Last week we reported on the ongoing problem of debt collectors and marketing firms using roto-dialers to contact consumers on their cellular phones. If you own a cell phone, you have probably been contacted by someone asking you to hold “for a very important matter” or to gauge your interest in a new product.
These types of calls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In addition to calls made to cell phones, marketers and debt collectors may not use unsolicited text messages (known as “text spam”) to contact unwitting consumers. Federal law allows consumers to bring suit for up to $1500 in damages each time they receive unwanted text messages.
A number of class-action lawsuit settlements have come about based on TCPA violations. One notable settlement involves Lucky Brand Dungarees, a popular apparel company. In the suit, Robles v. Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., class members alleged that they were sent unsolicited text messages through marketing subcontractors during a 2008 back-to-school campaign. Examples of the text messages include:
· Lucky Jeans mobile invite. Free alerts. Std carrier rates may apply. For help GET $25 OFF NOW. To remove yourself reply STOP. To Opt-in Reply with LUCKYJ
· Get $25 off at Lucky Brand Jeans Now. Just reply LUCKYJ Or Stop to opt out std rates apply.
· Back to school sale going on at all Lucky Brand Jeans stores! Enter your zip to find one nearest you.
The parties recently reached a $9.9 million settlement. Eligible members can receive up to $100 if they received illegal text messages.
Source: TopClassActions.com, Lucky Brand text class action settlement, December 10, 2012