The Pittsburgh Penguins have a Mobile Club in which fans can receive text message alerts about team news, three stars of the game and other stuff you'll quickly delete.
Fred Weiss is a California resident that signed up for the service, and was unhappy with the amount of text alerts he was receiving. How unhappy? He's suing the Penguins.
The lawsuit, brought last week in the U.S. District Court in California's Central District, says that the Penguins violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending more text messages than agreed to in the terms and conditions.
According to the complaint, when the plaintiff signed up for the text alerts — intended to provide information like player trades, breaking news, and special team-related offers — the agreement on the Penguins website states the team will send a maximum of three texts per week.
The suit [via CourthouseNews], which seeks class-action status, is asking the court for an injunction that would prevent the team from texting beyond the 3/week limit. It's also asking for unspecified damages.
Did the Penguins actually do anything in violation of their agreement? Or did someone build am absurd waste of a case around misread fine print?
Here's more from the lawsuit:
Your carrier's standard messaging and data rates apply to all SMS correspondence. Other charges may apply. By subscribing, you consent to receiving, from time to time, further text messages from us which may include offers from us, our affiliates and partners. Available on participating carriers. Maximum of 3 messages a week. To end this service, text "STOP" to 32623. For help text "HELP" to 32623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-642-1300.
Now, in scanning the lawsuit, it doesn't appear Weiss ever attempted to unsubscribe to the text alerts. Because obviously bringing legal action against the Penguins is more cost effective and a better use of everyone's time than sending the word "STOP" to 32623.
But speaking to the suit: Unless we're completely misreading this, it appears the "maximum of three messages" is in reference to text alerts above and beyond — aka "further" — the ones about the Penguins, from "us, our affiliates and partners." You know, direct marketing stuff. As long as that content didn't exceed three messages, there's no case.
Why are we even applying logic to this? Two messages above the misunderstood maximum is "excess"? Signing up for something, deciding you don't like it, and then subjecting yourself to further aggravation is an "invasion of privacy"? Good lord.
Poor Pittsburgh. The last time we saw something from the Penguins exploited like this for someone else's benefit, Marc-Andre Fleury finished the first round with an .834 save percentage ...