2013’s Most Irritating: ‘Do Not Call’ Violations

December 31, 2013

Gripes about violations of the state’s “Do Not Call” list easily dominated the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ top complaints for 2013.

The state agency reported Monday that 18,862, or nearly 40 percent, of the 47,226 complaints lodged between Jan. 1 and Dec. 20 involved telemarketers and other telephone sales operators dialing numbers on the “Do Not Call” list.

In second place were 3,626 complaints about telemarketers in general.

The complete list:

  1. Do Not Call – 18,862
  2. Telemarketing –  3,626
  3. Fuel – 2,708
  4. Communications –   2,339
  5. Landlord/Tenant –   1,719
  6. Real Estate Broker/Salesperson – 1,572
  7. Cable – 1,483
  8. Credit/Banking – 1,482
  9. Motor Vehicle Sales/Accessories – 1,466
  10. Travel/Vacation Plans – 1436

Complaints about violators of Do Not Call has topped the list for four consecutive years. The increase in complaints is consistent with the increase in subscribers to the Florida Do Not Call List.

For complaints filed against businesses regulated by the department, trained staff work to resolve the dispute through mediation and evaluate the business for compliance with statutory provisions. As a result of the department’s efforts, more than $3,477,000 was recovered on behalf of Florida consumers this year.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The consumer assistance center is staffed with trained analysts who are able to file complaints on behalf of the consumer, 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.

The department’s consumer assistance center answered nearly 200,000 calls and more than 7,300 emails in 2013. In addition, the consumer assistance center analysts responded to nearly 7,000 online chats through the department’s online chat option available at www.freshfromflorida.com.

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).

Comments

5 Responses to “2013’s Most Irritating: ‘Do Not Call’ Violations”

  1. Tina on January 1st, 2014 4:46 pm

    Well, this is a no brainer. It’s all about money. Follow the trail of MONEY. $3,477,000 collected for fines. Where did that money go? I’m sure the complainer
    was not paid for their inconvenice. Think about it, If there are no complaints, there is no money. Dah!!!!

  2. reader on December 31st, 2013 9:44 am

    @mike

    Perhaps you missed the part about $3,477,000 being collected in fines from violators.

    They can regulate and fine all they want but some businesses, both in and out of state will continue.

  3. Randy on December 31st, 2013 9:01 am

    Just like everything else, it takes money to manage the complaints. These robo callers are counting on just that. When they call me I tell them they have reached a business or wrong number. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t…. Either way it is annoying….

  4. Anastasia on December 31st, 2013 7:36 am

    As an ex-telemarketer, accidentally calling someone on the Do Not Call list was taken very seriously. We knew that our jobs were on the line and that the company could potentially receive a hefty fine. We were also very apologetic to people who were on cell phones. Although I never knew why, but still took them off of our call lists.

  5. mike on December 31st, 2013 7:11 am

    Why does the state not do something about it.They just let go on.





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