Papa John’s sued for spamming

Pizza company sent 500,000 unsolicited texts in 2010

Papa John’s has a problem—a $250 million problem.

The pizza company made headlines last week when it announced it would reduce workers’ hours and raise food prices to offset health care costs. And, not making matters better, yesterday a judge certified a $250 million class action suit against the company stemming from claims it engaged in excessive spamming.

According to the suit, Papa John’s was working through a third-party text distributor in early 2010 when it sent about 500,000 text messages to recipients who had not consented to receiving them—a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Plaintiffs' attorney Donald Heyrich told the Examiner that the texts were innocuous—offering promotions on pizzas—but the frequency and timing of the texts were the bigger problem. Some customers received 15 or 16 texts in a row, and some received text messages in the middle of the night, the suit says.

The TCPA requires companies to get permission from consumers before sending them solicitation texts and imposes as much as a $500-per-text fine for violations.

The suit also names as defendants the third-party text distributor, OneTime4U, as well as several Papa John’s franchisees.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about the dangers of spamming:

Regulatory: New Canadian anti-spam legislation with significantly impact businesses

Understanding Canada’s anti-spam law

U.S. companies may still be unprepared for Canada’s anti-spam act

Twitter sues 5 most aggressive tool providers and spammers

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Cathleen Flahardy

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