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Robinhood Financial Unwanted Text Message Washington CEMA Class Action

Robinhood Financial, LLC helps consumers to invest in stocks without paying commissions. As a marketing ploy, Robinhood runs a Refer a Friend promotion that provides rewards to customers who get friends or associates to use Robinhood. However, one target of this referral program claims that the text message he received violates Washington state’s Consumer Electronic Mail Act (CEMA).

The complaint quotes the law as saying that it is illegal for a person to “initiate or assist in the transmission of an electronic commercial text message to a telephone number assigned to a Washington resident for cellular telephone or pager service…”

CEMA’s original purpose was to stop the sending of unwanted e-mails containing information that is false and misleading. However, the state legislature amended the law to apply to the sending of commercial text messages to consumer cell phones.

Robinhood invites users to make referrals through a Rewards feature. The user clicks on Rewards or Earn Rewards, and then on Invite Contacts or Share Link. The user may then choose contacts from the phone’s contact list. This brings up the phone’s text message program, already showing a text message of the company’s marketing content. The only other thing the user has to do is to hit Send.

These actions—rewarding and incentivizing users to send messages, providing the technical means to do so, composing the invitation message, and so on—constitutes assistance and support for the sending of the text message.

According to the complaint, Robinhood does not get the recipients’ prior consent to receive the referral text messages and it “consciously avoids knowing whether its users send the commercial marketing text messages without obtaining recipients’ clear and affirmative consent in advance…” It does not warn users that they should obtain such consent before sending a referral message, and no controls exist to the program that would require such consent.

The text message was received by the plaintiff in this case, Cooper Moore, on March 14, 2018. It read, “Join Robinhood and we’ll both get a stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint for free. Make sure you use my link.” Moore had not given clear and affirmative consent to receive this message.

The class for this action is all persons

  • To whose telephone number Robinhood initiated or assisted in the transmission of one or more commercial electronic text messages as part of its referral program between August 9, 2017 and the date the class is certified in this case,
  • Where the message was sent while the person lived in Washington, and
  • While the number to which the message was sent was assigned to a cell phone or pager service equipped with short message capability or any similar capability allowing the transmission of text messages.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Robinhood Financial Unwanted Text Message Washington CEMA Complaint

August 9, 2021

Robinhood Financial, LLC helps consumers to invest in stocks without paying commissions. As a marketing ploy, Robinhood runs a Refer a Friend promotion that provides rewards to customers who get friends or associates to use Robinhood. However, one target of this referral program claims that the text message he received violates Washington state’s Consumer Electronic Mail Act (CEMA).

Robinhood Financial Unwanted Text Message Washington CEMA Complaint

Case Event History

Robinhood Financial Unwanted Text Message Washington CEMA Complaint

August 9, 2021

Robinhood Financial, LLC helps consumers to invest in stocks without paying commissions. As a marketing ploy, Robinhood runs a Refer a Friend promotion that provides rewards to customers who get friends or associates to use Robinhood. However, one target of this referral program claims that the text message he received violates Washington state’s Consumer Electronic Mail Act (CEMA).

Robinhood Financial Unwanted Text Message Washington CEMA Complaint
Tags: Unsolicited Text Messages