Floridians triple # of phone numbers registered to 'Do Not Call' list

Floridians more than triple # of telephone numbers on free Do Not Call list

You signed up for the state's new free  "Do Not Call" list but pesky telemarketers are still ringing you to try to entice you into buying.

The sales people are not disregarding the registry, but rather it’s because your telephone number isn’t on the list yet.

It will officially go onto the Florida registry in 11 days on July 1. The list will be updated quarterly at the start of a new quarter, said Sterling Ivey, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the agency that oversees the registry.

Annoyed by the telemarketers' unsolicited sales pitches, Floridians have more than tripled the number of cell and home telephone numbers signed up for the "Do Not Call" list, state officials said.


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"It's been unbelievable -- we have been flooded with calls," said Jay Levenstein, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Almost 100,000 Floridians called in 222,882 numbers by the end of May to be added to the registry that the Legislature made free during the last session, spokesman Ivey said.

"Starting July 1, there will be 294,342 numbers and 158,962 Florida subscribers on the list," he said in an e-mail.

New batches of telephone numbers will be added in the next round on Oct. 1, Ivey said. Floridians can sign up now but won't be formally added to the Do Not Call roster until then, Ivey added.

He and other state officials are warning Floridians that the list doesn't prevent charities or political groups from trying to reach people by phone. Florida law does not prohibit their calling, said deputy commissioner Levenstein.

Instead, the program protects Floridians from unsolicited telemarketing calls to their residential, mobile and paging device telephone numbers, he said.

Florida administrators will be focusing on fining telemarketers who call people on the list, Levenstein said.

Violators face up to $10,000 per violation if the case ends up in court with a conviction.

The No. 1 complaint to Consumer Services is that people are still being bothered despite being on the "Do Not Call" list, Levenstein said.

Before the Legislature made the list free, Floridians had to pay $10 to register and $5 for annual renewals.

Consumers can sign up at www.800helpfla.com or by calling 800-HELP-FLA or 800-FL-AYUDA for Spanish-speaking callers.

There is a national free Do Not Call registry at donotcall.gov

dgehrke@tribune.com or Twitter @donnagehrke