Florida’s ‘Do Not Call’ List
DNC List Registration: https://csapp.fdacs.gov/cspublicapp/Complaints/SubscribeNow.aspx
Complaint form: https://forms.fdacs.gov/10402.pdf
FTSA – Sec 501.059 –
Florida residents can subscribe to Florida’s own Do Not Call List:
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) manages a Do Not Call list for residents. This list is specifically for those who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations. Subscribing to the list is free, and once a number is added, it stays on the list indefinitely.
Florida state legislature has enacted Florida’s ‘mini-TCPA’, the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA), providing additional protection to Florida residents in addition to the provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The FTSA is designed to provide protection to Florida citizens against unwanted or fraudulent telemarketing practices. It aims to safeguard consumer privacy, prevent deceptive sales tactics, and ensure transparency in telemarketing activities. Here are some ways in which the FTSA protects Florida citizens:
1. Do Not Call Registry: The FTSA establishes the Florida “Do Not Call” list, allowing residents to register their phone numbers to avoid receiving telemarketing calls. Telemarketers are required to regularly update and scrub their calling lists against the Do Not Call Registry, thereby preventing unwanted calls to registered numbers. This provision gives citizens the ability to limit or stop telemarketing calls if they choose to do so.
2. Caller Identification: The FTSA mandates that telemarketers provide accurate and truthful caller identification information at the beginning of the call. This requirement ensures that Florida citizens can identify the source of the call and make informed decisions about whether to continue the conversation or terminate it.
3. Licensing and Regulation: Telemarketers operating in Florida must obtain a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and comply with specific requirements, including background checks and financial obligations. The licensing process helps to regulate the telemarketing industry, ensuring that only legitimate and reputable entities engage in telemarketing activities.
4. Prohibited Practices: The FTSA prohibits certain deceptive and unfair practices employed by telemarketers. This includes misrepresentation of identity or purpose, making false or misleading statements, using high-pressure sales tactics, and requesting upfront payments for certain services. By prohibiting these practices, the FTSA helps protect Florida citizens from fraudulent schemes and ensures fair and honest telemarketing interactions.
5. Enforcement and Penalties: The FTSA establishes mechanisms for enforcement and penalties in case of non-compliance. Violations of the FTSA can result in civil penalties, injunctions, and other enforcement actions. This provides a means for citizens to seek redress and encourages telemarketers to adhere to the law to avoid legal consequences.
The Florida Do Not Call list is maintained by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). You can visit their website to find out all information about it here: https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Florida-Do-Not-Call
To subscribe your phone number(s) to the Florida “Do Not Call” List:
To register your phone number on the National Do Not Call (DNC) list, you can follow these steps:
1. Visit the official website for the National Do Not Call Registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/
2. On the homepage, click on the “Register” or “Register Your Phone” button. This will take you to the registration page.
3. Provide the phone number you wish to register. You can register both landline and mobile phone numbers.
4. Enter your email address. The email address is required for registration confirmation purposes.
5. Complete the verification process. This may involve confirming your email address by clicking on a link sent to your provided email.
6. Once the verification is complete, you will receive a confirmation message that your phone number has been successfully registered on the National Do Not Call list.
It’s important to note that registering on the National Do Not Call list will help reduce unwanted telemarketing calls, but it may not completely eliminate all calls. Certain organizations are exempt from the Do Not Call rules, such as political organizations, charities, and companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. Additionally, you may still receive calls from organizations with whom you have given prior consent to contact you.
For more information or to manage your registration, you can visit the National Do Not Call Registry website mentioned above or contact their toll-free number at 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register.
Highlights of the protection provided by the FTSA, Fla. Stat. § 501.059:
What are the remedies that FTSA provides to the consumers?
Several telemarketing calls, which are valid under the TCPA, could still be in violation of the FTSA. FTSA provides multiple remedies to the consumers for these violations.
