Your phone is ringing off the hook -- and so is the state's.
Frustrated consumers dialed the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services more than 200,000 times in 2013, and in 47,226 cases, callers filed a formal complaint.
The top two complaint categories involve businesses violating the "Do Not Call" list, which prohibits companies from calling consumers whose phone number is registered with the state and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
Do Not Call complaints have topped the state's list for four consecutive years, according to the department.
State operators logged 18,862 Do Not Call complaints in 2013. Another 3,626 formal reports complained about telemarketers' practices. Taken together, those two categories accounted for nearly half of all complaints consumers filed with the state -- 47 percent, to be exact.
Here's the full top 10 list. The number to the right of the category indicated the numbers of complaints received between January 1 and December 20.
1. Do Not Call – 18,862
2. Telemarketing – 3,626
3. Fuel – 2,708
4. Mobile Phone Service – 2,339
5. Landlord/Tenant – 1,719
6. Real Estate Broker/Salesperson – 1,572
7. Cable – 1,483
8. Credit/Banking – 1,482
9. Car Sales/Accessories – 1,466
10. Travel/Vacation Plans – 1,436
Consumer Services agents work with consumers and businesses to resolve complaints. More than $3,477,000 was returned to Florida consumers this year, the department said in a statement.
"We're here to help consumers," said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the statement.
If you'd like to file a complaint, the state hotline is 1-800-HELP-FLA. Complaints are also accepted online, at http://www.800HelpFLA.com.
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