San Francisco company that claims its app connects friends has an enemy in Boston

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 Defendant’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.

Defendant's and its agents' use of a long code enabled Defendant’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.


Free tagging: 

PDF icon Sims's complaint89.67 KB


These people deserve the Death Penalty

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Well at least capital punishment, fiscally speaking. I hope they get everything they ask for, however unreasonable the request is.

I cannot imagine how awful this would be for who pay per text. I would certainly be raging.

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How does this work economically?

I don't see how pissing off a lot of people with spam messages is going to get you the customers that you want. Even if you get a few who are interested, how does that translate into more money than it costs to spam?

Could somebody explain what the business model is here?

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Spam is cheap, wicked cheap

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So cheap it's worth the cost of pissing other people off. It's a model Globe Direct seems to have adopted for its circulars.

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It works exactly the same as

It works exactly the same as email spam. As Adam says, it's cheap. So it doesn't matter if you piss off 99.9% of your recipients if that remaining 1-in-a-thousand (or 1 in ten thousand) is willing to pay cash for a penis enlarger.

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