Smartphones have given retailers another avenue to inform consumers of specials, sales and coupons that are not always available through print media. To retailers, text messages and online notifications are easy, cheap ways to reach a growing market…consumers who use their phones to search for deals.
Unfortunately, a number of retailers are running afoul of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which essentially protects consumers from unsolicited text messages and sales calls on their mobile devices. Consumers may incur huge data fees from random (and unwanted) text messages, and the spirit of the law is to protect against such costs.
In our prior posts, we have highlighted how debt collectors, banks and other retailers have settled lawsuits due to unsolicited text messages through marketing subcontractors. Notable entities include Lucky Brand Jeans and banking giant HSBC.
Minneapolis-based retailer Target is now facing a class action lawsuit due to TCPA violations. Named plaintiff Kenneth Hill claims that Target used a third party to solicit potential customers by sending text messages to mobile devices. In his complaint, Hill contends that he had not shopped at Target in more than a year and never asked to receive updates about sales and special offers. He also claims that he and other similarly situated consumers were harmed not only by being “subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies wireless spam” but also by having to pay for unwanted text messages.
The class is yet to be certified.
As smartphones become more prominent, we imagine that more consumers will receive class action lawsuit. If you have questions about TCPA violations, an experienced attorney can help.
Source: TopClassActions.com, Target text spam class action lawsuit, January 28, 2013