By Jonathan Ieraci – On
When the TCPA is as important as it is to the debt collection industry, it's important to stay up to date on what's going on with it. I put together a quick write up on the State of the TCPA.
The first quarter of 2017 saw an increase in the number of TCPA lawsuits when compared to the first quarter of 2016. The results of these lawsuits are also changing. Defendants are winning TCPA cases with much more frequency than ever. Here are three TCPA lawsuits from 2017 that were ruled in the defendants favor:
1. Duguid v. Facebook, Inc.
Noah Duguid was receiving text message “login notifications” regarding an account that was not his. When he emailed Facebook about this matter, they sent him a generic email telling him to log into his account to resolve the issue. When the text messages did not stop, Duguid filed a lawsuit against Facebook.
Duguid claimed the TCPA was violated by Facebook by using an autodialer or predictive dialer to send him text messages. Duguid claimed that the software used by Facebook “had the capacity to store numbers and generate the text message without human interaction”. He also argued that the messages were automated and only meant to seem as if they were personalized. The court found no evidence of this and ruled in the favor of Facebook saying they did not use an auto dialer software.
2. Zean v. Fairview Health Services
Samuel Zean had purchased medical supplies from Fairview Health Services. Zean was then receiving telemarketing and automated calls checking on if he needed new equipment for the machine he recently purchased. Zean asked that the calls be stop, when they did not, he filed a lawsuit against Fairway.
Samuel Zean claimed that Fairview did not have consent to contact him. However, Fairview presented to the court a document signed by Zean which in it, stated that they had permission to contact clients regarding their purchases and accounts. This contact can be done on their cell phones, and even by way of an autodialer or predictive dialer. The court ruled that Zean had given prior consent and ruled in Fairview's favor.
3. Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive
Alberto Reyes leased a new Lincoln MKZ from a local Lincoln dealer. In the Lease agreement, Reyes consented that Lincoln “may use written, electronic or verbal means to contact you” When Reyes stopped making his car payments, Lincoln began calling him on both his house phone and cell phone. Reyes claimed that he wrote a letter to Lincoln revoking his consent to be contacted. When the calls did not stop, he filed a TCPA suit against Lincoln.
Lincoln claimed that they did not receive any letter from Reyes. When asked by the court to produce the letter sent, Reyes supplied a letter that did not contain an address or a postmark date and referenced an incorrect account number. The court ruled that there is no evidence showing a letter was sent to Lincoln and “ that, in any event, the TCPA does not permit a party to a legally binding contract to unilaterally revoke bargained for consent to be contacted by telephone.”
For more information regarding TCPA compliance, check out our 5 Way’s to Avoid a TCPA Lawsuit
Want to make sure your company is staying TCPA compliant?