Radio amateurs once were the target of interference complaints filed with the FCC. Now, the FCC has made it easier for hams to file their own RF interference and other complaints, thanks to a new feature of the FCC’s recently redesigned website. The addition was made at the ARRL’s request. Hams have always been able to file such complaints, but when a new system geared largely to consumers came online a year ago, they lost the ability to do so via e-mail to a dedicated address. The change made it less clear how amateurs should file such complaints and what, if anything, would result.
Once on the FCC site, click “File a Consumer Complaint” on the right side of the screen. The next page lists several categories. Under “Radio,” click on “File Complaint.” This will take you to a web form that you can fill out. The form includes a dropdown menu for the “Radio Issues” field. Pick one, such as “Interference.” This will bring down another menu. The “Your Radio Method” field includes another dropdown menu. Select “Amateur Radio.” Complete the rest of the form. It is possible to add attachments. Click on “Submit” to file your complaint. As they say in those late-night TV ads, “It’s that easy!”
The FCC e-mail addresses for submitting complaints have been discontinued; they had been rendered ineffective by spam.
Each complaint is assigned a ticket number, and complainants receive an e-mail acknowledgment and, if appropriate, a follow-up report on what was done to address the complaint. Many complaints are simply acknowledged, however, and the complainant is told that it will be used for statistical analysis. A complainant can update a complaint with additional information.