A listener to sports station WSCR in Chicago has filed a suit in District court in Wisconsin over alleged text messages.
Elaine Bonin alleges the CBS Radio-owned station violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by using an auto dialer to send text messages to her TracFone (which are pre-paid wireless phones) with sports news and scores; she says in the suit she never gave the station her cell number nor permission to text her and seeks class action status.
Bonin alleges “the defendant broadcast unsolicited SMS text messages to cellular telephones … that are assigned a Wisconsin-based telephone number.” She seeks treble damages up to $1,500 for each call.
iHeartMedia recently settled a similar suit for $8.5 million; the settlement did not establish which side of the dispute was correct.
Telephone marketing is regulated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment and that extends to automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. Consent can be obtained in various forms, but specific consent is nevertheless required before a message can be sent.