Consumers generally do not like telemarketing. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) attempts to protect consumers from unwanted calls or text messages, but some companies appear to ignore the law. The complaint for this class action claims that Lithia Motors, Inc., which does business as Mercedes-Benz of Los Angeles (MBLA), is one such company and sent unlawful telemarketing messages to consumer cell phones.
The TCPA forbids telemarketers from placing telemarketing calls or sending telemarketing text messages to consumer cell phones, using automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDSs), unless they have the consumers’ prior express written consent.
Plaintiff Ajia Munns had not given her consent to MBLA, nor had she given the company her cell phone number, she claims. Nevertheless, the company began sending her telemarketing text messages in May 2020.
For example, on May 12, 2020, she received one such message offering her a link she could tap to schedule an appointment,” another she could tap “for more details on your recall(s)[,]” an address for the company, and a telephone number. The message said, “Hi Ajia, this is your service team at Mercedes Benz of Los Angeles.” It added, “Your 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class may be part of a Factory Recall Campaign. There is no charge to you for having this recall service performed.”
It also contained an instruction to “type STOP to STOP”. Munns did so, typing the word “Stop”. Thereafter, she received a reply message from the company: “‘You are currently opted out of receiving texts. Please send REJOIN or OPTIN to opt back in.’ Text STOP to opt out.”
Ten days later, on May 22, she received a message very similar to the first, inviting her to “tap” for more information, with a link, an address, and a telephone number. It said, “Your 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class still still shows to have an outstanding safety recall. Get your repairs completed at Mercedes Benz of Los Angeles, at no cost to you.”
Again, Munn replied, “STOP.” Again, MBLA sent her a reply saying she was opted out. However, the company continued to send her telemarketing text messages.
Two classes have been defined for this action:
The ATDS Class for this action is all persons in the US who received telemarketing text messages from MBLA on their cell phones, which were made through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, where the persons had not given their prior express consent to receive such text messages, between September 14, 2016 and September 14, 2020.
The ATDS Revocation Class is all persons in the US who received telemarketing messages from MBLA on their cell phones, which were made through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, where the persons had revoked any prior express consent to receive such text messages, between September 14, 2016 and September 14, 2020.