Press Release: Florida Department of Agriculture
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Opened 105 Investigations, Arrested 3 During Month
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in June 2013 at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were regarding the statewide Do Not Call List, telemarketing and real estate brokers/salespersons.
The agency received 4,260 written complaints in June. In addition, there were 30,052 calls and 612 emails requesting consumer assistance and information. The top three calls to the agency’s 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline were related to the Do Not Call list, solicitation of contributions from charities 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 June, the agency:
- Registered 5,441 businesses
- Initiated 105 investigations
- Arrested 3 individuals
- Recovered $240,993 on behalf of Florida consumers
- Added 22,583 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List
- Currently, there are more than 510,000 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.