The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lays out requirements for how advertisers can obtain permission to send customers telemarketing messages. However, the complaint for this class action claims that Boll & Branch obtains consumer numbers even from a simple call to their 800 number and doesn’t bother about permission.
The TCPA was intended to give consumers say in the companies from which they received telemarketing. Cell phones were a particular concern under the law, because cell phone owners usually pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls, making telemarketing an expense as well as a bother.
As the law stands now, it is unlawful for telemarketers to place calls to consumer cell phones using automatic dialing systems or artificial or prerecorded voices unless the consumers have given their prior express written consent to receive such calls.
The law also specifies how telemarketers may obtain this consent from consumers.
Plaintiff Dena Griffith called Boll & Branch’s toll-free number on August 5, 2019 to ask a question about ordering from the company. It was a short call; in fact, she did not even ask her question as she located the answer to it at the moment when a representative answered. She simply called and then hung up.
Shortly after she hung up, she received three text messages. All three said the same thing: “Hi there! Thank you so much for speaking with one of our Boll & Branch Dreamers! Please let us know what you thought of your experience today by answering the following question: How would you rate the support you received?” The message finished with “You can copy the following URL into your browser to rate…”
The complaint claims that Boll & Branch obtained Griffith’s number “in a nonconsensual and indeed surreptitious manner, via an automated technological process known as ‘number trapping.’” It also alleges that the text messages were sent through the use of an automatic dialing system.
Griffith was not informed that her number would be recorded and used for any purpose, the complaint says, and she did not give her consent to receive text messages from the company.
The class for this action is all persons in the US who, at any time between August 18, 2015 and the present, called the number (800) 678-3234 from a telephone number assigned to a cell phone and after that receive one or more text messages to that cell phone number sent by Boll & Branch, or anyone acting on its behalf, via Twilio’s Copilot technology.