FCC slaps Lyft with citation for calling and texting customers

The ride-hailing service Lyft was hit by US regulators with a citation on Friday for not following rules that protect consumers from unwanted robocalls and texts.

Lyft is a San Francisco-based smartphone app that connects passengers with drivers. But the Federal Communications Commission said they do not let users access the service if they opt out of automated marketing calls and texts. Due to the violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, they received a citation, according to CNET.

Even though the company’s terms say that a user can opt out of robocalls and texts simply by using “provided unsubscribe options,” the investigation by the FCC found that the company does not actually have these options available.

The information collected showed evidence that if a user was able to locate the opt-out page on the company’s website and try to choose to opt out, they were not able to use Lyft’s service.

“We urge any company that unlawfully conditions its service on consent to unwanted marketing calls and texts to act swiftly to change its policies,” Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, said in a statement.

The spokesperson for Lyft said that the company just now found out about the citation.

“This is the first we are seeing of the order and are in the process of reviewing it,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the FCC to resolve this issue.”

The FCC now has the authority to impose sanctions and monetary penalties if Lyft continues to break the rules. Now the company, and the public, are convinced that the government is keeping an eye on the tech startup.

Lyft’s rival Uber has already been under that hand of regulatory battles of their own. Law makers across the nation have spoken against ride-hailing companies requesting tighter regulations on insurance, car inspections and driver background checks.

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