In the previous article entitled Permission Based Mobile Marketing – The What, the How, and the Benefits, we discussed the very basis for mobile marketing–permission & consent. To recap where we left off, permission based mobile marketing is defined as:
The practice of gaining consent from consumers in advance of a continuing marketing dialogue taking place on mobile devices and in return for some kind of value exchange.
Remember, you are to gain consent of an individual to receive text messages that have some kind of value to them. Please re-read the previous article if you have questions about permission based mobile marketing. The Mobile Marketing Association expects those participating in mobile marketing to adhere to the regulations set forth and ,of course, we know that there are those that do not want to comply and adhere to these regulations. Part 2 of permission based mobile marketing is going to explore some of the recent text message spamming lawsuits that have left some companies with very hefty legal bills.
The Most Recent
Last week, a California resident filed a class action lawsuit against a public relations firm for sending an unsolicited message to his phone. The message contained a simple message about quitting smoking, and according to the California man, the firm violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The going rate for this single unsolicited message? The man claims they should be penalized for at least 5 million dollars. See how easy it is to find yourself having to foot a huge bill for not adhering to permission based mobile marketing?
Similar events have happened in the past as well. Some well known cases of unsolicited messaging were filed in the last few years against companies such as Burger King and Jiffy Lube. An example of just how expensive this unsolicited messaging gamble can get is portrayed in a lawsuit that was filed against a publisher known as Simon & Schuster. The publishing company used an SMS promotion to promote a new book by Stephen King. The lawsuit was originally instated at $90 million, and the roughly 60,000 consumers affected could have received between $500 to $1500. They paid upwards of $175 to everyone who received the unsolicited messages and the ending bill reached an estimated $10 million dollars.
In reality, there are 2 types of SPAM. One type is when legitimate businesses fail to respect the regulations found in the TCPA. The other type of SPAM is when a business purchases lists of phone numbers from a third-party source and sends blasts of messages to unwilling subscribers. We’ve seen examples of legitimate businesses facing lawsuits for failing to respect the TCPA. Now we’ll look at an example of the latter form of spamming. In March of 2011, the Federal Trade Commission petitioned a federal judge to shutdown an illegal text messaging operation that was sending millions and millions of unsolicited messages to people. The messages contained a bogus claim of doing loan modification for mortgages and had a URL that appeared to be a government site. The perpetrator sent over 5 million in a period of 40 days, roughly equal to 85 messages per minute every hour of every day. Many of the consumers faced loss of money for lacking a texting plan and having to pay their wireless carriers for the unwanted messages that were received. In addition to sending the unsolicited messages, the perpetrator also illegally collected and sold the information of the people who replied to opt-out of the texts.
Obviously, there ARE repercussions for not following regulations set forth by the Mobile Marketing Association. As you can see by these real life examples, the repercussions are very weighty and very costly. We take highest priority in assuring that we as a texting message marketing company follow the regulations as closely as possible and educate clientele alike. If you have any questions regarding permission based mobile marketing, or mobile marketing period, contact us at 1-877-989-8180, send us an email, or visit our TXT180 website.