'I'm not willing to tolerate this bad behavior': Woman suing David's Bridal over text bombardment
TAMPA, Fla. - A woman from the Tampa Bay area has filed a class-action lawsuit against David's Bridal, claiming the store bombarded her with dozens of text messages without her permission and after she tried to take herself off the list by replying "STOP."
Cheri Aul's attorneys filed the lawsuit in Pinellas County against the wedding formal wear retailer back in September.
According to the complaint, Aul – who had recently gotten a new cell phone number – began to receive automated text messages from David's Bridal. The company sent at least 50 text messages to Aul's cell phone from April 2021 to September 2021, even though she said she never gave them permission to send her messages.
"I finally decided I'm not willing to tolerate this bad behavior any longer," Aul said.
Court records show that each time Aul received an automated text, she would reply "STOP" to a different number as instructed by the store's "How to unsubscribe" website, and would even receive confirmation messages each time, saying she had successfully opted out.
(Background photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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The lawsuit said the unwanted texts just kept coming, prompting her to call an attorney.
"I mean, it's just frustrating knowing that you're trying to do everything you can under your own power to stop it, and it's not. And the only way you can now is to take the legal route," Aul said.
Billy Howard of the Consumer Protection Firm filed the suit on Aul’s behalf.
"We are just bombarded every day with these annoying robotexts. Florida now has a great new law to help people stop them, and when they don't stop, then you can seek legal remedies," Howard said.
The class-action lawsuit asks for $500 in damages for every unsolicited text sent by David's Bridal to every person in Florida.
RELATED: Florida Attorney General: Robotexts surpass robocalls as most common scam message
Attorneys argue the texts, which are sent by automatic dialing devices, are illegal thanks to the new Florida Telephone Solicitation Act, or FTSA, that does not allow telemarketers to use such technology without written permission.
However, court documents for the lawyers show the retailer filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by arguing that Florida's new law is unconstitutional by violating the First Amendment. They wrote that the FTSA "singles out one specific type of speech - a 'telephonic sales call' regarding 'consumer goods or services' - for unique treatment, burdening this type of speech based on the content alone."
MORE: Americans will get 86 billion spam texts by the end of 2021, report shows
Additionally, David's Bridal said whoever had Aul's phone number previously had consented to receive their text messages, and that they did not know that person had relinquished their number, which was eventually reassigned to Aul.
Aul’s attorney says he believes the case has merit.
"People are sick of robo calls and robo texts and I do not see any court declaring that law unconstitutional," Howard said.
FOX 13 News reached out to David’s Bridal for a comment and never heard back.