Tori Alfano is a busy woman who owns and operates three electronics repair shops in Houston called FixUrGadget...In the middle of supervising employees, helping customers, and expanding to a mobile service - Alfanso says the last thing she needs is a solicitor calling the shop for donations.
"They're asking for donations for the police department, the fire department, or schools and it's not that we don't want to give but we're all about customers our customers."
Alfano says she gets 3 to 4 calls from solicitors a week...some who are long winded while others are agressive. She says she simply doesn't have time to screen the calls during her work day.
"And it's very frustrating when you only have two lines especially when someone tries to call and it's busy and they don't like you to hang up and I end up having to hang up on most of them."
"The Houston Police Foundation has never solicited funds, the 100 club has never solicited funds, the Houston Police Union has and that practice is stopping."
Ray Hunt is the President of the Houston Police Officers' Union. The group represents more than 5-thousand Houston police officers.
For years they've relied on a telephone solicitor to raise funds for the organization by calling local businesses in our community. But now the union is cutting ties with the solicitor after the marketing company upset some local businesses with the untimely calls.
"We should not be calling persons at their businesses or their homes and say hey can you give some money to the union as if we're in need of their funds to operate. That's not the organization we want to be known as."
Hunt says his group is giving up an average 80 to 100-thousand dollars a year by dumping the solicitor they can't name because of contractual obligations.
He says they will rely on fundraisers like this one to raise money for officers in need, scholarships, and even they children the union has adopted in Honduras.
The question is will other unions representing deputies and firefighters also dump that marketing company because it represents quite a few in Harris County. For HPOU and Hunt...it's all about reputation.
"We're not going to criticize those other organizations that do that but we're just not going to be a part of it."
In the meantime back at Fixurgadget Alfano says she suggests those solicitators stop calling and...
"I think emails would be the best way then if we want to respond then we do."