Mass. woman files class action lawsuit against Star Market for allegedly sending her marketing texts after she opted out

Local News

It is illegal for companies to send consumers marketing text messages after they’ve opted out. They can be ordered to pay up to $1,500 per illegal text.

Star Market is facing a class action lawsuit after it allegedly sent marketing text messages to a woman after she opted out. Todd Van Hoosear/Wikimedia Commons

A Massachusetts woman has filed a class action lawsuit against Star Market for allegedly sending her marketing text messages after she opted out.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Linnea Menin in federal court in Boston. It seeks statutory damages on behalf of Menin and anyone who received a marketing text message from the New England grocery store chain after opting out during the last four years.

“Through this action, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief to halt Defendant’s illegal conduct, which has resulted in the invasion of privacy, harassment, aggravation, and disruption of the daily life of thousands of individuals,” the lawsuit reads.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, companies must not only give people the option to opt out of marketing text messages, but are not allowed to contact them that way again if they opt out. A company can be ordered to pay up to $1,500 per illegal text.

Star Market did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening. The grocery store chain is owned by Boise-based supermarket company Albertsons Inc.

The lawsuit includes screenshots of text messages that are described in the lawsuit. They show that Menin first texted “STOP” to Star Market’s automated marketing text message number on Jun. 23. They also show a reply that acknowledges that she opted out.

But then, the screenshots show, a week later, the company allegedly sent her another text message ad from the same number. The lawsuit claims Star Market sent her marketing texts three times after she tried to opt out.

“As demonstrated by the above screenshots, Defendant does not honor consumer requests to opt-out of text message solicitations,” the lawsuit reads.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims, the company didn’t provide Menin with any other way to opt out of the text messages.

The lawsuit speculates that the problem on Star Market’s end is that it either doesn’t have standard policies and procedures for text message marketing, doesn’t provide adequate training to text message marketers, or doesn’t maintain an internal do-not-call list — which is required by law.

“Defendant’s text message spam caused Plaintiff and the Class members harm, including violations of their statutory rights, trespass, annoyance, nuisance, invasion of their privacy, and intrusion upon seclusion,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit estimates that thousands of people may have received marketing text messages from Star Market after opting out in the last few years.

In 2012, Papa John’s faced a similar lawsuit after a marketing company it hired sent 500,000 marketing text messages on its behalf to customers who never signed up to receive them.