LAS VEGAS, NV — It began as a lawsuit aimed at protecting customer privacy against wireless spam. Now, Verizon Wireless has turned the settlement reached in the lawsuit into a $6,750 grant to The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas shelter serving homeless and abused women and children in crisis.
The donation is the result of the recent resolution of a federal lawsuit the company filed in Trenton, N.J., in June 2007 against Nevada-based I-VEST Global Corporation, and amended in October of that year to also include Illinois-based Expedite Media Corp. The suit alleged that unsolicited commercial electronic messages – or wireless spam – were sent by and on behalf of these companies to Verizon Wireless customers, offering information about buying stocks or real estate.
Text messaging represents an increasingly important tool used by wireless customers to stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family, as well as by public safety and emergency medical services personnel across the country.
Verizon Wireless’ subscribers exchanged 70 billion text messages in the second quarter of 2008. The company seeks to safeguard the value of this tool by taking legal action against spammers.
Consumer privacy record
Verizon Wireless’ record of aggressively protecting customer privacy has put it at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry.
Over the past several years, the company has won permanent injunctions not only against individuals and companies that have engaged in illegal telemarketing and text message spamming to Verizon Wireless customers, but also against those who have attempted to obtain information about customers to sell to third parties.
Grant to promote recovery
Serving Southern Nevada families since 1990, The Shade Tree is the largest facility designed to serve the needs of abused and homeless women and children in the State of Nevada. The grant will be used for the agency’s Victim Services Program for educational training and support group curriculum for the women and children whose lives have been touched by domestic violence.
“This is such a timely gift to the organization,” stated Marlene Richter, executive director of The Shade Tree. “There has been such a dramatic increase in the number of victims we are serving right now. The grant will assist those women and children who have found their way to our agency seeking safe shelter and a way out of a dangerous situation.”
“The grant is a win-win for our customers and for women and children in Las Vegas who are served by The Shade Tree,” said Tony Heyman, regional president, Verizon Wireless. “We stopped a company from spamming our customers, and we invested the spam settlement in an organization that shares our focus of curbing domestic violence in our community.”
The Verizon Wireless HopeLine program
Since Oct. 2001, Verizon Wireless has awarded nearly $5 million in cash grants and distributed more than 60,000 phones to organizations working to prevent and end domestic violence through its HopeLine® program.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.