The Buffalo Bills will pay a heavy price -- more than $3 million -- for sending too many text messages to fans.
Fans like Jerry Wojcik, who filed a class action lawsuit in 2012, asserted that he opted to receive text messages from the team, but he said they sent him and others more than they were allowed, per consumer protection laws.
Last week, in Tampa, Fla., a federal court gave preliminary approval to a settlement that would give fans, who received the text messages from the team, debit cards to the team store that can be used at Ralph Wilson Stadium or on the team's official site.
If the 39,750 fans who opted in to receive text messages collect their debit cards, which will range in value from $57.50 to $75, the Bills will give back gift cards worth a total $2,487,745. The cards, which will be fully transferable, will be valid for a period of four years. The Bills will pay an additional $562,500 back to Wojcik's lawyers for attorney fees.
The Buffalo News first reported the settlement, which was released through the court.
Wojcik said the terms and conditions provided that the Bills could send 3 to 5 text messages per week for a period of 12 months, but, on several occassions, he received more than that. Even though the Bills agreed to deal, the team contends in the settlement that it does not believe that it violated any laws. Messages left for the Bills seeking comment weren't immediately returned.
The final hearing, which would be to approve the settlement, is scheduled to take place on Aug. 20.