Tag Archives: class-action

Crazy Lawsuits Should be Outlawed

We’ve heard stories of completely ridiculous lawsuits in the past. Do you remember the McDonald’s coffee suit? What about the case of a burglar breaking into a lady’s home, hurting himself and then successfully suing the homeowner? There are thousands of cases on the books, and they are often won in a court of law – to the tune of a lot of money. Unfortunately, the trend doesn’t seem to be fading away, as evidenced by three recent separate filings. Each case is nearly identical other than the defendant.

Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are all being sued for sending confirmation messages to a cellular device. In each case, the plaintiffs chose to activate the text-message feature within the service. At some point later in time, the three people each changed their mind and replied with “stop” so that they would no longer receive the communications.

As with any other service out there, the three services all then sent back a confirmation message. This is standard procedure, folks. It’s been done forever, and I’ve honestly never seen someone complain. However, these three individuals have seen the opportunity to make a few bucks, and are pointing to a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This Act was designed to prevent unsolicited communications to cellular devices. It’s used when companies are spamming people and when you have cases of harassment, even. It shouldn’t apply to something that you signed up for willingly and then changed your mind about later on.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad I receive confirmation messages. Imagine you want to receive these little tidbits on your phone. Another person is using your device and decides to play a prank on you by replying “Stop.” Or… perhaps you accidentally do so. Whatever the case may be, it’s good in my mind to have that extra little layer of security in place. The companies are simply making sure there was no error. They don’t continually harass you and try to get you to stay signed up. They don’t send message after message. You receive ONE confirmation notice. Why is that so wrong?

Personally, I think this is a load of hogwash. What are your thoughts?

Yelp Slammed With Class-Action Suit

Once again, consumer review site Yelp is being accusedof being in the extortion business. Two law firms – one in Miami and one in LA – have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court alleging unfair business practices by local business review and rating website operator Yelp.

Yelp is a website where consumers can go to post their reviews of places they have visited. For instance, I recently had a bad experience at Rock Bottom in Bellevue, and I posted to Yelp about it. Many companies, though, don’t like having negative reviews posted about them, and attempt to get them removed.

In the present lawsuit, a veterinary hospital has reportedly been trying to get a negative review removed from Yelp’s site. They are claiming that Yelp officials refuse to remove the post, unless the vet clinic ponies up approximately $300.00 per month! Yelp, of course, denies these allegations, but this isn’t even the first time something like this has come up. The prior allegations were fought out in blog posts on the Internet. This time, Yelp is going to have to defend itself in court.

Since we don’t know the entire story, it’s difficult to comment on. If the vet service simply wants a bad review removed so that they don’t lose any business, then shame on them. Every business is going to have its good and bad days. If anyone from Yelp truly contacted the vet and tried to extort money… I hope that the judge throws the book at them. In this day and age, it’s hard to believe people are still stupid enough to stoop to that level.