Papa John’s Pizza is being hit with a $250 million class-action lawsuit for hitting customers with illegal text messages. The plaintiffs are claiming that Papa John’s franchises sent customers a total of 500,000 unwanted text messages in early 2010. The text messages were offered deals for pizza and some customers complained they were getting 15 or 16 texts in a row — some being in the middle of the night.
“After I ordered from Papa John’s, my telephone started beeping with text messages advertising pizza specials,” stated one of the plaintiffs Erin Chutich. “Papa John’s never asked permission to send me text message advertisements.”
Papa John’s sent the text messages through a service called OnTime4U. Papa John’s was first sued in April 2010 and they stopped using the OnTime4U text program. The text message program put Papa John’s in violation of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Papa John’s head of legal affairs Carolina Oyler said that their corporate text messaging program is not subject to the lawsuit since the text messages were sent by third-party vendors “and a small number of franchisees.”
The plaintiffs are seeking $500 per text, but could be awarded $1,500 per message if a jury rules that Papa John’s willfully broke the law.