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Part 10: A consumer guide to save

The final installment of Action's 10-part clip-and-save Guide to Consumer Services.

AUTOMOBILES:

+ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Lemon Law Hot Line, (800) 321-5366; (850) 488-2221 outside of Florida (stay on line and ask for Lemon Law Hot Line); Web site: http://www.800helpfla.com. Florida Attorney General's Web site: http://legal.firn.edu (for information on Florida's Lemon Law and a list of vehicles bought back using the law).

BUSINESS PRACTICES:

+ Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580; (877) 382-4357 (FTC-HELP), Web site: http://www.ftc.gov.

+ Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (800) 435-7352 (HELP-FLA); Web site: http://www.800helpfla.com.

+ Hillsborough County Consumer Protection, P.O. Box 1110, Tampa 33601; (813) 272-6750;

Web: http://hillsboroughcounty.org,

click on "consumer protection" under A-Z Index.

+ Pasco County Consumer Affairs, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654; (727) 847-8110; Web site: http://pascocounty.com/govt, click on "Consumer Affairs" under Departments.

+ Pinellas County Consumer Protection, 14250 49th St. N, 2nd floor, Clearwater, FL 33762; (727) 464-6200; (727) 464-7988 (to check on charities or bingo).

CONDOMINIUMS:

+ Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Complaints, 1940 N Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0782, (800) 342-7940; Web site: http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr.

+ Bureau of Condominiums Hotline, (800) 226-6028 or (800) 226-9101.

CONTRACTORS:

+ Construction Industry Licensing Board, 7960 Arlington Expressway, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32211-7467; (904) 727-6530); Web site: http:// www.state.fl.us/dbpr (to check licenses and file complaints).

+ Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Complaints, 1940 N Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0782; (800) 342-7940; Web site: http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr.

FEDERAL AND STATE INFORMATION:

+ Federal Information Center, (800) 688-9889.

+ Web site: http://www.consumer.gov (for links to a broad range of online federal information resources, including tips on avoiding scams).

+ Web site: http://www.

myflorida.com (links to Florida's state departments, agencies and other information).

HEALTH CARE:

+ Complaints about quality of care or bills from health care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, ACLFs, home health care companies and HMOs): Agency for Health Care Administration, Consumer Assistance Unit, 2727 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308-5403, (888) 419-3456; Web site: http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us. (AHCA licenses and regulates health care facilities.)

+ Medical Quality Assurance/Consumer Services Unit of AHCA, (888) 419-3456, to check licenses, complaints about the quality of health care, find out whether any disciplinary action has been taken against a health care practitioner (doctor, dentist, nurse, chiropractor, etc.) (DOH licenses and regulates health care professionals, but AHCA takes complaints and conducts investigations on behalf of DOH.) Web site: http://www.doh.

state.fl.us, click on physician profile for information on physicians.

INSURANCE:

+ Department of Insurance consumer assistance helpline: (800) 342-2762; Web site: http://www.doi.state.fl.us;

Regional offices: Citrus, (407) 245-0870; Hernando, Hillsborough and east Pasco (813) 987-6741; Pinellas and Pasco, (727) 588-3638.

LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES:

+ Division of Hotels and Restaurants, 1313 N Tampa St., Room 106, Tampa, FL 33602, (813) 272-2200, (800) 880-7753.

MAGAZINES:

+ Publishers Clearing House Consumer Magazine Action Line (for subscription complaints, including those not purchased through Publishers Clearing House), (800) 645-9242; Web site: http://www.pch.com.

MOVING COMPANIES:

+ Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services; (800) 435-7352 (HELP-FLA) (for complaints against intrastate movers and to get a copy of Household Moving Within Florida); Web site: http://www.800helpfla.com.

+ For interstate moves (between states), the moving company must, by law, provide you with a free booklet, Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. It is available on the Department of Transportation's Office of Motor Carriers' Web site: http://www.mcs.dot.gov/

factsfigs/moving.htm.

CORRECTION: The number for the Bureau of Mobile Home Regulation, Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes is (800) 700-2013. An incorrect number was listed in Monday's column.

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 Action, (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 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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