The Federal Communications Commission released its new Consumer Help Center Monday, consolidating some of its key consumer-facing services into one online location.
The site is an update of the commission’s consumer complaint forms, which allowed the public to submit complaints or report issues online. The new site, which was built using cloud-based customer service platform ZenDesk, makes it easier for users to select a subject to file a complaint about or find information pertaining to a certain communication category.
People who submit a complaint now will be able to easily find the right section for it, as well as have the ability to track the complaint in real time. The site also features a repository where consumers can download complaint data to parse through themselves.
“We see the Help Center as a new approach to enhancing communications between the Commission and the public,” FCC wrote in a blog post. “In addition to being easier to use for consumers, the information collected will be smoothly integrated with our policymaking and enforcement processes. The result will be better results for consumers and better information for the agency. The insights we gain will help identify trends in consumer issues and enable us to focus Commission time, money, and resources on the issues that matter most.”
The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute applauded the new website, saying it hopes the modernization effort is a sign of things to come from the commission.
“Protecting consumers is one of the FCC’s foremost responsibilities, and we applaud the FCC for taking steps to update and streamline the consumer complaint process,” said Danielle Kehl, a policy analyst at the institute. “The new system will enable greater transparency about the type and volume of these complaints, and the system is a critical component of two broader goals: modernizing the FCC’s infrastructure and improving data collection practices.”
The new site is just one part of a massive IT overhaul FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray has been in charge of over the past year. Read more about FCC’s project here.