The FCC deals with a lot of complaints, from telemarketing scams to overstuffed cell phone bills, and it's finally getting a smarter system for dealing with the country's communication problems. Today, the FCC launched its new Consumer Help Center, a website devoted to routing and cataloging citizen complaints more efficiently than ever before. The new site breaks down complaints into six categories — TV, Phone, Internet, Radio, Accessibility, and Emergency Services — then points users to common issues and solutions in each category. Ideally, the new complaints will help the commission spot emergent issues before they become widely known. "The help center will streamline the process of synthesizing and analyzing consumer complaint trends, said the FCC's Mike Snyder, "and will make more of that data readily accessible to the public."
The new site comes at the end of a busy year for the commission, most notably in the profanity-laced responses to a call for comment on net neutrality. There's no place on the new site for net neutrality issues, although the Open Internet Transparency Rule does get its own section, in case users feel a provider has given misleading information about speed or pricing. "By quickly and efficiently managing consumer complaints," Snyder says, "the FCC will help protect consumers and give them a greater voice in its policy initiatives to improve communications services for all."