AG sues local companies for alleged do-not-call violation

Four Houston-area companies are among 15 telemarketers being sued for violating Texas' do-not-call law, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

The Attorney General's Office sued Area Wide Auto Glass of Katy, Auto Finance of Stafford, Houston Allstate Inc. of Houston and Lakefront Properties Inc.

The suits claim the companies harassed consumers at home with repeated high-pressure sales pitches. Details of the alleged wrongdoings weren't available.

Abbott also sued companies in the Austin, the Dallas area as well as in Tulsa, Okla.

The Houston-area companies face fines as high as $3,000 for each telephone call made in violation of the law.

Consumers began signing up for the no-call registry in January as a first step toward stopping unwanted telemarketing calls to their homes. Beginning in July, telemarketers were prohibited from calling consumers whose names appeared on the list.

Nearly 1 million Texas consumers have signed up for the do-not-call list, according to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which administers the law.

The attorney general's suits seek temporary and permanent injunctions to stop the unlawful calls and seek thousands of dollars in fines, penalties and attorneys' fees.

The suits were filed after consumers complained to the Public Utility Commission, according to the Attorney General's Office.

"With the help of the PUC, we are taking tough legal action against telemarketers that snubbed their noses at this law by failing to honor Texas consumers' requests not to be called," Abbott says. "These telemarketers have violated the law and will pay the consequences. Let this serve as a warning. We are serious about enforcing this law."

600450 AG sues local companies for alleged do-not-call violation
Date: 28 November 2003

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