Tallahassee – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in August 2013 at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were regarding the statewide Do Not Call List, telemarketing and communication services.
The agency received 5,271 written complaints in August. In addition, there were 20,208 calls and 669 emails requesting consumer assistance and information. The top three calls to the agency’s 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline were related to the solicitation of contributions from charities, landlord/tenant issues and motor vehicle repair.
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 August, the agency:
- Registered 5,607 businesses.
- Initiated 93 investigations.
- Arrested 8 individuals.
- Recovered $273,641 on behalf of Florida consumers.
- Added 11,249 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List. Currently, there are more than 558,000 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.
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