PUC to rescue public from telemarketers

Effective Jan. 1, a new law will go in effect in Texas. The 2001 Texas Legislature passed HB 742, which offers Texans the opportunity to be put on the Texans no-call list. This list maintained by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will contain names, addresses and phone numbers of people who do not want to be contacted by telemarketing firms. Beginning in January 2002, anyone can contact the PUC directly to add his or her name and phone number to the list, which will be updated every three months. The PUC may charge a fee of up to three dollars to be placed on the list that will expire after three years, but can be renewed at any time. After the person’s name has been on the no-call list for 60 days, telemarketing firms are prohibited from calling that person. Certain exceptions including opinion polls, calls on behalf of nonprofit organizations and calls requesting political support will be allowed provided no attempt is made to sell something to the person who answers the phone. The no-call provisions also do not apply to the companies of which the person who has the phone number had a business relationship in the last 12 months. Under the same bill, there are also protections from unsolicited fax advertisements, which are also addressed under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act. For more information on the no-call list, after Jan. 1, contact the PUC at (888) 782-8477 or visit its web site at www.puc.state.tx.us. Complaints regarding these and other protections can also be addressed to the Texas Attorney General’s consumer protection hotline toll-free inside Texas at (800) 621-0508 for complaint forms, or call the Legal Hotline for Older Texans at (800) 622-2520.

Leave a Comment