Companies who market their products via text messages may be in danger of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) if they do not obtain prior consent.
For example, the Los Angeles Clippers were recently sued for sending fans unauthorized text messages allegedly in violation of TCPA. The team encouraged fans to send text messages that may be featured on the big screen during the game. The Clippers saved the phone numbers to send fans promotional messages. As a result, the fans sued the Clippers under TCPA. The Clippers decided to settle in a $5 million deal giving fans the option of choosing two basketball tickets or a voucher for merchandise.
The largest class action suit, to date, involves Capital One Financial Corporation, who paid $75 million in settlement. TCPA lawsuits are gaining popularity, increasing by 69% in 2013. These types of lawsuits appear to be a powerful tool for protecting consumers’ privacy rights. For more information about actions you can take against unwanted text messages, read the Federal Communications Commission’s Guide on Unwanted Text Messages and Email.