Verizon Wireless has convinced a federal judge to grant a permanent injunction to stop a Florida company from sending unsolicited text messages to its customers.
The carrier initially filed suit against Passport Holidays of Ormond Beach, Fla., in October in a Trenton, N.J., court. Legal action resulted after Passport Holidays sent more than 98,000 text messages to Verizon Wireless customers urging them to take action to claim a Bahamas cruise prize.
Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Passport Holidays has been permanently barred from sending text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. The law prohibits the use of auto-dialing equipment to send large bursts of text messages to sequential phone numbers within short periods of time.
Passport Holidays also will pay $10,000 in damages. Verizon Wireless is donating the entire amount to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Tallahassee, Fla., on behalf of its HopeLine program.
"Our customers have an expectation of privacy in regard to their wireless phones -- they expect that they will not face intrusions from telemarketers and be forced to deal with unwanted and unsolicited calls and messages," Steven Zipperstein, Verizon Wireless' general counsel and vice president of legal and external affairs, said in a statement. "This settlement puts other potential spammers on alert that we take any threat to our customers' right to privacy seriously."
Verizon Wireless also has filed an amended complaint with the U.S. District Court in Trenton suing Specialized Programming and Marketing of Holly Hill, Fla., along with several individuals believed to be associated with that company. Specialized Programming was identified by Passport Holidays as the company that sent out the spam messages that form the basis for the suit.