Unsolicited text messages by satellite company spark lawsuit


Platinum Member
Username: Plymouth


Post Number: 13687
Registered: Jan-08
By Tracey Read

A Cleveland lawyer has filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to stop a California company from transmitting unsolicited spam text message ads to Ohio cell phones.

San Diego-based American Satellite Inc. sent thousands of texts nationwide in December, promoting an offer to provide "great" satellite TV service, consumer protection attorney Joseph R. Compoli Jr. said.

Compoli filed suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Monday to coincide with National Stop Spam Texting Week, which ends Sunday.

Sending unsolicited advertisements to cell phones via text message is prohibited under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.

Under these laws, anyone can sue for at least $500 per spam text message received in the past four years, plus the right to seek a court order to prevent all future spam text messages.

Compoli explained why he and his attorney, James Goodluck, filed the suit.

"The transmission of spam text message advertisements, cheap and illegal, give an enormous advantage to the sender over businesses that obey the law by using legitimate advertising methods," Compoli said.

"Honest advertisers pay to get their message out to the public."

Officials for American Satellite declined comment.

Compoli said he personally received a text message on his cell phone from American Satellite on Dec. 2, 2009, advertising free HBO and Showtime.

The ad violated his right of privacy, according to the suit assigned to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John D. Sutula.

Compoli is seeking $500 in damages for each alleged violation, plus attorney's fees.

National Stop Spam Texting Week is a nationwide consumer education project of the Telemarketing, Spam & Junk Fax Litigation Group of the American Alliance for Justice.

"Many people mistakenly believe that spam text messages are only sent by little-known or fly-by-night companies," Compoli said.

"In fact, such advertisements have been transmitted as part of mass marketing campaigns by major corporations such as 20th Century Fox and Simon & Schuster."
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