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Papa John's faces $250 million spam lawsuit

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#1 Scorbing

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:04


Source: http://money.cnn.com....html?hpt=hp_t3

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Popular U.S. pizza chain Papa John's faces a $250 million class-action lawsuit for blasting customers with illegal text messages.

The plaintiffs allege that Papa John's (PZZA) franchises sent customers a total of 500,000 unwanted messages in early 2010. The spam texts offered deals for pizza, and some customers complained they were getting 15 or 16 texts in a row, even during the middle of the night, according Donald Heyrich, an attorney representing the class.




"After I ordered from Papa John's, my telephone started beeping with text messages advertising pizza specials," Erin Chutich, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement. "Papa John's never asked permission to send me text message advertisements."

The pizza franchises sent the text blasts through a mass text messaging service called OnTime4U, which is also a defendant in the case. When Papa John's was first sued in April 2010, the franchises allegedly ended their involvement with OnTime4U's text program, after the pizza company informed its corporate stores and franchisees that sending unsolicited messages to cellphones "is most likely illegal."

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 bars companies from sending advertisements via text message without a consumer first opting into the service.

Related: Text messaging falls for first time in U.S.

Caroline Oyler, Papa John's head of legal affairs, said that Papa John's corporate text messaging program is not subject to the lawsuit, as the text were sent "by third-party vendors and a small number of franchisees."

The class-action lawsuit could lead to the largest damages awards ever recovered under the TCPA, according to Heyrich. The plaintiffs are seeking $500 per text, but they could be awarded up to $1,500 for each message if a jury rules that Papa John's willfully broke the law.

"We have noticed text message spam is increasing in part because advertisers see it as a great way to get their material directly into the hands of customers," Heyrich said. "We hope this case keeps text message spam out of cellphones."

Related: Here comes the Windows Phone Hail Mary

Oyler, however, said that Papa John's sees "no basis" for the plaintiff's estimate of $250 million.

The nationwide class-action case was certified on Nov. 9 by U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour in Seattle. Papa John's plans to appeal the judge's ruling, Oyler said.

"We don't agree with it and will continue to aggressively defend it," she said. "We'll continue to litigate the case and defend the lawsuit and move to have it dismissed."

Shares of Papa John's fell by 1% on Tuesday and have fallen by nearly 2% since the judge ruled that the plaintiffs could join together.



#2 nvllsvm

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:06

$250 million seems ridiculous. Eventually, that cost will be put on the customers and employees.

#3 Hum

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:07

Good for Papa John's -- well deserved.

#4 Growled

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:10

The plaintiffs are seeking $500 per text, but they could be awarded up to $1,500 for each message if a jury rules that Papa John's willfully broke the law.


That seems rather extreme to me.

#5 Hum

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:13

^ The idea is to discourage other advertisers from doing the same.

#6 Krome

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:13

Justice is served.

#7 OP Scorbing

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:17

Even though I have no desire to follow that law suit, I was one of those people that kept getting text messages from them. They just stopped one day thank God.

#8 joep1984

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:26

After costs, they'll be lucky to see a nickel per text message.

#9 OP Scorbing

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 16:01

The guy has been getting a lot of heat lately for his comments about ObamaCare and how he is going to raise the price of his pizza because of it. Come on, seriously? This guy makes over 300 million dollars a year in profits and he can't afford to give his employees healthcare? Seriously?

#10 Original Poster

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 23:47

were is my money :/ they send me texts all the time ..along with pizzahut... and dominoes and pizzagogo and omg i eat to much pizza :/