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DATE: January 29, 2004

Contact Person: Sue Schaefer, Information Officer
Contact Phone: 605-773-3201

South Dakota PUC Issues Consumer Advisory – Protect Your Do-Not-Call Status

A Spearfish resident was recently approached at his home by an individual promising a "no strings attached" invitation to sign up for a $1000 grocery shopping spree. Upon reading the fine print, the gentleman realized that he had just agreed to allow the company concerned to call him even though he was listed on the National or State Do-Not-Call (DNC) list.

"Consumers need to be very cautious and ask questions before signing up for any contest or prize offering," remarked Bob Sahr, Chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. That includes offerings at trade and home shows.

The PUC has received numerous complaints from consumers who believe they've been taken advantage of by companies trying to circumvent the intent of the DNC list.

"Consumers have been surprised when they receive an unwanted call from a company only to discover that they unknowingly gave permission while signing up for a "free drawing," adds Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "Be cautious and read the fine print."

"Dishonest companies have unfortunately been using fairs and home shows to target unsuspecting consumers, his most recent occurrence shows just how far some are willing to go to bend the rules," said Commissioner Jim Burg.

The South Dakota PUC suggests that consumers be ever vigilant about Do-Not-Call scams, and should feel free to call the PUC Consumer Office at 1-800-332-1782 if they have any questions or concerns.

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