PayPal faced a firestorm of criticism with its new user agreement and approach to robocalls, but will allow an opt-out after all.
Earlier this week, a new user agreement from PayPal made huge waves with its changes, particularly the new stipulation that PayPal can flood users with auto-dialed or pre-recorder calls, also known as robocalls.
The new user agreement states that users may receive robocalls or text messages from PayPal on any listed number, whether PayPal obtained the number directly from customers or through other means.
While such calls or messages sound justified in some of the listed cases, such as communicating something related to your account, troubleshooting problems with the account, resolving a dispute or collecting a debt, there are also other instances listed that don't sound quite right.
PayPal's new user agreement says the company may also contact users to poll their opinions though various questionnaires or surveys, tempt them with offers and promotions, or "as otherwise necessary."
Unsolicited robocalls are not even legal unless a company has written or oral consent from consumers, as per FTC rules. At the same time, federal regulators are also expected to vote on new rules soon, making it easier for consumers to escape telemarketing and robocalling.
No opt-out policy seemed to be available for this new user policy, which caused great uproar among consumers. It seemed that the only option left to avoid such harassment was to close your PayPal account altogether, but it turns out that customers can opt-out after all.
PayPal officially announced that it will offer a way out of this. Following the heavy criticism from consumers, PayPal shed some light on the matter and explained its reasoning, noting that it will not be forcing robocalls on users.
According to the company, the section detailing how it may contact its users was misunderstood, creating "confusion and concern." In a new company blog post, PayPal states that it will not harass its customers with "unwanted, excessive or expensive calls and text messages."
"In reaching out to you for account service purposes, such as fraud alerts, we occasionally use technologies that allow us to contact you efficiently. To use this approach we seek your permission through our User Agreement. You can choose not to receive autodialed or prerecorded message calls," notes PayPal.
"Our goal is always to create clarity in our communication with our customers. We're sorry if this wasn't the case. We aim to give you the information you need and hope this blog post helped to clear up any confusion."