Facebook Settles Text Messaging Suit Even If It Probably Didn't Need To

from the less-of-a-hassle dept

Back in October we pointed to a totally pointless lawsuit against Facebook from a woman who blamed the company because her mobile phone was getting text messages from Facebook against her wishes. The problem with the lawsuit, however, was that it wasn't Facebook's fault, as the reason the woman was getting the errant text messages was because she had received a new phone number. The previous owner of the number had signed up to receive the text messages, and they carried over to the new subscriber. There's no doubt that this could be quite annoying and upsetting to the woman, but it's hard to see how Facebook really should have known about it or could be seen as the party liable here -- so it appeared to be yet another lawsuit where someone targets a hot company just because it's a hot company. In this case, though, it appears to have worked. Facebook has agreed to settle the lawsuit and pay the legal fees of the plaintiff, while also agreeing to make it easier to stop such text messages and working with mobile operators to learn about recycled numbers. While Facebook probably had a decent chance of winning the case, from a PR/user relations standpoint it probably made sense to settle and do everything possible to make this less of a problem.
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Filed Under: class action, recycled numbers, text messaging
Companies: facebook


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  1. identicon
    Iron Chef, 18 Dec 2007 @ 7:53pm

    Not Facebook's Fault..

    Honestly, I don't know what to think about this. It's nice that it was settled, but on the other hand, it seems maybe it was outside of Facebook's control.

    Obviously, the new person didn't know about the 90 day standard before re-assigning a new number, or maybe this requirement was limited to only a few companies.

    Or possibly, Facebook didn't know about the 90 day FCC requirement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Iron Chef, 18 Dec 2007 @ 7:55pm

    Iron Chef wants his to show up.

    Don't piss off Iron Chef.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Iron Chef, 18 Dec 2007 @ 7:55pm

    Iron Chef wants his to show up.

    Don't piss off Iron Chef.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Iron Chef, 18 Dec 2007 @ 7:56pm

    Ok let's try this again with a [Shrug]..

    Geez, Mike. You need to get a few good programmers or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 18 Dec 2007 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Not Facebook's Fault..

    I've gotten calls from people who have gotten one of my old phone numbers complaining about the amount of junk calls they were getting in my name. This was several years after moving on from that number.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Iron Chef, 18 Dec 2007 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Re: Not Facebook's Fault..

    I've gotten calls from people who have gotten one of my old phone numbers complaining about the amount of junk calls they were getting in my name. This was several years after moving on from that number.

    I hate this too. So how do we deal with this? There's a 90 day FCC restriction on reassigning numbers. It's quite annoying that telemarkerters don't follow these rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2007 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Facebook's Fault..

    It has nothing to do with telemarketers not following any rules. When a number is issued, and the subscriber hands out that number, or signs up for premium services (like joke of the day or whatever), those services continue even when the number is being held for reassignment. So, when the number gets turned back on, the service, which never stopped sending, now gets delivered.

    With 99% of these services, if you text "unsubsribe" or "stop" or something like that back to the message and you will be removed from the service. I guess it was easier for this person to sue than to send a text message.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2007 @ 6:32am

    Seems like it would of been simple for facebook to have elimiated the problem. Every 60 days either make the people resubscribe or send them some type of msg they can reply back to that will confirm they still want the txt messages. Any lawsuit that makes a company change things for that better can't be all that bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2007 @ 6:32am

    Seems like it would of been simple for facebook to have elimiated the problem. Every 60 days either make the people resubscribe or send them some type of msg they can reply back to that will confirm they still want the txt messages. Any lawsuit that makes a company change things for that better can't be all that bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Tech, 19 Dec 2007 @ 7:46am

    Need the details

    If the lady actually tried to contact facebook and get it stopped and they didnt do a thing, then the case is just.

    Social sites like facebook are internet toilets anyway

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 19 Dec 2007 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Facebook's Fault..

    With 99% of these services, if you text "unsubsribe" or "stop" or something like that back to the message and you will be removed from the service. I guess it was easier for this person to sue than to send a text message.


    How do you send text from a landline?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Jonathan, 19 Dec 2007 @ 10:18am

    Facebook was not profiting from the messages

    These were standard rate messages. She was paying for them yes, but Facebook could not make money from standard rate messages.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2007 @ 10:23am

    So the lady bitched to Facebook about the problem and Facebook did nothing about it.

    She filed a lawsuit, got some bad PR for Facebook, incurred some legal fees. Then Facebook fixes the problem and pays her legal fees.

    Something seems wrong here, couldn't they have just fixed the problem in the first place?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Iron Chef, 19 Dec 2007 @ 11:30pm

    Thoughts...

    Not to borrow from another's great works, but when the lawyers get involved, "It's too late to apologize".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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