Tallahassee, Florida-August 9, 2012
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam announced today the top three complaints received in July through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ 1-800- HELP-FLA consumer hotline: Do Not Call, Solicitation of Contributions and Landlord/Tenant.
In total, more than 4,800 complaints were filed by consumers in July and the department received 35,026 calls and 4,049 emails for consumer assistance and information.
In the last 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 2012, the department:
Registered: 4,356 businesses (both initial or renewal business registrations)
Received: 4,854 complaints.
The top three areas of consumers complaints include:
Do Not Call
Initiated: 342 investigations (336 administrative and 6 criminal)
Arrested: Three individuals in violation of state law
Recovered: $294,968 on behalf of Florida consumers
Added: 37,310 numbers (18,494 individuals) to Florida’s Do Not Call List from July 1, 2012 to July 30, 2012. These numbers will be effective October 1, 2012. Currently, there are 314,626 numbers and 172,629 subscribers 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. In addition, the department has responsibility for regulating various business industries operating in Florida.
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 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.