Buffalo Bills pay $3 million in text message lawsuit settlement

While many organizations are turning toward SMS marketing services as a better way to engage with customers, businesses need to make sure the process is being handled properly. Failure to do so can be costly.

According to an article from The Buffalo News, the Buffalo Bills organization of the National Football League has reached a $3 million settlement in a fan's text-messaging lawsuit.

The issue started during the 2012 football season when the organization offered fans the ability to opt into a text-messaging marketing service that provides news alerts. Jerry Wojcik, a Bills fan, signed up for the service but felt he was receiving too many messages from the team and sued.

Over a course of two weeks, he alleged that he received 13 text messages, which violates the "five per week" limit that was set in the terms of the service – which is now defunct.

To settle the dispute, the team will pay $2.5 million in debit cards that can be used in the Bills store or website to fans that signed up, plus $562,500 to Wojcik's lawyer and $5,000 in cash to Wojcik.

"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 purpose of the Bills' voluntary, opt-in text messaging program was to provide our fans with information they requested about the team. The organization maintains that our text messaging program was in compliance with the law," Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said in a statement Monday.

Many fans, media commentators and legal experts see this as as a frivolous, unneeded lawsuit. However, it shows why an experienced mobile text marketing firm is needed to create and manage a messaging service.