May 3, 2011
Partner Gonzalo E. Mon was quoted in the Mobile Marketer
article, "Twitter Class Action Alleges MMA SMS Standards Violate TCPA." The article discussed the current class-action complaint filed against Twitter by two California men who claim that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, when they sent them an SMS confirmation to confirm opt-out of future communications.
"In the past few years, there have been a number of cases in which companies sent unsolicited text messages to consumers, and courts have ruled that those messages violated the TCPA," said Mr. Mon. "The twist in this case is that the plaintiffs actually opted-in to receive messages from Twitter," he said. "Later, the plaintiffs opted-out of receiving messages and Twitter sent them one final message to confirm the opt-out request had been processed."
That final message to confirm opt-out of future communications was what fueled the basis for the lawsuit. Mr. Mon said, "according to the plaintiffs, this confirmation message violates the TCPA."
Most agreements in the mobile space follow the Mobile Marketing Association's Consumer Best Practices Guidelines which requires a company to send a confirmation message when a "stop" or any opt-out keywords are sent to the program. Mr. Mon said, "although companies can usually assume that complying with industry standard guidelines, such as the MMA Guidelines, means they will also be in compliance with the law, this lawsuit demonstrates that doing things right isn't always a guarantee that plaintiffs' attorneys won't file a lawsuit in an attempt to force a settlement and payments." "Companies should check with their counsel to determine whether they need to modify their practices in response to this lawsuit."