Man sues team over three extra text messages

Just under the wire for May…

If you’re a fan of just about anything, you can sign up for text message updates (also known as mobile alerts) from that thing. Sports teams often use them to send ticket deals and score updates to fans. Of course, these things are “opt-in,” so if you don’t want them, don’t sign up for them.

Fred Weiss signed up for mobile alerts from his beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. When he signed up, the team’s documentation said he’d received “no more than three texts per week.” In the first week, he received five text messages. The second week, four. That’s right, he received three extra text messages over a two week period. This was unacceptable. If there’s one man in the world that you don’t send three extra text messages to, it’s Fred Weiss. Fred Weiss isn’t going to stand around and let some automated service send messages that, assuming he doesn’t have an unlimited texting plan, cost him an extra 30 cents.

Weiss filed a class action lawsuit in California alleging the team violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and breached its contract:

By exceeding the authorized limits on weekly text message calls made to Plaintiff… Defendant has caused Plaintiff and the other members of the Class actual harm, not only because they were subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the invasion of privacy caused by unsolicited text message calls, but also because consumers frequently have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such wireless calls.

[The Consumerist, Pens Blog, Larry Brown Sports and Courthouse News]

I did mention this was an “opt in” thing, right? Weiss could simply opt out by texting STOP PENS to 32623. How do I know this?


I went to the website. This took 20 seconds.

Instead, he filed a lawsuit. Not just any lawsuit, but the Lawsuit of the Month.