In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Derrick Sims alleges that Hangtime barraged him and other innocent phone users with large numbers of bogus text messages to try to get them to download its friend-connecting app:
Over the course of an extended period of time beginning in at least 2013, Defendant and its agents directed the mass transmission of wireless spam to the cell phones nationwide of what they hoped were potential customers of Defendantâ€™s social networking services.
For instance, on or about December 29, 2013, Plaintiff's cell phone rang, indicating that a text call was being received.
The "from" field of the transmission was identified cryptically as "14158153107," which is a special purpose telephone number known as a long code operated by Defendant and its agents. The body of such text message read:
Mikey Leftside shared events with you on Hangtime. http://hangti.me/XiEpF6mLKc
Defendant's and its agents' use of a long code enabled Defendantâ€™s mass transmission of wireless spam to a list of cellular telephone numbers.
Sims charges this violates a federal law against unsolicited messages to telephones and a Massachusetts consumer law.
Sims wants to be named lead plaintiff in a lawsuit by at least 1,000 people - 100 of them in Massachusetts - and is seeking $500 per text message, plus triple damages plus lawyers' fees.