Skip to main content

Phone and TV Complaints

Learn what to do when you want to complain about a phone, cable, or satellite television company.

File Complaints with Cable or Satellite Television Providers

Do you have a complaint about your cable or satellite company's programs or services? To help resolve these issues, find out how to file a complaint.

Make a Complaint About a Cable Service Issue

Of the various cable and satellite service complaints, the most common are: 

  • Billing disputes
  • Rate increases
  • Interruption of service

Contact your cable or satellite company first with complaints. The telephone number for your service provider should be on your bill.

Write a Complaint Letter to Your Cable Company

A complaint letter serves as a written record of your complaint to the cable or satellite company. In addition to mailing your complaint, you can copy and paste it into the company's "Contact Us" form. For help writing a complaint letter, use USAGov’s sample complaint letter template.

File a Complaint if Your Cable Company Doesn’t Fix the Problem

If you’re not satisfied with your cable or satellite company's response, contact a third party. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and local franchising authorities regulate cable and satellite television services. 

  • Local franchising authorities regulate certain aspects of the cable television industry. They're municipal, county, or government organizations that operate at a local or state level. The name of the franchising authority may be on the front or back of your cable bill.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates cable and satellite services to protect consumers.
  • Public Utility Commissions (PUC) handle some cable and satellite issues at the state level. Find your state PUC through the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. They can handle issues including:
    • Stand-alone satellite TV billing, rates, and programming
    • Installation of non-bundled service
    • Stand-alone cable TV service, rates, and programming (not including basic tier)

Phone Company Complaints

If you have issues with your phone company's products, services, or billing, take these steps to resolve your complaint:

Identify the Phone Service Problem

As a home telephone or mobile customer, you may have experienced one or more of the following issues:    

  • "Slamming and cramming" - These are illegal changes made to your phone service by a phone company. "Slamming" is when your phone company switches your phone service without your permission. "Cramming" occurs when companies add charges to your phone bill without your permission.    
  • "Bill shock" - This is a sudden and unexpected increase in monthly wireless bills not caused by a change in service plans.
  • False or misleading advertisements - These can include a range of misrepresented services. For example, you may have an "unlimited" mobile plan and aren’t receiving the services you paid for.

Contact Your Phone Company to File a Complaint

First, try to resolve your problem by contacting your phone company. Check your billing statement or look online for a customer service number for your telephone company.

Also, consider writing a letter. It can serve as a record of your complaint to the phone company. If you need help, use’s sample consumer complaint letter to draft your letter or email. You can also copy and paste your complaint into your phone company's "Contact Us" form.

Get Help From a Third Party for Your Phone Company Complaint

If you can’t resolve your issue by contacting your phone company, you can file a complaint with the appropriate government agency.

Register with the National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry lets you limit the amount of telemarketing calls you receive. Stop unwanted sales calls by registering your phone number:

If you register online, you'll receive an email to complete your request. You must click on the link in that email within 72 hours in order for your registration to take effect. Visit or call 1-888-382-1222 to verify the status of, or unsubscribe, your phone number on the registry.

Placing your phone number on this national registry will stop telemarketing sales calls. But you might still receive calls from scammers and robocallers. Some telemarketing calls are still permitted. You may still receive phone calls  from:

  • Political organizations
  • Charities
  • Telephone surveyors
  • Some organizations with which you have a relationship

Some states have their own Do Not Call registries. Contact your state consumer protection office to find out if your state has its own Do Not Call list and how you can add yourself to it.

File a Complaint About Unwanted Calls

You may file a complaint if your phone number has been on the national registry for 31 days. File a complaint online or at 1-888-382-1222. Include the date of the illegal call, phone number, and the company's name in your complaint. You can also file a complaint about recorded messages or robocalls.

Subscribe as a Telemarketer to the Do Not Call Registry

Visit the telemarketer website if you want to subscribe to the Do Not Call Registry. Representatives of telemarketing companies can also get information on compliance issues on the website.

Share This Page:

Do you have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

Last Updated: November 9, 2022