Been ripped off by a moving company, fitness studio, telemarketer or other business?
If you’re wondering where to file a complaint, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints.
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.
You can also check to see if a business is licensed and whether any complaints have been filed against it. The department regulates charities as well. If the complaint is about a business it doesn’t regulate, the complaint will be referred to the appropriate agency.
During November, the department recovered more than $300,000 for Florida consumers.
In 2015, the department recovered nearly $3 million for Florida consumers from all types of businesses such as vehicle repair shops, sellers of travel and more.
During the month of November, the department:
· Recovered $302,940 on behalf of Florida consumers;
· Received 2,603 complaints;
· Initiated 188 investigations;
· Arrested 14 individuals;
· Provided assistance to 21,043 consumers through the 1-800-HELP-FLA hotline, online chats and emails; and
· Added 11,169 telephone numbers to Florida’s Do Not Call List.
As the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, the department educates the public, investigates complaints and provides mediation on behalf of consumers. The department’s call center is staffed with trained analysts who can respond to questions about programs and regulations under the department’s purview, provide information on a wide variety of topics or direct callers to the appropriate government agency.