News Release: Florida Dept. of Agriculture
August 5, 2014
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in July 2014 at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were regarding violators of the statewide Do Not Call List, fuel and cable. The agency received 3,956 complaints in July.
In addition, there were 37,461 calls, 811 live online chats and 400 emails requesting consumer assistance and information. The top three calls to the agency’s 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline requesting information or assistance were related to cable companies, the solicitation of contributions from charities and the Do Not Call list.
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 July, the agency:
- Initiated 273 investigations.
- Arrested 6 individuals.
- Recovered $523,317 on behalf of Florida consumers.
- Registered 7,126 businesses.
- Added 19,913 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List. Currently, there are more than 695,000 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.