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inContact to Pay $100k to Settle Rural Call Completion Investigation

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2016

inContact, Inc., a Utah-based provider of long-distance and other services, will pay a $100,000 civil penalty to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the company failed to complete long distance telephone calls to a consumer in rural Minnesota.

On at least three occasions in 2014 and 2015, the consumer complained to the FCC about problems receiving work calls.  The consumer reported lost income as a result of the lost calls, and the problem was so persistent that the consumer feared job loss.

“Consumers in rural areas – like consumers everywhere – depend on reliable phone service for their personal lives, work communications, and their safety,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.  “A failed call anywhere is a potential threat everywhere.  The FCC will make sure that phone companies are held accountable when calls don’t make it to rural homes and offices.”

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau conducted the investigation of inContact.  The Bureau found that over a period of many months in 2015, inContact failed to ensure that its calls were reliably delivered to the consumer.  Moreover, inContact initially was uncooperative when the Bureau investigated the consumer’s complaints.  inContact will pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and will implement a compliance plan in which it commits to promptly investigate and resolve consumer complaints.

Long distance providers are generally prohibited from blocking, choking, reducing, or restricting traffic in any way.  Under Section 201 of the Communications Act, it is an unjust and unreasonable practice for a carrier that knows or should know that it is providing degraded service to certain areas to fail to correct the problem.  Today’s settlement, which is the fifth resolution of a rural call completion investigation and the first arising out of an informal consumer complaint, is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to address rural call completion problems.

Prior rural call completion settlements include: https://www.fcc.gov/document/verizon-will-pay-5m-settle-rural-call-completion-investigation

http://www.fcc.gov/document/matrix-telecom-pay-875k-resolve-rural-call-investigation

http://www.fcc.gov/document/windstream-pays-25m-resolve-rural-call-completion-investigation

http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-and-level-3-settle-complex-rural-call-completion-investigation

For more information about the FCC’s efforts with respect to rural call completion:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/problems-long-distance-or-wireless-calling-rural-areas

 

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