Contact: Erin Gillespie
Do Not Call and Telemarketers Top List of Consumer Complaints for March 2013
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Opened 340 Investigations, Arrested 14 During Month
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in March 2013 at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were regarding the statewide Do Not Call List, telemarketing and fuel.
The agency received 3,959 written complaints in February. In addition, there were 22,741 calls and 622 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 March, the agency:
Registered 6,052 businesses.
Initiated 340 investigations.
Arrested 14 individuals.
Recovered $449,843 on behalf of Florida consumers.
Added 9,581 telephone numbers Florida’s Do Not Call List. Currently, there are 464,047 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.