I have blogged several times about the importance of the TCPA in SMS marketing. And while I fully support the consumer protection that the TCPA offers, there is always someone, or in this case two someones, who try to take advantage of the system. On April 28th, two California residents filed a class action lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that the Social Network violated the TCPA when it sent them a confirmation SMS in response to a SMS request the men made to stop the SMS subscription. Confused yet?
Mobile Marketing WatchÂ sums it up nicely:
Put simply, the two are suing based on the claim that Twitter was wrong to send them a confirmation SMS after they themselves sent the â€œSTOPâ€ command to express the fact they no longer wished to receive messages from Twitter. The men claim that after they sent the initial â€œSTOPâ€ command that Twitter should have ceased communication altogether, and that it was illegal to receive the simple confirmatory message making sure they truly wanted to opt-out. This is something nearly all SMS programs do.
The two men, Drew Moss and Sahar Maleksaeedi, say an â€œautomatic telephone dialing systemâ€ was employed to deliver the confirmatory message, and that they incurred a charge for incoming calls as a result. This is illegal, the two men claim, because the message in question was not sent for emergency purposes and without prior consent given.
Just to be clear, in order to receive the messages to begin with, a user with a Twitter account must first log into Twitter, register their mobile number with Twitter, and send a validation SMS to Twitter with the word GO in it.
I might not be a lawyer, but that sounds like prior consent to me.
The TCPA plays an important role in consumer protection. Frivolous lawsuits like this cheapen and damage it.