If you believe you have received telephone sales calls which may be in violation of the TCPA or the FTSA, you should consult an experienced attorney to investigate into it on your behalf.
FTSA incorporates and enhances the protection granted by its parent federal law, TCPA:
TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which is a U.S. federal law enacted to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and unsolicited text messages. The TCPA establishes certain guidelines and requirements that telemarketers must follow when contacting consumers. Here’s how TCPA can help an American citizen protect against telemarketers:
1. Consent Requirement: The TCPA requires telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent from consumers before making automated or prerecorded calls, including text messages, to their cell phones for promotional purposes. If a telemarketer contacts you without your consent, they may be in violation of the TCPA.
2. National Do-Not-Call Registry: The TCPA established the National Do-Not-Call Registry, which allows consumers to add their phone numbers to a list indicating that they do not want to receive telemarketing calls. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling phone numbers listed on the registry unless they have obtained prior express written consent.
3. Opt-Out Mechanism: The TCPA mandates that telemarketers provide an easy opt-out mechanism during each telemarketing call or message. They must inform you of your right to opt out of future calls and honor your request immediately. If they continue to contact you after you have opted out, they are in violation of the TCPA.
4. Restrictions on Automated Calls and Text Messages: The TCPA imposes restrictions on automated or prerecorded calls and text messages, commonly known as robocalls. Telemarketers must have prior express consent for such communications, with certain exceptions for emergency messages or non-commercial calls.
5. Right to Sue: Under the TCPA, consumers have the right to take legal action against telemarketers who violate the law. If a telemarketer contacts you without your consent, despite being registered on the Do-Not-Call Registry or after you have opted out, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and seek damages.
To take advantage of TCPA protections, it’s important to document any telemarketing calls or text messages that violate the law. Keep a record of the date, time, and nature of the call, as well as any relevant details such as the caller’s identity or phone number. If you believe a telemarketer has violated the TCPA, you can consult with an attorney specializing in consumer protection or file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
TCPA and FTSA – together empowering Florida citizens to take a stand against unwanted calls.
The combination of the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) provides consumers with a powerful tool to combat unwanted telemarketing calls. Here’s how these two laws can work together:
TCPA is a federal law that applies across the United States. It provides certain protections to consumers from unsolicited telemarketing calls, autodialed calls, prerecorded messages, and SMS text messages. Under the TCPA, telemarketers generally need to obtain the recipient’s prior express consent for such calls or messages, with some exceptions. The TCPA also grants consumers the right to revoke consent and establishes regulations for call opt-outs and the National Do Not Call Registry.
FTSA operates in addition to TCPA. FTSA specifically regulates telemarketing practices within the state of Florida. It requires telemarketers to obtain a license, comply with registration requirements, and adhere to various regulations, such as providing accurate caller identification and maintaining records. It also establishes the Florida “Do Not Call” list, allowing residents to register their phone numbers to avoid telemarketing calls within the state. Furthermore, it imposes additional restrictions on automated and pre-recorded calls to Florida phone numbers.
If telemarketers violate the FTSA or TCPA, Florida consumers can take legal action against the callers. Florida residents may file civil actions individually or as a class to seek damages for actual harm suffered. The FTSA and TCPA both allow for statutory damages of $500 per violation, which may be tripled for knowing or willful violations.
An Insight into Calls Reported by Florida Residents to the National Do Not Call Registry:
Florida residents have the ability to utilize the FTSA and TCPA to effectively stop unwanted telemarketing calls and seek compensation. However, comprehending the intricacies of the law and its implementation can be challenging, making it advisable to seek guidance from a legal expert if you suspect your privacy rights have been violated. It is important to note that while the TCPA outlines penalties and fines for offenders, there is no guarantee that consumers will successfully recover these amounts. The feasibility of obtaining the penalty often hinges on the financial situation of the violator and their ability to satisfy the judgment. Nonetheless, TCPA and FTSA empower consumers with formidable remedies to combat unwanted calls.