Story 2015-09-14 MCR7 FCC busts Lyft and First National Bank for forcing customers to accept robocalls & spam texts

FCC busts Lyft and First National Bank for forcing customers to accept robocalls & spam texts

in ask on (#MCR7)
story imageUnder the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, any company wanting to make robocalls to consumers must obtain “prior express written consent.” Additionally, the consumer must not be required to agree to accept these calls “as a condition of purchasing any property, goods, or services.” But the FCC says First National Bank and Lyft violated these rules by telling people that if they wanted to be customers of these businesses, they had to accept robocalls or spam texts.

While the First National citation appears pretty cut-and-dry, the Lyft citation is a little more complicated. The ridesharing service’s Terms of Service automatically opt-in a customer to robocalls and texts. The company claims in the terms that it offers an “unsubscribe” option but no details could be found on the Lyft site for avoiding robocalls. And stopping marketing texts from Lyft was only possible by stopping all texts from Lyft, including security confirmation texts needed to log in to one’s Lyft account. “In other words, exercising the option to decline marketing messages made it impossible to use Lyft’s services,” reads the citation, which deems Lyft’s opt-out representation as “illusory in nature.”

The FCC has given both companies 30 days to reply to the citations and called on them to cease the allegedly unlawful practices. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $16,000 for each future violation or for each day of a continued violation.
Reply 2 comments

Maybe thats the source of the spam? (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-16 14:21 (#MME8)

I wonder if that's how I'm on some terrible lists of scam artist phone guys. Which is terrible, they won't fall for any of my counter scams. I tried selling an extended warranty company a list of names and phone numbers, but they didn't bite. I've tried to slow play them several times, pretended to be interested ask a number of questions, some relevant, some absurd. I've been really tempted to to take extra legal action to shut them down, but obviously that would be illegal. Two wrongs don't make a right and what not. So the fcc complaint dept is pretty familiar with me.

Re: Maybe thats the source of the spam? (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-17 15:04 (#MR6J)

Got a little farther with them last night, I actually got to the "real" company behind them by pretending to anxious and concerned that I wouldn't qualify for their service. So maybe that will help the FCC. I was pretty polite this time, even when I got to the real manager. Everything he told me was a complete lie, sadly. I almost started to think for a bit that they might actually be providing a service that would be valued by some customers. But no, they are a scam company. Nothing makes a scam company more eager to seal the deal than when you pretend to be be their ideal customer mark, that wants more than what they initially offered to provide.