Papa John’s Settles $16.5 Million for Text SPAM Class Action TCPA Lawsuit

Marketing

Papa John’s Settles $16.5 Million for Text SPAM Class Action TCPA Lawsuit

Client

Papa John’s International Inc.,

Summary

Papa John Agreed to $16.5M Text Spam Message To Customers In Violation Of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

On May 17, 2013 Papa John’s agreed to a $16.5 million class action lawsuit settlement over allegations it sent unwanted text messages to customers in violation of the (TCPA) Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The class action lawsuit (Agne, et al. v. Papa John’s International Inc., et al.) that accuses the pizza chain of sending unwanted promotional pizza specials text marketing messages to more than 500,000 without obtaining consent from it’s customers .

The Pizza chain did deny of any wrongdoing from the start of the case, with the argument that customers gave consent to receive promotional messages when they provided their telephone numbers when purchasing a pizza. The franchise also argued that they did not hire the marketing firms OnTime4U to send the text messages, and — as a franchisor — it is not liable for the actions of its franchisees but the argument was rejected by the U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour.

Erin Chutich was one of the plaintiffs in the Papa John’s TCPA class action lawsuit. Erin said that Papa John’s never asked permission to send her text message advertisements. This came shortly after ordering pizza from Papa Johns,  she started receiving text messages advertising pizza specials.

According to the attorneys representing Papa John’s customers “Many customers complained to Papa John’s that they wanted the text messages to stop, and yet thousands of spam text messages kept coming week after week”. This is another case of good text messaging gone bad, and should be a wake up call to SMS marketers. Papa Johns agreed to the proposed class action settlement, the franchise paid up to $11 million in cash payments to roughly 220,000 customers who were sent at least one unsolicited text message that marketed a Papa John’s branded product, good or service through OnTime4U. And a whooping $2.86 million was distributed as vouchers for a free Papa John’s Pizza, attorneys’s fees where $2.45 million this was according to court documents filed Friday, May 17 2013.

In nutshell, consumers do not want to be spammed on their cell phones. Get permission from your customers, do not send them unsolicited text messages without their consent all else we’ll read about your law suite next. It’s as simple as that.

Kenneth Momanyi

Enforcement of the TCPA Case Studies

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