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Lawsuit over Spam Texts Headed to Arbitration

Saturday, December, 24, 2016


A lawsuit filed against tax preparers Jackson Hewitt, as well as its partners American Express and Restaurant.com could likely be settled through arbitration in the upcoming months. The Illinois man who filed the lawsuit alleges he received spam text messages after providing his information to the tax preparer. A federal judge made the ruling after reviewing the agreement the man signed with Jackson Hewitt that mandated disputes be settled through arbitration.

According to the ruling from the court, “ “The agreement was offered to him and accepted by him, as part of the tax preparation services provided by Jackson Hewitt, the terms [of which] require all claims, disputes, or controversies asserted individually or collectively against [Jackson Hewitt] to be arbitrated.” Now, it will be up to the arbitrator to determine if the man is bound by the provisions of the contract.

The man is from Marengo Illinois, located about 60 miles from Chicago. He filed his suit in March against the three companies, claiming to have received “unauthorized” texts on his cell phone the month before that advertised the services and products of all three defendants named in the suit. He claimed he was offered gift certificates from Restaurant.com if he filed his income tax return through Jackson Hewitt and received his refund via an American Express credit card.

Though he followed directions to stop the text messages, he continued to receive them. He claims the messages violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and he believes he’s entitled to between $500 and $1500 per text. The three defendants’ deny they are guilty of violating any laws.