Howard Schultz sued for allegedly sending unsolicited texts promoting book tour

A Florida woman is suing Starbucks founder Howard Schultz over automated promotional text messages she said she received despite being on the national “do not call” list. 

Schultz, who is considering a third-party campaign for president, launched a book tour for his book “From The Ground Up” in January, a move widely perceived as intended to gauge interest in a potential candidacy.

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In the lawsuit, Cassandra Vallianos claims she received two unsolicited texts promoting Schultz’s Miami tour stop even though she’s on a do not call list.

“We did not use automated texting without someone’s consent. This suit has no merit. We are in full compliance with the law,” a spokesperson for Schultz told The Hill. 

In her complaint, Vallianos alleges Schultz or his employees collected records for people listed as having no party affiliation to target with text messages.

“Schultz sends these solicitation text messages without any consent from the text recipients,” the complaint states. “To make matters worse, Schultz sent these solicitation text messages to consumer phone numbers that are registered on the [do not call list] for the specific purpose of avoiding these types of unwanted text messages.”

The unsolicited messages, Vallianos claimed, have caused her harm including “in the form of annoyance, nuisance, and invasion of privacy, and disturbed Vallianos’s use and enjoyment of her cellular phone, in addition to the wear and tear on the phones’ hardware (including the phones’ battery) and the consumption of memory on the phone.”

The Hill has reached out to Schultz for comment.

Robocalls have recently resurfaced as an issue, with the numbers of calls increasing 46 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDem chairmen urge CMS to prevent nursing homes from seizing stimulus payments Federal watchdog finds cybersecurity vulnerabilities in FCC systems Overnight Health Care — Presented by That’s Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.J.). Pallone recently reintroduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which would expand the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to crack down on robocalls. FCC rules also ban text messages sent to a mobile phone using an autodialer.

Updated at 11:37 a.m.

 

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