FCC Office of Inspector General Warns about Deceptive Enrollment Practices for Lifeline, EBB, and ACP Customers

14 March 2022

On March 11, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an advisory to alert consumers and providers about improper, abusive, and deceptive enrollment practices by some providers of Lifeline, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Several providers who offer both Lifeline and ACP service are misleading Lifeline customers into enrolling for undesired service when they apply for Lifeline service using the providers’ online application process. Specifically, consumers who apply for Lifeline service using these providers’ online applications must agree either to apply for new, unwanted ACP service, or to transfer their existing ACP service to successfully complete the Lifeline application.

The FCC’s OIG advisory includes a screenshot of an application that forces a consumer to agree to apply for or transfer their ACP/EBB service, even though the consumer is applying for Lifeline only service. Consumers who have experienced any such deceptive or abusive enrollment practices are encouraged to contact the FCC’s OIG hotline at 888-863-2244 (toll-free) or hotline@fcc.gov.