It’s now free for Floridians to sign onto the state’s Do Not Call program, which protects Floridians from unsolicited phone calls. A resident may add any residential, mobile or paging device to the Florida Do Not Call program.
“Last year, we heard complaints from nearly 20,000 consumers about telemarketing,” says Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “Now, we’re able to offer protection from unsolicited calls to Floridians at no cost.”
“Realtors are sometimes confused about the do-not-call laws because there is a state program and a federal program,” says Donna Ryan, one of Florida Realtors attorneys. “However, we advise members to check with both the state program and the federal program before making a sales call to a private residence.”
While the Florida program uploads phones numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry, it takes time to do so. A do-not-call phone number could appear on the state list and be subject to Florida fines before it appears on the national list. For businesses, the state do-not-call list costs $120 per area code, per year, or $400 for the entire state.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains the state’s Do Not Call list and updates it quarterly. The 2012 Florida Legislature changed the law to make it a free service for consumers. Previously, Florida residents paid $10 for a new subscription and $5 for renewal. The state will lose over $500,000 by nixing the consumer fee, but it plans to make up for the loss through increased fines charged to people and companies that break the law by calling numbers on the do-not-call list.
Consumers can find out more by calling 800-HELP-FLA or visiting the Florida Do Not Call Program website.
Realtors and brokers who want to order the do-not-call list or get other information can access frequently asked questions here.
Source: Florida Realtors®