Commissioners clashed over the plan with the Republican majority insisting that the new rules are only clarifying longstanding procedures for filing and responding to complaints.
But Democrats at the agency and on Capitol Hill say the change will make the FCC less responsive to informal complaints, and force consumers to go through a formal proceeding to file grievances that costs $225.
"This is bonkers," Jessica Rosenworcel, the sole Democrat on the commission, said at the FCC's open meeting Thursday. "No one should be asked to pay $225 for this agency to do its job."
According to The Hill, the new rules largely focus on formal complaints, making changes intended to streamline the agency's process for adjudicating them. But the new order also eliminates text from existing rules regarding the "Commission's disposition" in handling informal complaints.