“We’re thrilled to offer this valuable service to Floridians at no charge,” said Commissioner Putnam. “Last year, we heard complaints from nearly 20,000 consumers about telemarketing. Now, we’re able to offer protection from unsolicited calls to Floridians at no cost.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains the state’s Do Not Call list, which is updated quarterly and available to solicitors upon request. It is illegal for solicitors to make telephone calls to phone numbers listed on Florida’s Do Not Call list.
The fee for subscription was removed as a result of a measure passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2012 session. H.B. 749, which was sponsored by Representative Dana Young and Senator Anitere Flores, was championed by Commissioner Putnam. Previously, Florida residents were required to pay $10 for a new subscription and $5 for renewal.
Consumers may visit www.fldnc.com to subscribe to the Florida Do Not Call program for free.
The Florida Do Not Call program is one of many services offered by the department to safeguard consumers. The department, which serves as the state’s clearinghouse for consumer information and concerns, provides consumer assistance through their consumer hotline, 1-800-HELP-FLA, and website, www.800helpfla.com.
In 2011, the department responded to more than 218,000 calls and emails from consumers. The department received nearly 42,000 complaints. Nearly half of complaints received, or 19,752, were related to the Do Not Call List or telemarketing in general. The department recovered nearly $6 million on behalf of consumers.
Recently, the department announced live chat and mobile website features at www.800helpfla.com to improve access to consumer services available. The live chat feature allows consumers to connect directly to the department’s call center via the internet, while the mobile website allows consumers to access the Business Lookup, which allows consumers to research a business’ license status and complaint history, and A to Z Resource Guide, which allows consumers to search by topic for appropriate agency or resource contacts, from their smart phones.
For more consumer information from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visitwww.800helpfla.com.