A column by McGuireWoods litigators Jarrod Shaw and Elizabeth Thomas on the potential perils of using text messaging as a marketing medium without securing proper consent from the texts’ recipients was published as a Jan. 23 Law360 “Expert Analysis.”
Shaw and Thomas, both based in the Pittsburgh office, noted that violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act can be costly for a business with smart-phone customers entitled to $500 to $1,500 per unwanted text. TCPA lawsuits are also proliferating, they said, and cited a 17.6 percent increase from October to November 2017. And of the 348 TCPA actions filed in November, one-fifth were class actions.
Businesses can stay out of trouble by following the guidance of court decisions, the authors wrote in the analysis, which cited key cases and gave examples.
The bottom line: Businesses that seek a customer’s cell phone information for text-message marketing must clarify in advance how they intend to use that information and obtain the proper consent for those purposes from the customer.