Chesbro v. Best Buy Stores

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 10-17-2012
  • Case #: 11-35784
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Noonan for the Court; Circuit Judges Graber and Rawlinson
  • Full Text Opinion

An automated phone call from a consumer products company urging the listener to redeem customer rewards points that require future purchases falls within the scope of “unsolicited advertisement,” prohibited by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Act.

Michael Chesbro, on behalf of himself and other plaintiffs, brought a class action suit against Best Buy for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Act (WADAD). In 2008, Chesbro signed up for a no-interest payment plan in order to purchase a computer from Best Buy. After his purchase, Chesbro received between 5-12 automated phone calls from Best Buy’s customer rewards program, urging him to use his customer rewards points towards a future purchase before they expired. Chesbro registered on the national “Do Not Call” list as well as called Best Buy to be removed from the calling list. Chesbro continued to receive similar automated calls and subsequently filed suit. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of Best Buy. The Court reversed, holding that the automated phone calls fell within the scope of automated calls prohibited by both TCPA and WADAD. Both statutes prohibit automated phone calls that “include or introduce unsolicited advertisement or constitute a telephone solicitation” but they do not restrict phone calls that are customer service oriented or informational. The Court concluded that the Best Buy phone calls were not informational because redeeming customer service points required a customer to “make future purchases at Best Buy,” and therefore fell within the statutory definition of prohibited phone calls. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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