WASHINGTON, DC – CTIA-The Wireless Association® President & CEO Steve Largent issued the following statement today in response to an announcement by Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rockefeller (D-WV) that they will introduce legislation to regulate the competitive wireless industry:
“It is disappointing and unfortunate that Senators Klobuchar and Rockefeller intend to introduce legislation based on incomplete and misleading data. The truth is that complaints about wireless service to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are infrequent and declining.
“The most recently published FCC data, which was absent from the Senators’ announcement, clearly shows that contract -related complaints, as well as overall wireless complaints, are falling.
“Between 2003 and 2006, the number of contract-related complaints dropped from 15 for every one million subscribers, to just nine for every one million subscribers. In that same period of time, the number of total complaints decreased by 19%. All of that occurred while 75 million new subscribers were choosing wireless service, an increase of nearly 50%. This is hardly evidence of an industry in need of regulation and in fact, suggests just the opposite. More Americans are choosing wireless communication than ever before and are increasingly more satisfied with their service.
“Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) data that was cited in the Senators’ announcement was presented out of context. In their survey, "Cellular Telephone Service and Supplies" is the single complaint category the BBB provides for the wireless industry. As such, all wireless related complaints (hardware, contracts, customer service, etc.) are lumped into one category. Other industries, such as automotive, are separated into multiple categories. If the more than 50 different auto-related categories were grouped into one category, the number of automobile complaints would be more than twice that of wireless and the complaint settlement rate would be far less than the wireless industry’s 92%.
“Wireless consumers in America enjoy the most affordable service in the free world, enabling Americans of all walks of life to enjoy and take advantage of innovative, competitive mobile services. The Klobuchar-Rockefeller bill is unnecessary and, if enacted, threatens to increase the cost of wireless service and reduce the number of choices available to American consumers.”
CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.