A handful of text-messaging content providers and their billing aggregator Mobile Messenger U.S. Inc. were cited in a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today charging the companies with unlawful cellphone “cramming.” The State’s suit claims that the defendants have failed to properly disclose the costs associated with their services, and have been billing customers without their consent. The services that these companies offer include numerous text message-based content such as ringtones, horoscopes, celebrity gossip news, and various discount coupons.
Texas’ case named four premium short-messaging services content providers—Bear Communications LLC, MDK Media Inc., Anacapa Media LLC and Tendenci Media LLC, as well as the billing aggregator Mobile Messenger U.S. Inc. Mobile Messenger U.S. is a California entity that acted as the middleman between the content provider and wireless carriers. Mundo Media Ltd., a Canadian third-party advertising network that drives cellphone users to the content providers’ offers was also cited in the lawsuit.
With yet another compliance-based lawsuit, this latest legal action should serve as a reminder to mobile and email marketers to follow industry best practices such as double opt-ins and complete transparency to ensure that they are not a target of future lawsuits.
To find out more about the case, you can read the full court document HERE.
Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.