Do Not Call list violations top consumer complaint

Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post

By Susan Salisbury  

Published December 4, 2015


Complaints about violations of the state’s Do Not Call list ranked as the top consumer complaint for 2014, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says.However this year there was a 4 percent decrease in Do Not Call complaints. The decrease in complaints may be contributed to the agency’s increased enforcement efforts over the past two years, which have resulted in the collection of more than $430,000 in administrative fines.In addition, more than $5.3 million was recovered on behalf of Florida consumers in 2014, almost twice as much as was recovered last year.“One of our priorities is to assist consumers in need across Florida,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Anyone can call our 1-800-HELP-FLA consumer hotline to file a complaint, to find information about businesses and professionals, and to learn how to protect themselves from fraud and scams.”
Consumers filed more than 44,000 complaints with the department’s consumer assistance center in 2014. The top 10 most common complaints from January 1 through December 22 were:

  1. Do Not Call – 18,067

  2. Fuel/Petroleum – 2,193

  3. Cable – 1,921

  4. Telemarketing – 1,813

  5. Motor Vehicle Sales – 1,697

  6. Credit/Banking – 1,659

  7. Communications – 1,588

  8. Motor Vehicle Repair – 1,488

  9. Landlord/Tenant – 1,328

  10. Travel/Vacation Plans – 1,271

In addition to complaints filed, the department’s consumer assistance center responded to about 200,000 calls, more than 5,000 emails and nearly 9,500 online chats this year from consumers requesting information.

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