In a class action against Microsoft Corp. alleging that the company sent unlawful text messages promoting its Xbox game console, a federal district court recently ruled that the plaintiff did not have to allege that he was charged for the text message he received in order to have standing to sue.
The plaintiff alleges that Microsoft sent the text messages to consumers in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which prohibits calls “to any telephone number assigned to a…cellular telephone service…or any service for which the called party is charged to make a call.” One federal court of appeals has held that text messages are “calls” subject to the TCPA.
Microsoft moved to dismiss the suit on the basis that the plaintiff lacked standing because he did not allege that he was charged for the text message. The district court denied the motion, finding that the term “charged” in the relevant TCPA provision applies to “cellular telephone service,” not to “call.” Thus, according to the court, the plaintiff demonstrated standing by alleging that he was charged for his cellular telephone service and did not have to allege that he was charged specifically for the allegedly unlawful text message or otherwise allege that he suffered economic harm.
Click here to read the court’s opinion in the case.