The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer assistance and information. The department is also responsible for regulating various industries that serve consumers.
The cornerstone of the department’s consumer services is the state’s consumer hotline, 1-800-HELP-FLA, 850-410-3800, or 1-800-FL-AYUDA, and website, www.800helpfla.com. Through direct contact with consumers, the department receives complaints about unfair and deceptive business practices and provides information to consumers about how to avoid falling victim to unlawful business practices. In some cases, the department will work with the consumer and the business involved to mediate and resolve the conflict. In other situations, the department will conduct investigations to determine whether or not the business is in violation of the law.
In addition, the department focuses on public education of consumer protection issues. Through brochures, newsletters and public presentations, the department works to raise awareness for consumer threats and helps consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing products and services and signing contracts.