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Robert Trigaux

Good reason Do Not Call complaints still at top of Floridians' beefs: telemarketers from hell



Wake up and good morning. For the third year in a row, complaints about telemarketing and from "Do Not Call" list subscribers topped the list of consumer beefs the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received in 2011. In all last year, 41,961 complaints were received by the state. That's up 9 percent from 2010.

I don't know about you but putting myself on the state's Do Not Call list seems to have become pointless over the years. Most of my calls at home are telemarketers now. Still, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains a Do Not Call list and those of you in Florida who do not wish to receive sales calls may have their residential, mobile or paging device telephone number included on this list. More details on how this works here.

Good luck. Here's one 2011 tale of frustration from a Floridian, reported by WVZN in Fort Myers, who was on the Do Not Call list and got bugged anyway from a telemarketer -- from Tampa!

For what it's worth, here are the top 10 consumer complaints received in 2011 by the department:

 1. Do Not Call: 11,769.

2. Telemarketing: 7,983.

3. Communications (including phone service):  2,730.

4. Real Estate Broker/Salesperson: 1,792.

5. Motor Vehicle Repair: 1,773.

6. Credit/Banking: 1,726.

7. Landlord/Tenant: 1,416.

8. Travel/Vacation Plans: 1,682.

9. Motor Vehicle Sales/Accessories: 1,168.

10. Cable: 898.


Of the 41,961 complaints received by the department, 25,187 were successfully closed or resolved, the department says.

Are you a victim of fraud? Call the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times

[Last modified: Friday, January 6, 2012 6:29am]


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