$40,000 For Unsolicited Texts With No Opt-Out Instructions

Refresh your Opt-Out keywords, as well as your keyword responses

Washington v. Uber
Assurance of Discontinuance – Uber allegedly sent text messages without express consent, and allegedly failed to provide opt-out instructions in its text messages. The texts involved information intended for existing Uber drivers, and referrals to become Uber drivers. To fix the alleged TCPA & CEMA violations, Uber has entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance, promising to:

  • Obtain consent prior to sending texts
    • require referrers to obtain consent
  • Maintain robust opt-out processes
  • Include opt-out instructions in texts sent, and on its web site
    • in referral texts & subsequent texts
  • Prevent multiple referrals from being sent to the same number (make reasonable efforts)
  • Implement a program to monitor the above

In addition to the compliance requirements, a penalty of $40,000 was issued (to cover AG’s costs in investigating the matter).
jbho: a reminder that it’s not just the TCPA you need to worry about. States like Washington, Indiana, and New Jersey have telemarketing/anti-spam laws that are equally or even more restrictive.

Although, there may have been a bit of gamesmanship at play here. The example shows unrecognized stop requests that don’t even use the word “STOP”. An evolving tactic in TCPA litigation.

Nonetheless, you should make sure your system is set up to account for a broad range of opt-out keywords – including more colorful ones like in Mohamed v. Off Lease Only .

Additionally, any responses should not just say a request has been denied. An example of a great response (imho) to an unrecognized response can be found in Viggiano v. Kohl’s.

“Sorry we don’t understand the request! Text SAVE to join mobile alerts. Msg&DataRatesMayApply. Receive 5-7 msgs/mon. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.”

That case is ongoing, but I’m tracking it closely.


More TCPA Fun

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