Spam Text Message Claims May Proceed Against Franchisee and its Marketing Firm

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In September 2011, a group of consumers filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in California against Heartland Automotive Services, Inc. (Heartland) and marketer TextMarks, Inc. (TextMarks) for alleged violations of the TCPA. Heartland is a Jiffy Lube franchisee that operates in several hundred locations. The plaintiffs alleged that Heartland hired Textmarks to run a marketing campaign that included sending text messages offering discounted services. Plaintiffs also alleged that in sending the text messages, TextMarks used equipment that “had the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator” and that the messages were made “en masse” and without plaintiffs’ prior express consent.

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