The Federal Communications Commission this year has drawn attention to wireless consumer issues like early termination fees and "bill shock" through inquiries, new rules and other actions. Now the agency is making it easier for people to file telecom-related complaints about everything from spotty cell coverage to telemarketing to Internet and cable service.
The new Consumer Help Center also features information on topics like ETFs and traveling tips for cell phone users, as well as tools for testing broadband speed and fact sheets on 200 other telecom subjects. People can also use the site to comment on proposed FCC rules and find FCC blog posts, among other things. No, there's no dedicated section for iPhone customers in New York and San Francisco.
But the links for filing complaints and comments have prominent placement in boxes on the right side of the site's home page so users don't have to search hard to find them. (If only the wireless carriers made it that easy to post complaints or suggestions.)
The new site was created by the FCC's Consumer Task Force, the inter-agency watchdog group launched earlier this year by Chairman Julius Genachowski. It also seems to be part of the agency's broader Reboot initiative to make the agency more user-friendly.
While the site provides a handy one-stop shop for wireless users, it makes you wonder if most people will even know if it exists. Besides today's formal announcement, an FCC spokesperson said the agency has also turned to social media to get the word out through its Facebook page, Twitter account and blog. But the FCC isn't doing any paid advertising about the launch -- and it might take a more aggressive public awareness campaign for it become a go-to site for frustrated phone customers.
If the FCC were to create a brand-building campaign for the site, though, what would the tag line be? "Dropped Calls? Call Us?" "Death To the ETF," "Demand High-Speed Broadband," "Sock Bill Shock"? Feel free to suggest your own tag lines below. Who knows? Maybe the FCC will find it so compelling it will have to reconsider paid advertising.