Uber Sued to Stop Spam Texts

Uber ride service has been spam-bombing people with text messages in an attempt to recruit drivers and its making people crazy, or so says a class action lawsuit filed the last day of 2014 in federal court.

Four recipients of the unwanted texts accused Uber of sending the repeat texts in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and their privacy rights.

Congress passed the TCPA to give consumers a chance to avoid unwanted telemarketer calls and bans phone calls made using automatic telephone dialing systems, according to the lawsuit.

Uber is a worldwide ride service that uses a cellphone application to connect riders and drivers and allows users to request and pay for on-demand car services.  Drivers use their own cars and pay Uber a fee for the rides provided.

Uber recruits drivers through a number of methods, but the lawsuit alleges one method is the sending of prolific text messages to prospective Uber drivers.

The lawsuit cites a Dec. 11 article by Vice news that Uber messages were angering people who could not stop the high volume.  One person complained of being texted at 1:44am and 4:10am on Christmas eve and requests to stop were ignored.  Another cited a person who received 32 texts from Uber in two weeks.

The four named plaintiffs are from Nashua, New Hampshire, Gresham, Oregon, Lees Summit, Missouri and Salem, Oregon.

They argue the text messages from Uber constitute artificial or prerecorded voice calls barred by the law.

The lawsuit seeks $500 for each text message violation of the TCPA over the past four years and $1,500 in damages for each knowing or willful violation of the law as well as an injunction prohibiting Uber from sending texts via an autodialer process.

Case: Reardon v. Uber Technologies Inc., No. 14-cv-5678



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