UNSOLICITED: Christie’s International Real Estate Caught Up in New TCPA Class Action
So another real estate brokerage looks to be in hot water over unsolicited texting by agents.
A new case filed in New York district court alleges Christies International Real Estate agent Mary Jo Ann Byrne sent repeated unwanted text messages in a bid to convince the Plaintiff to use her services.
The case is Weingberg v. Christies, which you can read here: Christie’s Complaint
In the complaint Plaintiff contends he received these text messages without consent:
The texts apparently continued despite a lack of any response. (It does not appear that the plaintiff texted “stop” however.)
To make matters more personal, Plaintiff provides a picture of the agent he blames for the text in the Complaint:
Mercifully, however, Ms. Byrne is not named personally in the lawsuit–although she could have been.
The Complaint seeks to represent a class of All persons in the United States who from four years prior to the filing of this action through trial (1) Defendant (or an agent acting on behalf of the Defendant) texted and/or called more than one time, (2) within any 12 month period, (3) where the person’s residential telephone number had been listed on the National Do No Call Registry for at least thirty days, (4) for substantially the same reason Defendant called and/or texted Plaintiff
The defendant has not yet responded to the complaint.
This filing is yet another reminder of the dangers of unsolicited texting–particularly in the real estate context where these cases have been pouring in.
Under the TCPA’s DNC rules, marketing texts cannot be sent to numbers on the national DNC list without express written consent or an established business relationship. This is true even if the texts are sent “p2p” or manually–so watch out.
Real estate agents, in particular, have been guilty of violating the DNC rules recently as companies target agents with “lead lists” of FSBO or former listings–or just neighborhood level data–that the agents then load into systems and send texts to. This practice can be EXTREMELY dangerous–as the folks over at Christie’s just found out.