Bills to issue store credits to end text claim
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills are going to pay up for oversharing.
The team has reached a settlement with fans who say the team sent them too many texts, agreeing to issue debit cards for the Bills store worth $58 to $75 each.
Along with the $2.5 million worth of cards, the Bills will pay $562,000 in legal fees under terms of a class action settlement approved by a federal court in Florida last week.
Bills fan Jerry Wojcik of Tampa Bay, Fla., brought the case in 2012 after signing up to get Bills alerts on his cellphone. He says the Bills routinely exceeded the promised limit of five messages per week, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The complaint said the extra messages were aggravating and an added cost for consumers who pay for texts and data.
Wojcik said he received six messages one week, including three on a single day, and seven messages in another week.
The Bills, who initially moved to dismiss the lawsuit, maintain the program complied with the law, according to a statement provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.
”The Buffalo Bills have reached a settlement in this matter which we believe is in the best interest of our organization and our fans,” the statement said. ”The purpose of the Bills voluntary, opt-in text messaging program was to provide our fans with information they requested about the team.”
The team discontinued its text service in October 2013.
The settlement agreement called the litigation ”hard-fought and often times contentious.”
The debit cards to be issued to text subscribers will be good for merchandise at the Bills’ online retail store or the Ralph Wilson Stadium location.
Wojcik also will receive $5,000 under the settlement for representing the group. He could not be reached by phone Wednesday.
A final settlement approval hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20.
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