Deceptive AdvertisingTCPA Violations

Lyft Robocall Class Action

Lyft Robocall Class Action

Lyft has reportedly forced its customers into accepting or agreeing to robocalls and texts. This is reported by the FCC to be an illegal practice. If you or anyone you know has downloaded Lyft’s mobile device app, your rights to privacy may have been violated. Please contact us using the form on this page or call us at 817-455-6822. You may be part of a class action lawsuit. An investigation is ongoing.

Background

The San Francisco-based company, which is reportedly valued at $2.5 billion, operates a taxi service of sorts. Peer-to-peer ride-sharing is what the company calls its main business generating operation. Lyft hires people who want to make income without going to work for a traditional taxicab company, to give rides to its customers. The problems highlighted in the Federal Communications Commission complaint revolve around Lyft requiring downloaders of their app to provide mobile telephone numbers, which can then be spammed with robocalls.

Lyft’s Legal Violations

This is not a new problem for people that have downloaded the Lyft mobile device app. The company settled a lawsuit in 2014 in Washington for very similar violations of consumers’ rights. The 2014 lawsuit’s claims were based around unwanted marketing communications from Lyft through text messages. Unwanted text messages are usually called robotexts by consumer protection authorities. The practices at the heart of the lawsuit violate consumer privacy laws and have become a very common problem in the last few years, with FCC actions being taken against companies like Microsoft and Paypal. For more on investigations involving violations by these companies, click here.

In the Washington class-action lawsuit, the complaint describes text messages that are automatically generated by its smartphone application. When people want to request a ride from a Lyft driver, they have to download the application and enter a valid telephone number and credit card. Through the app, users can invite their friends to download the Lyft application and use the service themselves. The app lets users invite friends by populating a list of the person’s contacts and then allowing them to choose which of their contacts receive a text message.

The TCPA

The TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, was created in 1991 to govern phone solicitations in which automated telephone dialing systems were used. Since then, the law has been updated to extend protections to text messages, cell phones, and fax machines. The main rule is that it is illegal to make robocalls to people without obtaining their consent. Businesses that want to use autodialers and prerecorded/artificial voice messages have to obtain the prior written consent from consumers. Another major rule is that it is illegal to make robocalls to cell phones or any other service that charges the recipient for the call.

Potential Class Action

Lyft has violated the same consumer protection rules on multiple occasions as shown by the settled lawsuit in Washington state court and the FCC’s citation in September. In September, Lyft was notified by the FCC of a citation for “infringing consumers’ rights to be free from unauthorized marketing calls.” If you or anyone you know has downloaded the Lyft app, your rights may have been violated. It is a federal offense to force people to consent to robocalls. Please contact us using the form on this page or call The Class Action News at 817-455-6822. You may be part of a class action lawsuit.

 

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