Last week Jiffy Lube decided to SMS SPAM their customers with unwanted text message advertisements, which will most likely will end up in a class action lawsuit against them. It got me thinking, what other businesses have had a class action lawsuit brought against them for sending unwanted SMS marketing messages. After some digging, I compiled a list of the six largest class action lawsuits against businesses for sending SMS SPAM. As you can see below, SMS SPAM is not only annoying, it can be extremely costly.
Twentieth Century Fox – $16M Lawsuit ($200/phone number)
A class action lawsuit settlement was reached with Twentieth Century Fox and FoxStore.com over sending SMS SPAM advertising the DVD release of the animated motion picture Robots. Twentieth Century Fox and FoxStore.com deny any wrongdoing, but have agreed to create a class action settlement fund of $16 million to settle the lawsuit. All class members were eligible to receive up to $200.
Simon & Schuster – $10 Million Lawsuit ($175/phone number)
According to the lawsuit, some 60,000 cell phone users received SMS SPAM. Instead of going to trial and risking up to $90 million in damages, the defendants settled for $10 million.
Timberland Company – $7 Million Lawsuit ($150/phone number)
A settlement was reached with GSI Commerce, Inc. and The Timberland Company in a class action lawsuit relating to the alleged transmission of SMS SPAM to the cell phones of consumers nationwide. The $7 million dollar fund provided a $150 cash payment to each class member who filed a valid and timely claim. The settlement further provided a donation in the amount of $200,000 to a local charity.
Rolling Stones Magazine – $5M Lawsuit
According to the complaint, Wenner Media and Consumer Benefit Services have been sending SMS Campaigns to cell phones of consumers offering vouchers for magazine subscriptions. The class action, led by an Indiana woman named Karen Schrock, claimed the SMS SPAM violated section 227 of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts the use of automatic dialing systems to cell phones.
Burger King – $510,000 Lawsuit ($250/phone number)
A court approved a class action lawsuit settlement between lead plaintiff Elizabeth Espinal and Burger King over SMS SPAM. The Burger King SMS marketing class action lawsuit also names Textopoly, Inc. — the company that was hired to send the Burger King SMS campaigns and process the opt-out requests — as a defendant. Both companies deny any wrongdoing, but agreed to a $510,000 class action settlement to avoid ongoing litigation.
ClubTexting - $67.50/phone number
Club Texting, Inc., a mobile marketing and promotions company was accused of sending SMS SPAM to Illinois cell phone users. According to the lawsuit, a Chicago night-club promotion company called “Fly Society” failed to gain consent from cell phone users before using the Club Texting platform to send SMS campaigns for various night club events. This is the same SMS provider that was shut down by T-Mobile in 2010.