updated 8/3/2012 4:49:25 PM ET 2012-08-03T20:49:25

Cellphones have become an essential device to most Americans, but problems are still common.

Dropped calls and slow Internet connections are two of the most frequent complaints, according to a new Pew Research Center study. Nearly one-third of cellphone owners said they experience a dropped call at least a few times a week, and 6 percent suffer the frustration of "call failed" as much as several times a day.

Slow Internet is even more common — 46 percent of cellphone owners notice slower-than-usual download speeds at least once a week and 12 percent struggle every day waiting for pages to load.

There's not much you can do about these two problems, short of finding a spot with better reception or switching carriers.

[See " How Much Smartphone Data Do I Need? "]

However, you can do something about the second pair of problems — telemarketing calls and spam text messages.

Nearly seven in 10 cellphone owners have received unwanted sales or marketing calls, according to the study. And 25 percent of cellphone owners encounter this problem at least a few times a week. Among the texters in the survey, 69 percent said they received spam text messages, and 25 percent get them at least once a week.

It is against the law in the U.S. to make unsolicited commercial calls to cellphones using an automated random-digit dialing generator or using a prerecorded message. Really, what's more annoying than answering your cell only to hear a recorded message and knowing you're getting charged for the call? If this happens to you, report it to the FCC by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or using the online form.

If you're receiving spam in your email account on your phone, that may be illegal under the CAN-SPAM Act and can be reported by calling the FCC number above. The law does not cover noncommercial messages such as mail from political campaigns or messages from companies that you've previously done business with. To reduce unwanted calls and texts, register your mobile number on the national Do-Not-Call registry online.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily


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