Texas No Call - Telephone Solicitor FAQ

House Bill 472, passed during the 2001 Texas Legislative session, created the Texas Telemarketing Disclosure and Privacy Act. The Act enabled the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to implement a statewide “Do Not Call List” for residential customers who wish to stop telemarketing calls to their homes.

In addition, Senate Bill 7, which restructured the retail electric market, included an “Electric No Call List”   for Retail Electric Providers (REPs) and telemarketers that make calls on their behalf. To ensure that electric customers, both residential and business, did not receive unwanted calls regarding their retail electric service, lawmakers created the “Electric No Call List.”

Beginning January 1, 2002, customers in Texas have had the opportunity to add their telephone number to two “No Call Lists”: a statewide “Do Not Call List” and an “Electric No Call List.” By placing their telephone numbers on these lists, customers identify themselves as someone who does not want to receive telemarketing calls.

House Bill 210, passed during the 2005 Texas Legislative session changed the "Electric No Call List" from being for both residential and business customers to being only for business customers.

House Bill 143, passed during the 2007 Texas Legislative session further defines a call to include a transmission of a text or graphic message or an image to a mobile telephone number.

The PUC will operate and maintain the databases of both “No Call Lists” under a contract with a professional services firm. Following is a list of frequently asked questions that pertain to telephone solicitation in the state of Texas.

How do I obtain a copy of the list?

Telemarketers can download the list from www.texasnocall.com with payment by a credit card. Telemarketers may also have the list sent to them via CD if that is their preferred method of receiving the list. A downloadable and printable form are also available for telemarketers paying by check.

How much does it cost?

The lists are updated and published quarterly on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

To receive the list quarterly, the cost for a copy of the statewide “Do Not Call List” is $75 per quarter. To receive the “Electric No Call List” quarterly, the cost is $75 per quarter. To receive a geographically exclusive list from the “No Call Lists” database, the cost is $75 per quarter.

How can I pay for the list?

You may sign up for the list on the Web site and pay by credit card or print the subscription form and send it along with your check to: Texas No Call, 100 Summer Street Suite 800, Boston, MA 02110

When must I be in compliance?

Telemarketers must update their “Do Not Call” lists from the Texas “No Call Lists” database each quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Telemarketers who subscribe to the list have 60 days from the date of this list to update their internal databases to remove customer numbers and stop calling customers who have registered in the database. The PUC has promulgated § 26.37, which implements the provisions of HB 472 and is available at: www.puc.state.tx.us/rules/subrules/telecom/26.37/26.37.pdf. HB 472 has now been codified as Texas Business and Commerce Code § 44.103. With respect to the Electric Do Not Call list, the PUC has promulgated § 25.484, which implements the provisions of PURA §§ 39.101, 39.1025 and chapter 17, subchapters A, C, and D. Is available at: www.puc.state.tx.us/rules/subrules/electric/25.484/25.484.pdf . Companies then have 60 days from the date of the last quarterly published list to “scrub” their lists of telephone numbers included in the list.

Who is exempt from complying with the Texas “No Call Lists”?

The “No Call Lists” apply to companies that are trying to “sell” a consumer good or service over the telephone. Companies are still allowed to solicit over the telephone if:

  • The company has an established business relationship with a customer; or
  • The telemarketer is a state licensee (for example – insurance agents, real estate agents, securities brokers) and:
    1. The call is not made by an automated telephone dialing system; and
    2. The solicitation requires a face-to-face presentation to complete the sales transaction and make payment; and
    3. The consumer has not informed the telemarketer that the consumer does not wish to receive telemarketing calls from the telemarketer.

    What other types of unsolicited telephone calls are exempted?

    Not all unsolicited telephone calls are telephone solicitations. Many people receive unsolicited telephone calls from organizations that are not engaged in “telephone solicitation” and as a result, these organizations are not required to comply with the statewide “Do Not Call List.” Debt collectors trying to collect a debt are exempt, as are many charities because they generally do not make calls that are "telephone solicitations" as that term is defined.

    What information will be included in the list?

    The telephone number(s) will be provided on the statewide “Do Not Call List” identifying the residential telephone numbers for consumers who do not wish to receive any telephone solicitation.

    The “Electric No Call List” will include telephone numbers of residential and business customers who do not wish to receive calls on behalf of retail electric providers, or telemarketers calling on their behalf.

    May I use the information in the database for other purposes?

    No. When registering to receive one or both of the lists, the registering entity must agree that it will not sell or otherwise transfer the list to any other person or entity for any use whatsoever. The list is being provided solely for the purpose of allowing the telemarketer to comply with Texas law regarding conducting telephone solicitations in Texas.

    How does this law affect calls made by autodialers?

    The “No Call Lists” apply to telephone solicitation calls made by autodialers. Customers who sign up for either “No Call List” may not receive calls made by autodialers.

    May telephone solicitors block their names and number from Caller ID?

    No. According to the law, telephone solicitors may not block their numbers from Caller ID systems.

    How will I know whether the call I want to make is a telephone solicitation?

    Certain definitions under state law will guide compliance. Telemarketers operating in Texas should be aware of the definitions that pertain to telephone solicitation located in the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) as well as the Texas Business and Commerce Code. The following definitions may aid in an understanding of what is a Telephone Solicitation. There are additional definitions and relevant provisions in PURA and the Business and Commerce Code.

    "Consumer telephone call" means an unsolicited call made to a residential telephone number by a telephone solicitor to:
    (A)solicit a sale of a consumer good or service;
    (B)solicit an extension of credit for a consumer good or service; or
    (C)obtain information that will or may be used to directly solicit a sale of a consumer good or service or to extend credit for the sale.
    "Telephone solicitor" means a person who makes or causes to be made a consumer telephone call, including a call made by an automated dialing device.
    "Consumer good or service" means property of any kind that is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes. The term does not include a security, as defined by Section 4, The Securities Act (Article 581-4, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).
    “Established business relationship” means a prior or existing relationship that has not been terminated by either party, and that was formed by voluntary two-way communication between a person and a consumer regardless of whether consideration was exchanged, regarding consumer goods or services offered by the person.

    Calls made in connection with an established business relationship or a business relationship that was terminated before the later of the date of publication of the first Texas no-call list on which the no-call registrant's telephone number appears or one year after the date of termination are exempt. 

    What are the penalties for not complying with the Texas Telemarketing Disclosure and Privacy Act?

    The law permits the PUC to investigate alleged violations and to assess administrative and civil penalties against violators. The PUC has exclusive jurisdiction if the violator is a telecommunications provider. The Attorney General’s Office also has jurisdiction to investigate possible violations. Additionally, a state agency that has licensed an alleged violator may conduct investigations and assess any penalties for which it has authorization.

    HB 210 allows the PUC to have enforcement authority over violations to both the state and federal No Call Lists.

    The law also creates a private right of action in civil court for a customer who has been damaged through a violation of the statute. The law also specifies the amount of damages the customer may recover.

    Does this apply to calls made that use a text message or photo?

    Yes, House Bill 143 (effective Sept. 1 , 2007) further defines a call to include the transmission of a text or graphic message or image to a mobile telephone number.

    For more information on the Texas Telemarketing Disclosure and Privacy Act or to read the Act, please visit the Texas Legislature’s Web site at:

  • http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlo/77r/billtext/HB00472F.HTM.

    To read the section of The Public Utility Regulatory Act that provides for the creation of the “Electric No Call List,” go to PURA Section 39.1025 at:

  • http://www.puc.state.tx.us/rules/statutes/Pura03.pdf.