‘Do Not Call’ violations, gas pricing, among top Florida consumer complaints in 2016

READY-GAS-PRICES-wfladotcom

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released the top 10 consumer complaints filed with the department in 2016.

Complaints about violations of the state’s Do Not Call list were the most common complaint this year, followed by complaints related to fuel and gasoline, cable services and motor vehicle repair. In addition, the department recovered $2,965,000 for Florida consumers in 2016.

“We are dedicated to protecting Florida’s consumers, and I’m proud that we recovered nearly $3 million for Floridians this year,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Anyone can call our 1-800-HELP-FLA consumer hotline or visit FreshfromFlorida.com to file a complaint, find information about businesses and professionals and learn how to protect themselves from fraud and scams.”

In 2016, the department received 38,470 complaints and responded to 186,526 calls, 11,627 emails and 13,782 online chats from consumers. The top 10 complaints were:

1.      Do Not Call –17,177

2.      Fuel/Petroleum – 1,763

3.      Communications – 1,644

4.      Landlord/Tenant – 1,536

5.      Motor Vehicle Repair – 1,447

6.      Cable – 1,313

7.      Medical – 1,281

8.      Motor Vehicle/Sales Accessories – 1,196

9.      Other/Miscellaneous – 1,001

10.  Travel/Vacation Plans – 943

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. The call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview and provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency.

Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer protection and information hotline at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832). For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.

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