An Unsolicited Text Can Cost Your Business…..

Without express consent, that marketing text message can cost you $500-$1,500 a pop and let’s not forget the legal fees in an article titled Curbs on Cellphone Calls Pay Off for Lawyers (WSJ subscription required).

What’s confusing is that cell phones operate by their own rules.  The law, known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, was passed in 1991 by lawmakers hoping to blunt telemarketing and end expensive, unwanted calls to cellphones.  Well, most cell phone calls and text messaging plans are unlimited, but this law has not been revised to reflect this.   This law has been a huge boom for lawyers that go after these companies.

Here are some egregious example:

  • Consumer receives six digit settlement from Santander Consumer USA Inc., which called her cellphone 1,026 times to try to collect her debts and left 116 prerecorded messages.
  • NCO Financial Systems Inc. for auto-dialer debt-collection calls to cellphones. NCO agreed to pay $70 per class member, up to $950,000.
  • $17 million with units of Wells Fargo WFC  and Freddie Mac
  • Bank of America Corp. and $24 million with student-lender SLM Corp. SLM Last year
  • Heartland Automotive Services Inc., a Jiffy Lube franchisee, and mobile-ad company TextMarks Inc. for $47 million in vouchers for oil changes because the company sent text-message advertisements.

Think the government is immune?  In the Obama administration’s 2014 budget, the government said it could reduce the deficit by $120 million over 10 years if it were allowed to call debtors on their cellphones.


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