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Papa John's Faces $250 Million Lawsuit for Spam Texts

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Papa John's pizza company is facing a $2 million lawsuit, but maybe not for the reason that you think like food poisoning. Instead, Papa John's is accused of sending millions of unwanted "spam" text messages in 2010 to individuals who did not sign up for offers. The spam text messags also apparently came at very annoying times–like in the middle of the night. In addition, it wasn't just one text message–some consumers complained that they received 15 or 16 texts in the middle of the night from the company.

According to the complaint, consumers that ordered pizza from Papa John's started receiving messages without giving permission with coupon offers for future pizza orders. Papa John's isn't the only defendant in the case; OnTime4U is also a defendant. OnTime4U is apparently a text message service that Papa John's used to cull its customers' numbers and send the text messages. Papa John's apparently figured out that it should stop using the text service when the pizza company alerted its corporate stores and franchises that the practice was "most likely illegal" in 2010.

Indeed, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 bans companies from sending advertisements via text message without first asking for the consumer's permission. The class action lawsuit could lead to the largest awards ever recovered under the act, with the plaintiffs seeking $500 per text message. Papa John's, on the other hand, says that it "sees no basis" for the plaintiffs' estimate and instead seeks to have the case dismissed.