On September 11, 2015, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (Abercrombie) and Hollister Co. (Hollister) agreed to settle a class action complaint alleging that the two clothing retailers violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited text messages to customers’ cell phones without prior written express consent. Abercrombie and Hollister agreed to pay $10 million to end this action, to over 3.7 million consumers.
The complaint filed back in August 2014 by lead plaintiffs, Anamaria Chimeno-Buzzi and Lakedrick Reed, alleged that they each received several text message advertisements from the two clothing retailers between June 2014 and April 2014, and that neither of them ever provided their cell phone numbers or prior express written consent. Additionally, the complaint alleged that the text message advertisements did not contain any language related to the customers’ ability to opt-out of receiving future text messages.
Abercrombie and Hollister have not yet determined the best practicable means of notice to the potential class members, and have requested that the court appoint a class-action administrator to handle that process. Yet again, another lesson in TCPA compliance, always get prior express written consent, and always allow your customers an chance to opt-out.