On June 10, 2014, Best Buy Co., Inc. (“Best Buy”) agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action in which class members accused Best Buy of making unsolicited automated telephone calls related to a customer rewards program.
The suit was filed in April 2010. Class members filed suit because they received telephone calls related to their redemption of “Reward Zone” points—the class argued that these telephone calls were not simply informational calls, but that they constituted telemarketing calls under the TCPA. The class also alleged that Best Buy violated the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Act, which also prohibits telemarketing calls without prior consent from the consumer.
A Washington federal court approved the settlement agreement, which will be paid out as follows: approximately $3.2 million of the settlement will be divided among 439,000 Washington State class members and 42,000 class members from various other states; the additional funds will be distributed for court-awarded fees and expenses. More and more TCPA class action settlements are popping up. Businesses must be sure they are following TCPA requirements or they could end up tangled in litigation.