Los Angeles-based brand, Guess? Inc., has been slapped with a class action lawsuit, in which consumers allege that it negligently contacted them through text messaging, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). According to the complaint, which was filed by plaintiff, Farideh Haghayeghi, early this month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, Guess? joins an array of marketers that have “stymied by federal laws limiting solicitation by telephone, facsimile machine and e-mail have increasingly looked to alternative technologies through which to send bulk solicitations to consumers easily and cheaply." Haghayeghi further alleges in her complaint that between 2009 and 2013, Guess? and/or its agents directed the mass transmission of text messages to cellular phones nationwide in an attempt to reach customers or potential customers of its products. She claims that in 2013 alone, she received several unsolicited text messages on her cell phone from Guess?, and never gave Guess? or its agents express consent to send her text messages, nor did Guess? inform her that it would use her cell phone number to send her promotional texts.
image courtesy of guess
Last but not least, Haghayeghi alleges in her suit that unlike other forms of advertisement, text messages cost its recipients money, as "cell phone users must frequently pay their wireless service providers either for each text message or call they receive, or incur a usage allocation deduction to their text plan, regardless of whether or not the message is authorized." Haghayeghi claims the defendants actions violated the TCPA and caused her, and other class members, damages, and is seeking $500 for herself and each class member in statutory damages.
If this lawsuit sounds familiar, it is probably because Lucky Brand settled a similar one in 2012, in which the Ninth Circuit held that while the TCPA generally restricts telephone solicitations, it also applies to unsolicited text message advertising, as well. Lucky ended up paying each of the class action plaintiffs up to $100 each. More to come ...