Fan Looks To Penalize Tampa Bay Lightning For Sending 30 Text Messages Per Month
The group that owns the Tampa Bay Lightning has been sued based on its text messaging campaign. The team has been blamed for engaging in telemarketing campaigns without first obtaining express written consent from recipients of the text messages.
According to the Complaint filed on March 5, the Lightning use a “bait and switch” tactic to convince fans to sign up for sweepstakes and informational texts, but then deliver nearly daily advertising and telemarketing text messages. For instance, the plaintiff, who is suing on behalf of a proposed class of individuals, says that he was lured in to signing up based on a promotion to win tickets to a December 6, 2018 hockey game.
The plaintiff claims that he has been receiving thirty advertising and telemarketing text messages per month since opting in for the promotion. These texts allegedly include advertising of Tampa Bay Lightning tickets, merchandise and access to television programming.
A logical solution for the plaintiff would have been to text the word “STOP” to the auto-sender. Except, the plaintiff claims that he was concerned that doing so would preclude him from possibly winning the promotion that he originally entered into and which allegedly led to the Lightning having access to his number to send out advertisements. That does not; however, explain why the plaintiff failed to text the word “STOP” after the date of the game that was originally being promoted had passed, and he complains of continuing to receive the advertisement texts thereafter.
The Complaint states that,
Defendant’s SMS text messages invaded Plaintiff’s privacy, intruded upon his seclusion and solitude, constituted a nuisance, and wasted his time by requiring him to delete the messages. Further, Defendant’s SMS text messages caused Plaintiff to incur tangible harms such as loss of cell phone battery life and financial losses in requiring him to recharge his phone. Finally, Defendant’s SMS text messages constituted a temporary electronic intrusion upon Plaintiff’s cell phone.
Relief is requested for alleged violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The plaintiff seeks, for himself and on behalf of a to-be-determined class of individuals, $500 in statutory damages for each SMS message transmitted in violation of the TCPA and attorneys’ fees and costs. Additionally, because the plaintiff claims that the Lightning’s acts were intentional, he wants treble damages of up to $1,500 per SMS message.