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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) should be renamed the Texting Consumer Protection Act. Companies such as Bebe have found texting is just another way to be slapped with a class action lawsuit for spamming.
Primary plaintiffs Melita Meyer, Courtney Barrett, and Samantha Rodriguez filed the class action lawsuit alleging clothing store Bebe sent them marketing text messages the plaintiffs never agreed to receive. The lead plaintiffs asserted that Bebe acquired their cell phone numbers at several of the chain’s store point of sales machines. After acquiring the phone numbers, Bebe then signed the plaintiffs up for membership into the Club Bebe, which represents a customer loyalty program. Shortly thereafter, Bebe started sending unauthorized advertising text messages.
The primary plaintiffs claim the Bebe sent the advertising text messages by using automated dialing equipment, which is another violation of the TCPA. Enacted in 1991 to stem the flood of telemarketing phone calls, the TCPA has evolved over the years to include restrictions on other forms of communication, such as text messaging. The landmark consumer protection law also forbids companies and organizations from using prerecorded messages to contact consumers.
In February 2015, the class action lawsuit endured a motion for dismissal submitted by the defense counsel. Bebe unsuccessfully contended the company had received consent from the plaintiffs. Both parties reached the class action settlement in June 2017. The terms of the settlement require Bebe to set up a fund that will distribute cash payments to eligible class members. Bebe continues to deny the charges, but the clothing retailer decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid costly litigation.
What You Need To Know About the Bebe Text Spam Class Action Settlement
According to class counsel, “Claimants may be eligible for payment if they gave their mobile phone number to Bebe at a Bebe store’s point of sale between Oct.16, 2013 and Jan. 21, 2014, and if they also received a text message from Bebe or on Bebe’s behalf before Jan. 22, 2014.” The maximum potential award for class members is $20. Eligible class members must provide contact information and the mobile phone number that received the unsolicited calls from Bebe.
The deadline to file a valid and timely claim form is October 17, 2017. The judge presiding over the case Meyer, et al. v. Bebe Stores Inc., Case No. 4:14-cv-00267, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has scheduled the final hearing on November 28, 2017. Visit the class action settlement website www.bebetcpasettlement.com to learn what transpired at the final hearing. Attorneys from the law firms Ecotech Law Group, Kearney Littlefield LLP, Strategic Legal Practices APC, and Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman LLC represent the class counsel. The law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP handles the defense for Bebe.
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