Tatango competitor, TextMarks and their co-defendant, Heartland Automotive Services, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee in America, have reached a proposed settlement with consumers for the text message spam they sent to mobile phones during April of 2011. The proposed settlement of $47M is to my knowledge the largest in the history of text message spam lawsuits.
What completely sickens me about this case is that in the proposed settlement it was disclosed that TextMarks allowed Jiffy Lube to spam over 2.3 million mobile phone numbers. That’s the equivalent of sending text message spam to every single mobile phone in both the state of Hawaii and Wyoming.
The team at TextMarks should be beyond ashamed of their actions, and their management should fire anyone involved with this case for letting this happen on their watch. Not only has TextMarks shamed themselves, but they’ve shamed the SMS marketing industry as a whole, undoing years of hard work by reputable SMS providers to gain trust with businesses and consumers.
In my opinion, the TextMarks short code 41411 should be immediately shut down by either the CTIA or the mobile wireless carriers. This opinion has nothing to do with the fact that they’re a competitor to Tatango, only that they’ve shown a complete disregard for receiving consumer permission, the CTIA, the wireless carriers and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Any SMS provider that has such disregard for both best practices and federal law, shouldn’t be trusted with an SMS short code.
After the TextMarks short code is shut down, their website turned off, and all their customers gone, the only good thing that will be remembered about this company is the fact that they became the perfect example of how NOT to do SMS marketing.
You think $43M is a lot of money? It could have been much worse, as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act sets statutory damages in the amount of $500 per violation, which would have amounted to $1.15B in damages.
Did you receive a text message from Jiffy Lube? Let us know in the comments section below.
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