Florida Senate - 2018 SB 412 By Senator Rodriguez 37-00378-18 2018412__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to consumer protection; creating s. 3 501.172, F.S.; requiring the Department of Agriculture 4 and Consumer Services to operate and maintain a 5 central consumer complaint hotline; requiring the 6 department to establish a toll-free telephone number 7 and a web-based chat function; stating the purpose of 8 the hotline; requiring the department to promote the 9 hotline; specifying the information the department 10 must provide to consumer complainants; providing an 11 effective date. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Section 501.172, Florida Statutes, is created to 16 read: 17 501.172 Consumer protection hotline.— 18 (1) CREATION.—The Department of Agriculture and Consumer 19 Services shall operate and maintain a central consumer complaint 20 hotline through a single statewide toll-free telephone number 21 and via web-based chat. 22 (2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the consumer complaint hotline 23 is to direct consumers to the appropriate state agency in order 24 to address a consumer complaint regarding a licensed person 25 conducting business in the state or regarding unlicensed 26 activity. 27 (3) PROMOTION.— 28 (a) The department shall promote public awareness of the 29 consumer complaint hotline through community-based partner 30 organizations and public service campaigns. 31 (b) The department shall post a link to the web-based chat 32 window in a conspicuous part of its website. 33 (4) OPERATION.—For consumers who contact the hotline with a 34 complaint about a licensed person conducting business in this 35 state or regarding unlicensed activity, the department must 36 provide, at a minimum, the following information: 37 (a) The proper agency to contact regarding the consumer’s 38 particular complaint. 39 (b) The telephone number and website for such agency. 40 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.