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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Texas Consumer Complaint Center

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David Ellison’s Consumer Watch column in the Houston Chronicle carried an profile on the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the University of Houston Law Center: Texas Consumer Complaint Center helps people with complaints (archived)

If there is a particular phone call that makes Gary Saunders proud of his job, it would be the one from a widowed pensioner who kept receiving unauthorized charges on her phone bill.

She told Saunders, a third-year law student at the University of Houston who handles complaints at the Texas Consumer Complaint Center, that she had been unable to stop the charges or get a refund. So, he called the phone company.

“She didn’t get all of her money back,” Saunders said, “but she got half of the months refunded to her and the charges stopped.”

Since the center started in 2006, Saunders and other UH Law Center students have been fielding telephone calls and e-mails from consumers with problems such as defective goods or services, debt collectors and/or bankruptcy and identity theft.

Robert Johnson, associate director of the UH Center for Consumer Law, said the students — seven to 10 each semester — “address about every legal question except for criminal matters. The students, who are paid or receive class credits, educate consumers on their rights and sometimes bring the two parties together on the phone for a resolution.” To contact the center, call 877-839-8422 or visit www.texasccc.com. Johnson said the best way to file a complaint is through the Web site.

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