Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is the largest credit union in the US, with over 8 million members, serving former military members and their families. People don’t usually think of the Navy as being lax about regulations, but the complaint for this class action alleges NFCU violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when it sent unwanted text messages to consumer cell phones.
Congress passed the TCPA to reduce the barrage of telemarketing directed at consumers and to give consumers choice about which companies were permitted to contact them. Cell phones were a particular concern, because cell phone owners typically pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls.
The TCPA makes it unlawful to “make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service[.]”
In fact, however, plaintiff Ben Hawkins says he has received nearly five 500 autodialed text messages from NFCU on his cell phone. The complaint gives two examples of these:
On January 4, 2017, he received an autodialed text message saying, in part, “Free NFCU Alert. Debit Card ending in 8526 expires 04/17. To auto renew, use your card within the next two months.”
On July 15, 2017, he received another autodialed message saying, in part, “The current balance of S1 is $0.00. The balance may not reflect recent transactions. Use LAST to view recent activity.”
The really annoying part of this is that Hawkins, as the complaint says, “does not have, and has never had, an account, credit card, or debit card issued by NFCU. Indeed, Plaintiff has never been a customer or member of NFCU, and NFCU did not have Plaintiff’s consent to send text messages to his cell phone.”
According to the complaint, NFCU uses a company called Fiserv to make these calls, and it claims that to send these calls Fiserv uses either an automatic dialing system called Monitise or a similar system.
The class for this action is