4 Jun 2015

PayPal: accept robocalls and automated texts, or close your account

PayPal and eBay are splitting up on July 1, and PayPal has just published a preview of the company's new privacy policies that it will release on the same day.
An announcement on PayPal's current Privacy Policy page indicates that the company will release an updated privacy policy that will supersede the current policy on July 1.
The temporary page listing the new policy in full highlights major changes at the top, and the very first entry lists call and mobile telephone number changes that include the following sentence:
You consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained.
The paragraph lists several cases where PayPal may phone or text you:
  1. notify you regarding your account
  2. troubleshoot problems with your account
  3. resolve a dispute
  4. collect a debt
  5. poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires
  6. contact you with offers and promotions
  7. as otherwise necessary to service your account or enforce this User Agreement, our policies, applicable law, or any other agreement we may have with you
While some entries are understandable, some put customers at a clear disadvantage as PayPal does not seem to offer opt-out options.
paypal
PayPal then states that users consent to receive SMS or text messages if they have provided a mobile telephone number, and that it may share phone numbers with affiliates or service providers.
PayPal customers agree furthermore that these affiliates or service providers may also use auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls, or text messages if they have been contracted by PayPal to do so.
In addition to all that, standard telephone and text charges may apply.
PayPal gives customers only two options when it comes to these new terms: accept them in their entirety or close the account before July 1.
IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE AMENDED USER AGREEMENT, PRIVACY POLICY OR ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY, YOU MAY CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT BEFORE JULY 1, 2015 AND YOU WILL NOT BE BOUND BY THE AMENDED TERMS.
It is unclear at this point in time if PayPal will provide opt-out options, and whether the new terms apply to all regions or only the US.  Information about updated terms of service agreements are posted on regional PayPal sites as well and while some jurisdictions may prevent PayPal from calling or texting customers without consent, it is clear that the company is serious about these contact options.

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