Contact: Erin Gillespie
March 11, 2013
Do Not Call and Telemarketers Top List of Consumer Complaints for February 2013
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Opened 100 Investigations, Arrested 17 During Month
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in February 2013 at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were regarding the statewide Do Not Call List, telemarketing and fuel.
The agency received 3,426 written complaints in February. In addition, there were 22,828 calls and 632 emails requesting consumer assistance and information. The top three calls to the agency’s 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline were related to solicitation of contributions from charities, motor vehicle repair, and landlord/tenant issues.
In the past 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 February, the agency:
Registered 5,071 businesses
Initiated 100 investigations
Arrested 17 individuals
Recovered $252,594 on behalf of Florida consumers
Added 5,325 telephone numbers Florida’s Do Not Call List. Currently, there are 439,896 numbers 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.
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.