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Indecency Complaints Up Slightly in Q4

Most complaints concern digital TV transition, general programming

Indecency complaints directed to the FCC about radio and television programming rose slightly towards the end of 2011.

The FCC received 723 complaints about broadcast indecency during the fourth quarter of last year. That compares to 538 in the previous quarter.

The figures come from the commission, which released its quarterly report on the top subject areas of consumer complaints and inquiries this week for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Overall radio and television broadcasting complaints increased by more than 15%, from the previous quarter, 2,083 to 2,406, according to the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau. Aside from general programming gripes, other broadcasting complaints concerned the digital TV transition, interference and contests.

However the existence of a complaint does not necessarily establish wrongdoing by the named company, the agency reminds readers. It simply reports the figures with no context.

In the wireless and wired telephone world, the bulk of the complaints stem from billing and equipment issues. Bundled and VoIP service-related complaints increased by more than 11% in Q4, from 1,661 to 1,847.

Wireless telecommunications complaints increased by more than 9%, from 29,390 to 32,124, with call or message to wireless device-related complaints comprising the bulk of the complaints. Old-fashioned landline phone complaints dropped by more than 7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, from 32,050 to 29,638.

Cable and satellite service complaints decreased by more than 12%, from 1,663 to 1,461 in Q4.