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Action: Do Not Call lists put end to annoying phone calls

Do Not Call lists put end to annoying phone calls

Q: How can I put a stop to all the telemarketers' nuisance calls on my telephone? I have Caller ID and they all come up with 800 numbers.

Russell Bozilleri

Q: My house gets repeated phone calls from a telemarketing company in Spring Hill. It's calling on behalf of firefighters.

My husband looked on the Internet and found numerous "chat rooms" discussing how annoying this group is. They don't take "no" for an answer.

I've asked to be removed from its call list but the group continues to call. There are sick people in this house and it's very disturbing.

Diveda Spector

A: Your questions are really two sides of the same coin so I decided to address them together.

Mr. Bozilleri can prevent most nuisance calls by signing up for the National Do Not Call list (Register your number by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 or visiting www.donotcall.gov.). It protects your personal home or wireless number from telephone solicitors, with two exceptions. The first has to do with companies with whom you already do business. This would include those you get mail-order catalogs from, have credit card accounts with, or any bricks-and-mortar stores you've made a purchase from.

The other exception covers businesses who make calls from, or on behalf of, a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. This is where Ms. Spector's complaint comes in.

She had the company's name, so I did a little checking. It's a for-profit telemarketing company that solicits for third-party businesses on a contract basis. If it's working on behalf of a charity, it may call numbers on the Do Not Call list.

However, if you ask that your name be removed, the company must comply.

Report solicitors who don't honor your request to the Florida Attorney General's office by calling toll-free 1-866-966-7226 or visiting www.myfloridalegal.com.

Unexpected fee tacked onto price of used vehicle

Q: I bought a used 2008 Volkswagen Beetle last August. I was checking the paperwork recently and noticed they charged me a $599.99 delivery fee.

I know this charge is common for new cars, but is it legal on used ones?

Carol Sanchez

A: It is. A delivery fee falls under the larger umbrella of the "doc fee." It includes service fees incurred by the dealer like inspecting, cleaning, and adjusting vehicles and preparing documents related to the sale.

Dealers can choose not to impose the fee, but most do as a way to recoup their expenses and make a profit. Fees not mandated by state or federal laws may be negotiable.

According to a report from the Florida Senate in 2007, "This fee varies among dealerships and, at times, among customers of the same dealership."

In order to protect consumers under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the dealer must disclose the fees on the contract.

Action: Do Not Call lists put end to annoying phone calls 01/06/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 1:47pm]

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