TALLAHASSEE, FL and BEDMINSTER, NJ — A Verizon Wireless victory in protecting customer privacy is also benefiting the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Verizon Wireless has won a permanent injunction to stop Passport Holidays of Ormond Beach, FL from directly or indirectly sending unsolicited text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon Wireless initially filed the suit in October 2005 in U.S. District Court in Trenton, NJ, when Passport Holidays arranged and coordinated sending more than 98,000 text messages to Verizon Wireless customers, urging them to take action to claim a Bahamas cruise prize.
Under the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Passport Holidays has been permanently barred from sending text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. The law prohibits the use of "auto-dialing" equipment to send large bursts of text messages to sequential phone numbers within very short periods of time. Passport Holidays will also pay $10,000 in damages. Verizon Wireless is donating the entire amount to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Tallahassee, FL on behalf of its HopeLine® program. Verizon Wireless, a recognized corporate leader in the effort to stop domestic violence, works to prevent domestic violence and raise awareness of the issue nationwide through the company's HopeLine phone recycling program.
Steven Zipperstein, general counsel and vice president of legal and external affairs at Verizon Wireless, said "Our customers have an expectation of privacy in regard to their wireless phones they expect that they will not face intrusions from telemarketers and be forced to deal with unwanted and unsolicited calls and messages. This settlement puts other potential spammers on alert that we take any threat to our customers' right to privacy seriously. While we pursue those who threaten the zone of privacy our customers expect, it is rewarding to dedicate the financial settlements to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their good work in preventing domestic violence."
The injunction was entered as the result of court-approved settlements between Verizon Wireless and Passport Holidays. An agreement was reached with Passport Holidays on January 27 and entered in U.S. District Court in Trenton, NJ, by Judge Mary L. Cooper.
Verizon Wireless also today filed an amended complaint with the U.S. District Court in Trenton suing Specialized Programming and Marketing LLC of Holly Hill, FL, along with several individuals believed to be associated with that company. Specialized Programming was identified by Passport Holidays as the company that sent out the spam messages that form the basis for the suit.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
The Verizon Wireless HopeLine program collects phones of any wireless carrier and refurbishes or recycles them with all proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence. The environmentally friendly HopeLine program puts wireless services and equipment to work to assist victims in emergency domestic violence situations. Donations are accepted at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can also visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.