Ride-share company Lyft, Inc. of San Francisco, CA is once again in the hotseat for alleged TCPA violations. For the second time in just a little over a year the company is facing a wave of class-action lawsuits over autodialed text messages that were unwanted and unsolicited.
Back in March of 2015, plaintiff Emily Wolf of Maryland received unsolicited texts messages from the [previously] mustachioed company. It all began with a text message containing an offer for twenty free rides in Philadelphia that would expire in 15 days. Prior to this text, Wolf had never received communications from Lyft, a company that she had never previously associated with nor had she ever used their service.
The complaint claimed that Lyft had never received Wolf’s express written consent to receive marketing messages or calls, as the plaintiff had never even provided Lyft a method of contacting her. Allegedly, Lyft used an autodialer to send the texts she received.
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act it is illegal to place calls or texts to cell phones or landlines when consumers have not provided their express written consent. It is also illegal to reach out to consumers using autodialing systems (ADS). An autodialer is a piece of equipment that places phone calls and text messages without human intervention.
The TCPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of consumers nationwide and bars hundreds of invasive practices. Another one of the provisions requires that consumers, once they sign up for a service and in the event that they do provide consent, must also always be provided with instructions on how to opt-out. Lyft violated these provisions in 2015 when the FCC informed Lyft of the violations that took place when the company required users to consent to receive autodialed texts in order to use their services. Per the citation, users of the ride-share’s app were not able to summon the ride-share service without giving up consent to receive promotional calls and texts.
Naturally, Lyft filed a motion to dismiss the class-action suit brought upon by Emily Wolf. The judge denied the motion, but granted Lyft’s other motion to stay, meaning that the lawsuit is on hold until SCOTUS rules on a similar case.
The FCC continues cracking down on violations of the TCPA through text spam. Just last month, Lyft faced another complaint brought upon by plaintiff Jason D. Bodie, who also never gave the company permission to text his phone. Mr. Bodie’s complaint claimed that Lyft used an ADS to get his phone number. Autodialing systems are often used to generate random phone numbers that are then called in violation of the TCPA. Bodie received texts urging him to download Lyft’s mobile app and a link where he could download that app. His complaint seeks statutory damages for claims of negligent and willful violations of the TCPA.
If companies are violating your privacy and bombarding you with unwanted calls or texts you can put a stop to it once and for all and receive a just settlement. Each call or text can bring you $500-$1500. All you need to do is dial (844) JIBRAEL or contact us online to speak with attorney Jibrael S. Hindi and his associates. The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi is a dedicated firm in Fort Lauderdale specializing in TCPA violations.