News
12:34 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

What Part of 'Do Not Call' Do Florida Telemarketers Not Get?

Credit freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages

Take a guess: What one issue do you think Florida consumers complained about the most last year?  Was it high energy bills, losing money on a lemon car or disputes with landlords?

Turns out the number one consumer gripe involves telemarketers who can't take "Do Not Call" for an answer.

Florida consumers complained the most last year about getting targeted by telemarketers -- despite being registered with the state's "Do Not Call" list.

Such unwelcome telephone solicitations represented nearly 40 percent of the total complaints received by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Agency spokesman Aaron Keller says the state issued nearly $150,000 in fines last year to repeat offenders.

"Obviously there are some bad apples that repeatedly call numbers that are on the list.  But by the growth of the 'Do Not Call' List, it's obviously been a success," Keller says.

In 2012, state law waived the fees for Florida's "Do Not Call" list and made it a free service.  Since then, the number of people signing up has grown from about 71,000  to more than half-a-million -- a seven-fold increase.

Other consumer complaints that made the top five last year involved telemarketing calls in general, fuel prices, cable and telephone bills and disputes between tenants and landlords.

Florida residents can subscribe to the state's "Do Not Call" list here.