On February 13, a national class action lawsuit was filed against prepaid mobile phone operator Tracfone Wireless Inc., alleging that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending a text message advertisement via an automatic telephone dialing system, or “ATDS.   

Plaintiff Brian Gallant alleges that Tracfone sent him a singular spam text message via ATDS on December 24, 2018, advertising its prepaid cellular phone services.  Gallant alleges, however, that he has been registered on the National Do Not Call Registry since November 2017.  Accordingly, he alleges that Tracfone violated the TCPA as he did not give his consent to be contacted by Tracfone.  

Gallant’s complaint also contains numerous allegations regarding the “long code” nature of the telephone number allegedly used by Tracfone.  Gallant alleges that by using this standard, 10-digit phone number, Tracfone could “send SMS text messages en masse, while deceiving recipients into believing that the message was personalized and sent from a telephone number operated by an individual.” 

Gallant seeks TCPA statutory damages — $500 for each violation of the statute — for himself and all other similarly affected individuals nationwide who received spam texts from Tracfone between February 2015 and February 13, 2019.  Gallant also seeks an injunction preventing further alleged TCPA violations by Tracfone.  

The Tracfone class action is just one of the latest TCPA suits filed while consumer-facing companies and plaintiffs attorneys alike eagerly await the Federal Communications Commission’s pending decision on the definition of ATDS.