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Careful When You Call The "Do Not Call" List

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 Commentator

Dallas, TX – The second deadline is drawing near to get yourself registered on the Texas telemarketing "do not call" list. Having missed the first deadline, I felt the urgency to call this morning. And I found a glitch that I'm not very happy about. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

First, the fact that I have to pay to stop receiving something I never wanted in the first place is a real thorn in my side. Having succumbed to that reality, I made my call, got right through, and used the voice automated sign-up for this "do not call" list. Everything was going fine. I gave my name and then my address. And that's when I got confused. I was offered the first option, $2.25 for three years on the list. That's what I wanted. Then came this second option - to be put on the "Electric No Call" list as well as the "statewide do not call" list for five years at $4.80. I had to think quickly, so I paid the $4.80. I don't want any calls. After the transaction was finished, I went to TexasNoCall.com. Clear as day, there are two definite lists. That "Electric No Call" list includes all retail electric providers.

Here's the glitch - nowhere on the home page or on the recording does it say that when you pay the $2.25 for the three years that covers both lists for the three years. In fact, it wasn't until I called the media department of the Public Utility Commission that Carrie Collier informed me that I really didn't need to sign up for both, since the $2.25 includes it.

So I called the customer service line to credit my Visa, and guy that answered the phone told me I was wrong - it doesn't cover both. I then spoke with his supervisor, who connected me with her supervisor, who then told me I was right - it does cover both lists. He told me if I went to the FAQ link I would find it. Wrong - it was nowhere to be found.

Now, for $4.80 you do get an extra two years on both lists. But it isn't what I needed or wanted, and I'm hoping by then someone in the legislature will see the absurdity of this fee and we can all get our money back. No? I can dream, can't I?

For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

To register for the Texas No Call lists:
Online: TexasNoCall.com. The site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

By mail: Use the printable registration form available at TexasNoCall.com , or request a registration form by calling 1-866-TXNOCAL(L) (1-866-896-6225); or write: TEXAS NO CALL, P.O. Box 313, E. Walpole, MA 02032.

Online and telephone registrations must be paid by credit card. Mailed applications may be paid by credit card or by check made payable to Texas No Call.

Companies that conduct telemarketing activities should call 1-866-896-6225, or read the Telemarketing FAQ at TexasNoCall.com for compliance information and additional details regarding Texas' "No Call Lists."