Complaints about Do Not Call List and Telemarketing Top the List of Consumer Complaints for the Last 12 Months
~ Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Received More Than 45,000 Complaints from Floridians ~
July 01, 2011
Tallahassee, FL - On the heels of the Florida’s 2010-2011 fiscal year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released today the top 10 consumer complaints filed during the last 12 months. The Department received 45,536 complaints in the last year, a 21 percent rise over the previous fiscal year.
Complaints about telemarketing and from “Do Not Call” list members made up approximately half of the complaints received. While these two concerns were far greater in number than any other category, the Department takes each complaint seriously in an effort to protect all consumers.
“Protecting consumers is our number one priority,” said Tom Steckler, Director of the Division of Consumer Services. “By proactively intercepting businesses that are practicing outside the law, we not only safeguard Floridians, but also enable lawful businesses to thrive, creating jobs throughout our state.”
The following lists the top ten consumer complaints received by the Department in the 2010-2011 fiscal year:
1. Do Not Call, 12,345
2. Telemarketing, 10,416
3. Credit/Banking, 2,289
4. Communications, 2,267
5. Motor Vehicle Repair, 1,913
6. Travel/Vacation plans, 1,682
7. Real Estate Broker/Salesperson, 1,532
8. Landlord/Tenant, 1,332
9. MV Sales/Accessories, 1,311
10. Medical, 854
Of the 45,536 complaints received by the Department, 27,242 were successfully closed or resolved. More than $4,383,368 has been recovered on behalf of consumers during this time period. The fiscal year began July 1, 2010, and ended June 30, 3011.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who answer more than 220,000 telephone calls and emails annually from consumers and businesses. Staff is able to 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 Division of Consumer Services has responsibility for regulating various business industries operating in Florida and conducts investigations of unfair and deceptive trade practices.
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.