A recent class-action suit accusing Hooters of America, LLC of sending out unwanted text messages ended in a $1.3 million settlement agreement. Michael Etzel, the lead plaintiff, alleged that the unsolicited text messages were a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Etzel’s class action suit alleges that he and other class members received a text message from Hooters after opting out of text communications that read:
“Hooters Fans: Our mClub has moved! Don’t worry, you’ll still receive exclusive news, just from a new number. Reply STOP to unsubscribe Msg&Data Rates may apply.”
Hooters agreed to settle the matter for $1.3 million to cease litigation. This amount is to be paid out to all class members; however, unlike many similar cases, the settlement was agreed to be paid out in the form of Hooters gift cards. Class members received either $50 or $20 depending on their tier.
Consumers are often deterred from taking legal action against large corporate entities that violate the TCPA. Many people see such companies as being insurmountable, but it’s vital to keep in mind that all companies, large and small, must abide by the regulations of the TCPA. The only type of communications exempt from the TCPA are those regarding:
- Political causes, campaigns, and surveys
- Charitable solicitation
- Pharmacy and prescription reminders
- Doctor appointment reminders
- Flight cancellations
- Emergency school updates
These meet the definition of “emergency purposes” as defined in the statute. All other unsolicited calls or texts are considered unlawful, and the entity responsible for such marketing attempts can justifiably face a class action lawsuit. In regards to how exactly the TCPA protects consumers, debt collectors are restricted from:
- Calling those listed on the Do Not Call Registry
- Calling residential phone lines
- Using an ATDS to leave pre-recorded messages
- Using an ATDS to text cell phones
- … and much more
If you or someone you know has been subjected to such harassment, it is essential that you acquire legal help from a local attorney. The Florida TCPA attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi can help you hold the liable party accountable for their unlawful actions and recover financial compensation. Under the TCPA, you are entitled to between $500-$1500 PER CALL OR TEXT! Contact us today at 1-844-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation. There are no fees until Jibrael wins for you.