now the FCC has a response commitment - which includes responding to complaints that are nonsense or outside their jurisdiction to tell them so. That costs money. Yes, we "pay" the FCC through our taxes, but if you're an employer, do you want your employees wasting time tracking and responding to a LOT of nonsense, looking for the real actionable complaints?

    I'm not saying the service providers get a free ride. I'm not saying the FCC shouldn't be held responsible for enforcement. I am saying that there's no check to limit the complaints to valid ones, and a fee is one way to do that.
    WD4IGX and N2EY like this.
  10. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the fee should be refunded to the consumer if the case either requires a second level review (i.e., it is a 'close call') or moves on to action by the service provider. Much like how court fees are sometimes either waived or paid by the other party when a person is 'in the right'.

    But yeah, if people are filing cases like "The rep gave me attitude" then...those complaints should have to pay.
    WD4IGX, K5URU and W0PV like this.

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