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Part 8: A consumer guide to save

This is the eighth installment of Action's clip-and-save Guide to Consumer Services.

PROFESSIONAL REGULATION:

+ Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1940 N Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0782; (850) 487-2252 (general information); (800) 342-7940 (to file complaint); (813) 554-2229 to check licenses (for barber shops, beauty parlors, veterinarians, funeral homes and directors, and construction) issued by this department in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Hardee; (352) 333-2860 to check licenses (for barber shops, beauty parlors, veterinarians, funeral homes and directors, and construction) issued in Citrus; Web site: http://www.

state.fl.us/dbpr. This department licenses, regulates and inspects 198 professions and businesses as authorized by the Florida Legislature, including hotels and restaurants, various construction and building trades, numerous service industry positions, land sales, condominiums and mobile homes, alcohol and tobacco, pari-mutuel wagering, at-need funeral homes and funeral directors, and excluding health-care and medical-related fields and retail establishments.

REAL ESTATE:

+ Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Real Estate, Complaint Section, 400 W Robinson St., Suite N308, Orlando, FL 32801, (407) 245-0800; Web site: http: //www.state.fl.us/dbpr.

RECYCLING:

+ Citrus, (352) 746-5000.

+ Hernando, (352) 754-4112.

+ Hillsborough, (813) 272-5680.

+ Pasco, (727) 847-8041.

+ Pinellas, (727) 464-7777.

STATE INFORMATION:

+ Web site: http://www. myflorida.com (links to state departments, agencies and other information)

STATE SALES TAX:

+ Department of Revenue, 6302 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33619, (813) 744-6344; or 19337 U.S. 19 N, Suite 200, Clearwater, FL 34624-3149, (727) 538-7400; or (800) 352-3671, Web site: http:// sun6.dms.state.fl.us/dor.

SWEEPSTAKES CONTESTS:

+ Florida Department of State, Division of Licensing, Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 6687, Tallahassee, FL 32314-6687, (850) 488-5381; Web site: http://www. dos.state.fl.us, click on licensing, then game promotions.

TELEPHONE COMPANIES:

+ Public Service Commission, 2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850, (800) 342-3552; Web site: http://www.

floridapsc.com (intrastate telephones).

+ Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Information Bureau, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, DC 20554; (888) 225-5322 (CALL-FCC), (888) 835-5322 (TELL-FCC) (TTY) (interstate and wireless telephone service); Web site: http://www.

fcc.gov.

TELEPHONE SOLICITORS:

+ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (800) 435-7352 (HELP-FLA); http://www.800helpfla.com (for complaints and inclusion on the "No Sales Solicitation" calls list).

+ National Fraud Information Center, P.O. Box 65868, Washington, DC 20035; (800) 876-7060; Web site: http://www.

fraud.org.

+ Telemarketing Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014 (to have your name put on a list to reduce the number of national, commercial telemarketing calls); Web site: http: //www.the-dma.org, click on consumers.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, (727) 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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