Florida maintains its own do-not-call list in addition to the do-not-call registry maintained by the federal government. If you opt into the Florida do-not-call list, it protects you from receiving unsolicited telephone sales calls (telemarketing calls) on your residential phone, cell phone, or mobile paging device.
(To learn about Florida other laws protecting consumers, visit our Florida Debt Management Center.)
How to Get on Florida's Do Not Call List
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services maintains Florida's do-not-call list. There are two ways you can get your number on the list.
- Notify the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that you do not wish to receive unsolicited sales calls. You can sign up by filing out a form on the Florida Do Not Call Program website at www.fldnc.com or by contacting the Department by telephone. The Department must include your numbers on the list for a five-year term, and you can renew the five-year listing at the end of the term.
- Sign up with the federal do-not-call registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Florida law requires the Department of Agriculture to include any numbers which relate to Florida that are listed on the FTC no call registry. There is no fee or signing up for either of these lists.
Stop unwanted telemarketing calls using Nolo's Notice to Put Name on Do Not Call Registry.
Calls and Sale of Numbers Prohibited
Under Florida law, if your number is on the do-not-call list, a telephone solicitor cannot call you, or have someone else call you on its behalf if the call is unsolicited.
Here's what that means:
A telephone solicitor is any person, business or affiliate, doing business in Florida, who makes or causes to make a telephone call to sell consumer goods or services, or the extension of credit for consumer goods or services.
A call is unsolicted if it is not in response to your request and if you have not done business with the company in the past. There are few exemptions, but most do not involve actual sales activities.
No selling of telephone numbers. In addition, any person who offers for sale or sells consumer information in Florida, which includes telephone lists (other than telephone directories or certain information provided by non-profit corporations), must exclude numbers that are on the Florida do not call list.
Calls That Are Allowed Under the Florida Do-Not-Call Law
Certain calls are not prohibited by the Florida statute. These include:
- Calls from businesses that you have dealt with previously. If you have had prior dealings with a company, they are allowed to call you to solicit additional business from you.
- Calls responding to your requests for information. If you fill out a contact sheet on the Internet or your call a business and leave your phone number so that someone can contact you with information you are requesting, the business is allowed to return your call to try to sell their product or service to you.
- Calls from newspaper publishers.
- Calls from real estate agents responding to yard signs or other advertisements that you have placed.
- Calls which relate to an existing contract or debt obligation.
- Calls that are not selling a product or service. These include opinion research and survey calls, political calls including those soliciting political donations, calls from charitable organizations, and calls from collection agencies trying to collect a debt that you owe.
How Businesses Know You Are on the List
Anyone who solicits sales over the telephone and is not exempt under the law is required to make sure you are not on the do not call list before making an unsolicited sales call to you. The telephone solicitor can get the list from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services after paying a fee.
The Department updates the list on a quarterly basis, and there are sign-up deadlines which control how quickly your number is added to the list. If a solicitor makes a call between the time you sign-up and the time that the list is updated, it has not violated the law.
Penalties for Violations of the Florida Do-Not-Call List
The penalty for a do-no-call list violation can be severe.
Contracts resulting from violations are not valid. If you enter into a contract as a result of a call which violates the Florida do-not-call law, the contract is not valid and cannot be enforced against you.
Civil fines. The law also provides penalties in the form of civil fines up to $10,000 for each violation, but these fines go to the state and not the person who received the telephone call.
Court order stopping the business' operations. The Department may also obtain a court order against the violator which may severely limit or effectively suspend the violator’s business operations.
Who Enforces the Do-Not-Call Law?
If you are on the Florida do not call list and receive an unsolicited sales call in violation of the law, you can’t get help from the police because a violation is not a criminal act. Instead, you must report the violation to the State of Florida.
You can report violations to the state by filing a complaint form. You can fill out or download the complaint formonline at www.fldnc.com/FileAComplaints.aspx, or contact the Department to have one mailed to you.
It will be helpful to the Department if you can obtain as much of the following information as possible at the time of the sales call:
- name of the company
- name of the caller
- date and time of the call, and
- products or services being offered.