Texas consumers recoup more than $240,000 from TDLR enforcement actions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 5, 2019

To The Leader


AUSTIN – Texas consumers received more than $240,000 during the 2018 fiscal year in restitution and refunds resulting from enforcement cases filed against the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) licensees.

The payments were made by TDLR licensees who had complaints filed against them by consumers who were either owed refunds or were overcharged for services.  

“Most TDLR licensees are honest and forthright in their dealings with their customers. However, there are a few licensees who miss the mark. The focus of our agency is to protect all consumers and small businesses that operate in an ethical and lawful manner, and our goal in enforcement actions is to make the consumer whole,” said TDLR Executive Director Brian Francis.

The largest amount of restitution and refunds were paid through the Service Contract Providers program.

Service contracts are often called extended warranties or service agreements and protection plans. A consumer who cancels an active service contract is entitled to a full or pro-rata refund of the service contract’s purchase price, minus any applicable cancellation fee or any claims paid under the service contract. Consumers who cancel and do not receive a refund can file a complaint with TDLR, which may be able to assist them in retrieving their refund.

The second largest segment of refunds — $47,095 – came out of the vehicle towing program. Most of those refunds resulted from illegal tows or when companies charged unnecessary or unapproved towing fees.

 The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors and Electricians programs rounded out the top four largest payments in 2018. The payments were refunds made to consumers who had work performed by TDLR licensees, however, the work was not done up to code.

 The chart below includes restitution and refunds paid to consumers by licensees in 13 TDLR programs in Fiscal Year 2018.


Program Total Amount of Restitution/Refunds Paid
Service Contract Providers $111,883.65
Towing $47,095.10
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors $36,837.09
Electricians $11,325.00
Vehicle Storage Facility $11,044.21
Water Well Drillers $9,252.00
Combative Sports $5,788.66
Auctioneers $2,520.00
Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers $2,500.00
Midwives $1,330.00
Cosmetology $1,001.98
Massage Therapy $65.00
Barbers $30.00
Grand Total $240,672.69