Contact: Amanda Bevis
February 13, 2013
Solicitation of Contributions Top List of Consumer Complaints for January 2013
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Releases January 2013 Status
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three calls received in January 2013 through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ 1-800-HELP-FLA consumer assistance hotline: Solicitation of Contributions, Landlord/Tenant, and Motor Vehicle Repair. In total, more than 3,690 complaints were filed by consumers in January and the department received 24,621 calls and 663 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 January, the department:
* Registered 5,213 businesses (both initial or renewal business registrations)
* Received 3,694 complaints. The top three areas of consumers complaints include:
Solicitation of Contributions
Motor Vehicle Repair
* Initiated 180 investigations (156 administrative and 24 criminal)
* Arrested 9 individuals in violation of state law
* Recovered $298,209 on behalf of Florida consumers
* Added 7,626 numbers (3,914 individuals) to Florida’s Do Not Call List as of January 2013. These numbers will be effective April 1, 2013. Currently, there are 439,905 numbers and 242,041 subscribers on the list
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 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).
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.