For Hometown News
The commissioner of agriculture, Adam H. Putnam, has announced the top three calls received in November through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' 1-800-HELP-FLA consumer hotline are: solicitation of contributions, motor vehicle repair and landlord/tenant.
In total, more than 12,200 complaints were filed by consumers in November, and the department received 21,284 calls and 606 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 November, the department registered 3,857 businesses (both initial or renewal business registrations), and received 12,219 complaints.
The top three areas of consumer's complaints include:
o Do Not Call
o Sellers of Travel, and
It initiated 156 investigations (148 administrative and eight criminal), arrested eight individuals in violation of state law, recovered $277,119 on behalf of Florida consumers, added 6,802 numbers (3,594 individuals) to Florida's Do Not Call List as of November. These numbers will be effective Jan. 1.
Currently, there are 408,581 numbers and 224,852 subscribers on the list
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state's clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and 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 www.FreshFromFlorida.com.