FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sterling Ivey
July 3, 2012
Do Not Call List and Solicitors of Contributions Top List of Consumer Complaints for June 2012
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Releases June Status Report
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in June through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ 1-800- HELP-FLA consumer hotline: Do Not Call, Solicitors of Contributions and Landlord/Tenant. In total, more than 3,300 complaints were filed by consumers in June and the department received 39,394 calls and 11,641 emails for consumer assistance and information.
In the last month, the department has responded to many consumer concerns and taken action against several individuals or businesses operating outside of Florida law. During the month of June 2012, the department:
* Registered 4,504 businesses (both initial or renewal business registrations) * Received 3,312 complaints. The top three areas of consumers complaints include:
* Do Not Call * Solicitors of Contributions * Landlord/Tenant
* Initiated 345 investigations (336 administrative and 9 criminal) * Arrested three individuals in violation of Florida state law and four individuals in connection with the Ohio Attorney General * Recovered $416,231.02 on behalf of Florida consumers * Added 54,755 numbers (25,907 individuals) to Florida’s Do Not Call List in the month of June. These numbers will be effective October 1, 2012. Currently there are 304,920 numbers and 172,637 subscribers on the list as of July 1, 2012.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency. In addition, the department has responsibility for regulating various business industries http://www.800helpfla.com/aboutus.html#compliance operating in Florida.
Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).