Do Not Call: FTC collects $741 million in restitution but problems continue, consumers want answers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Do not call! It's a simple request consumers say isn't being honored.

Florida consumers are covered by the federal and state Do Not Call lists .

Even with double coverage, telemarketers and do not call list issues were still the #1 complaint to the state of Florida in August.

The calls come every day of the week, and last all day.

 "It rang 10 times on a Sunday," said Gloria Goldberg from her kitchen table. 

The new twist, "I say hello and nobody answers," said Goldberg. 

Frustrated Goldberg called back. That's when the caller wanted her credit card number.

"I think people who abuse the phone calling people in their homes should have to pay a fine," Goldberg said. 

The Federal Trade Commission collected more than $741 million in restitution for violations.  Still, there were nearly 4 million complaints last fiscal year and the agency only took action 3 times.  This year, the government tripled the number of cases filed.  The FTC says it's hard to track down the violators.

The FTC is asking for help from the private sector, and held a $50,000 contest to generate solutions.  To hang up on these robocalls, you may need to fork over some cash. 

On your cell phone, download an app like Number Cop.  There are free apps, but the reviews are mixed. 

On a landline, you can buy call blocking.  Goldberg doesn't want to pay any more so she's is leaning toward cutting the cord.

 "It drives me crazy," said Goldberg.

When you get an unwanted call, report it to the feds and state of Florida . You can also make sure your name is on both lists. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services told the Consumer Watchdog it will take action after just 2 complaints, but it may take 2,000 complaints before the feds investigate.

 

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