In Florida, the Do Not Call List was instituted for state residents to register their phone numbers in a database created to restrict unwanted telemarketing phone calls and other unsolicited communications. Under the Florida Consumer Protection Act, residents can stop telemarketers from making unsolicited sales calls to them if they do not want to receive calls of such nature. This Act also includes a restriction on text messages sent from “telephone solicitors” if the recipient wishes not to receive such messages. Interested individuals can register their mobile, residential, and paging device telephone numbers on the “Do Not Call List” managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
Telephone solicitors may include any individual, organization, firm, association, partnership, and corporation as well as subsidiaries and affiliates of these entities in the state employing telephone sales calls via automated dialing or recorded message devices for any of these purposes:
- Soliciting extension of credit for consumer products or services;
- Soliciting sales of consumer products or services; or
- To obtain information needed for the direct solicitation of sale of consumer products or services or an extension of credit for such.
The Act has certain exemptions to the restrictions placed on unsolicited calls, which means that unsolicited calls with the following purposes may be permitted:
- In response to an urgent request of the individual called;
- To any individual with whom the telephone solicitor has an initial or existing business relationship;
- Primarily regarding an existing contract or debt, in which the payment or performance has not been finalized at the time of such call; or
- By a newspaper publisher, agent, or employee of a newspaper in connection with their business
The Florida Do Not Call List does not apply to non-profit, charitable, and political organizations, as these organizations are exempted from the restrictions placed on unsolicited calls.
Is Florida Do Not Call List Different from National Do Not Call Registry?
Yes, Florida has a separate Do Not Call List that is different from the National Do Not Call Registry. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) administers the state’s Do Not Call List, while the National Do Not Call Registry is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) places registered telephone numbers on the Florida Do Not Call List indefinitely and without a subscription fee. Similarly, numbers registered on the National Do Not Call Registry do not expire; hence there is no need for re-registration of phone numbers added to it. Phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain there until the numbers have been disconnected and reallocated to new subscribers.
How Do I Register on Florida Do Not Call List?
A Florida resident may register a telephone number on Florida Do Not Call List by subscribing on the website of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Here, interested persons may do any of the following:
Interested persons can also call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352, to subscribe to the Florida Do Not Call Program.
Persons that are already subscribed to the Do Not Call List but still receive unsolicited calls or text messages can also report the telephone number. To do this, the subscriber will need to provide details of the call or text message, including the caller's telephone number, the telephone number that received the message, and the date and time of the call or text. The subscriber with a complaint may also provide additional information on the call or text if available, as this will help the department’s investigatory effort. It is also possible to identify the individuals behind unsolicited calls and text messages by using reverse phone lookup search to find them.
What Should I Know About Florida Do Not Call List?
On July 1, 2013, it became a law that a telephone solicitor may not place an outbound telephone call to a consumer who has earlier communicated to the telephone solicitor that they do not want to receive an outbound telephone call. The Florida No Sales Solicitation Act was extended to prohibit text messages from telephone solicitors on July 1, 2014. It is mandatory for businesses and charities to maintain lists of consumers who have made Do Not Call requests. Deliberately violating a consumer’s Do Not Call request will be charged as a civil offense and may attract a fine. The fine imposed does not exceed $10,000 per violation but the FDACS may seek other reliefs including injunctive relief.
Generally, numbers placed on Florida Do Not Call List do not have an expiration date; therefore, the number will remain there for as long as the subscriber desires. Interested state residents can register multiple numbers on Florida Do Not Call List. The list is updated quarterly. Persons interested in the Florida Do Not Call List can order it online or by mail. Payment for online requests should be made with a credit card. Persons intending to order by mail can download and complete the Do Not Call List Order Form. Together with the completed form, attach a money order or check and send it to the address specified on the order form. Florida Do Not Call List request by mail is processed approximately two weeks from the date of receipt.