Moss Bros. Auto Group has agreed to a $2.5 million class-action settlement in a case involving ringless voicemails.
The allegations against the Riverside, California, auto group claim the company continuously used ringless voicemails for "aggressive unsolicited marketing" in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Ringless voicemails are phone calls that deliver messages directly to a consumer's voicemail and do not cause the phone to ring. The messages are "essentially the same as the method for transmitting text messages,” the plaintiff claimed.
However, phone owners cannot block ringless voicemails like they can other unsolicited phone calls.
Auto dealers often use this method to telemarket to customers without being accused of violating the law. However, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits pre-recorded or automatic telephone dialing systems from contacting consumers without prior written consent.
Jamal Johnson began receiving ringless voicemails from Moss Bros. in 2019 and reported he had not given prior written consent. He continued to receive the voicemails from February 2019 through October 2019.
Johnson filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in December 2019. Laster, the lawsuit was certified as a class action suit that grew to 2,385 members, according to court documents.
The court approved a $2.5 million settlement in June. It includes $625,700 in attorney fees and a $5,000 service payment for Johnson. Class members are eligible for an estimated $46.
The settlement also requires Moss' dealerships to “adopt policies and procedures regarding compliance with the TCPA and the National Do Not Call Registry.”