Naperville firm charged in spam texting suit

By Julie Wernau
Posted Nov. 10, 2010 at 2:22 p.m.

A suit filed Tuesday in federal court alleges that a Naperville marketing firm has been spamming cell phone users with text messages in an attempt to sell magazine subscriptions for the publishers of US Weekly, Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal.

The suit claims that the unsolicited text messages not only represent “an especially pernicious form of marketing” but also are in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which bars¬† companies from making unsolicited calls to cell phones.
The suit asks that consumers who received the texts — sent from Consumer Benefit Services on behalf of Wenner Media — receive $500 per messages such as these:

“CONGRATULATIONS: U HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO RECEIVE A $50 SHOPPING VOUCHER AND 3 OF UR FAVORITE MAGAZINES!

CALL 888-210-8995 NOW. 2 END RPLY STOP.”

Consumers would be entitled to triple that amount if attorneys representing the plaintiffs can prove that the messages were sent in willful violation of the law, said Ryan Andrews, the Chicago attorney representing the class of plaintiffs, some of whom he said may have been charged by their cell phone providers for receiving the spam.

“I think most people find very few things more aggravating than receiving one of these text messages,” he said.

Reached by phone, Andy Cirmo, chief operating officer for Consumer Benefit Services, said he had not been served with the complaint.  He did not immediately provide comment after he was forwarded a copy of the suit via e-mail.

Representatives for Wenner Media did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

 

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3 comments:

  1. Cattin Nov. 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Now if we could just make political robo-calls illegal. That will probably never happen in my lifetime.

  2. Casey Nov. 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I completly agree with Cattin…if the number of political robo calls didnt contribute to voter disenchantment I dont know what will. 3-4 phone calls a night prior to the election is obscene. We need a do not call list for these political nut cases so I’m not disturbed during the 20 minutes of peace I have to spend with my family over dinner. INSANE!!

  3. Dawn Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.

    11/12/10

    I bought a cellular (several of them) over the last few years. I also received a million unwanted text messages and ads, incl. by phone, person, & on my e-mail. The phone rang & somebody wanted me to buy something. I want to know how to join in the class-action federal lawsuit in the news suing the Naperville marketing firm, & etc. Of course, it would never end. I want my $500, too. The cost of the cellulars was largely a waste of money. I invested in several different new ones over several years to get a new phone (& phone no.) and found it was listed or given out, both my phone nos. & e-mail address. Also by mail. It seems privacy has sometimes largely gone by the boards. Intrusions and invasions that are (were) illegal abound.