A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Georgia, alleging a collection agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by violating Regulation F, and the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by not making an opt-out statement conspicuous enough in an email message, even though the exhibit of the message in question clearly shows the opt-out option.
A copy of the complaint in the case of Green v. InDebted can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received an email from the defendant in regard to an unpaid Buy Now, Pay Later debt. After providing details about the debt, such as the balance, company to whom the debt was owed, and order numbers for the debts in question, the letter included one sentence: Please reply to this email to contact us to make payment arrangements or you may also contact us at the below noted telephone number.
Beneath the sentence was an email signature that included the name of the individual who sent the message, the name of the company, its email address, phone number, mailing and website addresses, and a statement: “Click here to opt out of further emails for this account” and the “here” was hyperlinked to offer the opportunity to opt out. Underneath that opt out statement was the mini-Miranda notice.
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the email did not include a “clear and conspicuous statement describing a reasonable and simple method by which” she could opt out of future email communications. As such, she was “hindered in her ability to cease email communications from the Defendant.”
Section 1006.6 of Regulation F allows collectors to communicate via email with consumers, but requires email messages to include a “clear and conspicuous” means of opting out of receiving future emails.