Verizon Wireless Achieves Anti-Spam Settlement

Verizon Wireless Achieves Anti-Spam Settlement

Company Lawsuit Believed First in Colorado Aimed at Protecting Wireless Phone Customers from Repeated, Unsolicited Commercial Text Messages

October 15, 2001




Verizon Wireless today announced it has reached a settlement with Acacia National Mortgage Company that stops the lender from sending repeated, unsolicited commercial text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. In response to customer complaints, Verizon Wireless had filed a lawsuit against Acacia in Denver District Court, challenging the company's practice of sending repeated, unsolicited text messages-commonly called spam-under the Colorado Junk Email Law. The lawsuit is believed to be the first in Colorado to invoke junk email legislation to protect text messaging service for wireless phone customers.

"Our goal was to stop Acacia National Mortgage Company from spamming our customers," said Tom Roberts, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless' West Area. "Today's settlement accomplishes that and puts other potential spammers on notice that Verizon Wireless will take all appropriate legal action to stop junk email from clogging our customers' service," he added. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Verizon Wireless' investigation began following complaints from customers in Arizona and Colorado. "We found that Acacia was sending thousands of messages to our customers, almost on a daily basis," Roberts said. The messages were transmitted to Verizon Wireless customers who subscribe to text messaging - a service that sends short messages to their wireless phone handsets.

Verizon Wireless formally requested that Acacia stop this practice but the messages continued, leading to the filing of the lawsuit.

"Text messaging is a valuable service. We intend to preserve its value for our customers. To help us, we urge our customers to contact us immediately if they receive repeated, unsolicited messages. We will take action, including legal action, as quickly as possible to stop the spam. We are grateful to the state of Colorado. The Colorado Junk Email Law facilitated the swift resolution of this lawsuit," Roberts said.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.