The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) covers telemarketing to consumers, whether by telephone, fax, voicemail, or text message. The complaint for this class action alleges that Iqvia, Inc. violated the TCPA when it sent telemarketing faxes to consumers without their consent and without meeting the requirements of the law.
Congress passed the TCPA in 1991 because automated telecommunications equipment had become widely available, making it possible for advertisers to contact tens of thousands of people per day—mostly to the annoyance of those tens of thousands of people.
In 2005, the TCPA was amended with the Junk Fax Prevention Act. Junk faxes were a particular annoyance to consumers, including business consumers. Besides being an invasion of privacy, they tied up phone lines and fax machines, used up paper and toner, and wasted the time of people who had to figure out what to do with them.
In this case, the allegedly offending faxes were sent by Iqvia, a for-profit company that offers market research through its subsidiary Impact Network. The plaintiff in this case, Carlos M. Boileve, DC, a chiropractic business, received an unsolicited research study request on its fax machine on April 13, 2016. The fax solicited the business’s participation in a research program.
The fax was entitled “Elite Mobile Research Program” and offered a free iPhone or iPad and a monthly fee for participation. The opening paragraphs read,
“Nearly 4,000 top physicians cas[h]ed an honorarium check this month in exchange for their thoughts, opinions and expertise on treatment options. Join them today!
“Limited spots are available in the Impact Network Elite research program. Our exclusive community of physicians provides deep insight into available treatment options.”
Following the pitch, the fax provided directions on how to join the research program and contact information.
The fax allegedly did not provide an opt-out notice. The TCPA not only requires telemarketing faxes to carry opt-out notices on their first page, it sets forth requirements that they must meet in order to be compliant.
The complaint says that Carlos M. Boileve, DC did not give its prior express invitation or permission to Iqvia to send it advertising faxes.
The class for this action is
- All persons who,
- Between February 3, 2016 and February 3, 2020,
- Were sent faxes of material advertising the commercial availability of property, goods, or services by or on behalf of Iqvia
- From whom Iqvia did not get prior express invitation or permission to send such faxes or
- With whom Iqvia did not have an established business relationship, and
- Where the faxes did not include a complaint opt-out notice.