TCPA & Robocall Settlements
Last week a California federal judge denied a bid by Yelp to defeat a proposed class action accusing the company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Yelp allegedly made unauthorized telemarketing calls to consumers, and their bid was denied as they have yet to show that they had an existing relationship, consisting of two-way communication involving at a transaction, with lead plaintiff Jonathan Sapan.
Yelp originally moved for summary judgment in February, claiming that the calls made to Sapan were not in violation of the TCPA – as it permits businesses to solicit consumers with whom they have an existing business relationship. Meanwhile, Sapan denies any existing relationship and notes that Yelp hasn’t provided any of the requirements to show an established business relationship. “It is clear that the parties have genuine disputes of material fact that preclude summary judgment,” said U.S. District Judge Donato in an order. “The contested evidence, and witness credibility, will need to be decided by a trier of fact.”
$7.5M TCPA Deal
Payment processing company Total Merchant Services Inc. is accused of making more than 235,000 telemarketing calls in violation of the TCPA. In a deal preliminary approved by a California federal judge, the company is set to pay $7.5 million for the violation.
The company is ending its relationship with Quality Merchant Services Inc., its sales representative, which was responsible for the automated calls. Both companies will stop using automated dialing systems and prerecorded messages without written consent from recipients of its telemarketing messages.