BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless said today that in its ongoing efforts to protect customer privacy, the company has filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania-based Money Warehouse, Inc. (doing business as All State Mortgage Lender) and other John Does alleging they sent at least 800,000 wireless spam messages promoting mortgage products to Verizon Wireless customers and employees beginning in February 2009.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., alleges these unsolicited messages were sent using an autodialer to randomly-generated numbers in violation of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits the use of an autodialer to call wireless phones.
“At a time when many Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments, these types of unwanted text messages, from unknown senders, can be upsetting,” said Steven E. Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel at Verizon Wireless. “Our company will continue to work diligently to stop these people who break the law and harass our customers.”
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 customers exchanged 127 billion text messages in the fourth quarter of 2008, 18.2 billion more than the previous quarter, for an average of more than 1 billion per day.
Wireless spam may hinder the delivery of legitimate messages, and because spam is often sent in high volume over short periods of time, it can place a strain on the overall performance of the wireless network.
Since 2004, Verizon Wireless has brought nearly 20 lawsuits against wireless spammers, telemarketers and pretexters, and the company’s record of protecting customer privacy puts it at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry. Verizon Wireless has won permanent injunctions against individuals and companies that have engaged in illegal telemarketing or wireless spamming to Verizon Wireless customers, and against those who have attempted to obtain information about Verizon Wireless customers to sell to third parties. On behalf of its customers, Verizon Wireless has donated tens of thousands of dollars to domestic violence prevention and law enforcement organizations as a result of these settlements.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.