Less than two weeks ago, we reported that Lumber Liquidators was facing a lawsuit over unsolicited faxes sent to potential business customers. You might think faxing has seen its day – The Washington Post reported in 2012 that less than three percent of U.S. homes have fax machines – but there are clearly some diehard fans still out there. Those fans, apparently, include the Home of the Whopper, Burger King. Burger King Corp. is now facing its own suit over allegations that the company sent unsolicited faxes to Jay Clogg Realty Group, Inc. in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (which you can learn about here).
No one likes spam, and the prevalence and ease of modern technology could have made it far too easy for companies to inundate us all with constant advertisements.
It’s a suit that, if proven true, could end up being costly for the fast food chain. TCPA violations carry penalties for every fax sent, and the proposed class is made up of every person or entity in the United States who received a fax from Burger King without express or implied consent going back four years. The suit also claims that the faxes sent by Burger King, which included coupons and advertisements, were “widespread […] marketing campaigns,” as shown by the fact that the faxes referenced services available in multiple states and at least 62 stores.
That could be bad news for Burger King. Since being updated last year, the TCPA has made it mandatory for companies to have express written consent from those they wish to contact without having a prior business relationship. For consumers, that was a great step. No one likes spam, and the prevalence and ease of modern technology could have made it far too easy for companies to inundate us all with constant advertisements.
The TCPA also requires businesses to include clear notice informing individuals and companies how to stop the faxes. According to Jay Clogg Realty Group:
“The facsimile advertisements do not contain a clear and conspicuous notice informing the recipient that it may make a request to the sender of the advertisement not to send any future advertisements to a telephone facsimile machine or machines and that failure to comply within 30 days is unlawful.”
As with the Lumber Liquidators lawsuit – and many others – the plaintiffs point out that, as the recipients of the faxes, they suffered property damage and supply costs when they had to print out the advertisements. Jay Clogg also claims that Burger King interfered with their (and other class members’) use of their property, as their fax machines were encumbered by Burger King’s faxes.
The suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.