Many on Fla. Do Not Call list still get unwanted calls

By Mike Vasilinda, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Jul 03 2014 04:40:31 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Many hate those unsolicited sales calls and more than half a million Floridians have placed their phone number on the Do Not Call list, but even that isn't stopping some marketers from calling when they shouldn't.

So you've placed your number on the state's Do Not Call list but keep getting calls anyway. What do you do? Call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"A lot of them just want information," said call center employee Teresa Arnold. "They've been passed around so much, getting the runaround."

Marketers who violate the Do Not Call list are currently the No. 1 complaint of Florida consumers.

"What do you do when you get those complaints?" asked reporter Mike Vasilinda.

"Well, we can contact the company and determine if they have the most updated list of phone numbers they're not allowed to call. For violators who continue to violate the law, we will fine them," said Erin Gillespie, of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Call center employee Tracy Grullon has heard it all.

"We see a little bit of everything," said Grullon. "Yes, we get people who are very mad sometimes."

Their phones ring 40,000 times a month and one in every 10 calls results in a complaint.

Christopher Hutchinson helped a caller file a complaint.

"She was having trouble with a bill she received dealing with a dental problem or medical issue, and she wanted to know if she could file a complaint with our office and that option is available," Hutchinson said.

Besides Do Not Call violators, differences from the posted price of fuel and the pump price, and complaints about cable TV head the list of consumer complaints.

Last month the department helped consumers recover $600,000 in disputes with landlords and other merchants. To reach the call center, the toll free line is 800-HELP-FLA. You can also go online here.

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