Phone Service Provider inContact Will Pay $100,000 to Settle FCC Investigation

Over a period of many months in 2015, inContact failed to ensure that its calls were reliably delivered to the consumer

Phone Service Provider inContact Will Pay $100,000 to Settle FCC Investigation
Image: NCCC
May 10, 2016

To resolve a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation into whether it failed to complete long distance telephone calls, inContact, Inc.—a Utah-based provider of long-distance and other services—will pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

According to the FCC, a consumer complained to the agency on at least three occasions in 2014 and 2015 about problems receiving work calls. The consumer reported lost income as a result of the lost calls, and even feared job loss due to the persistence of the problem.

"Consumers in rural areas – like consumers everywhere – depend on reliable phone service for their personal lives, work communications, and their safety," said FCC 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, the FCC says that inContact was initially uncooperative when the Bureau investigated the consumer's complaints.

inContact will pay a civil penalty of $100,000 as a result of the investigation and will implement a compliance plan in which it commits to promptly investigate and resolve consumer complaints going forward.

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.

The FCC says that the settlement with inContact, which is the agency's fifth resolution of a rural call completion investigation and the first arising out of an informal consumer complaint, is part of the its ongoing efforts to address rural call completion problems.

Further details of the settlement with inContact can be viewed here.