PayPal users, this is for you.
The payments company is rolling out an update to its user agreement that threatens to bombard you with "autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages" — and worse, by agreeing to the updated terms, you're immediately opted in.
PayPal can even reach you at phone numbers that you didn't provide. Through undisclosed means, PayPal says it has the right to contact you on numbers "we have otherwise obtained."
The update takes effect July 1. But by then, federal regulators may well have approved new rules against robocalling that would put PayPal squarely in the agency's crosshairs.
Why would PayPal want to call or text you, anyway? The company's legalese says it needs to in order to tell you about account activity or to resolve disputes. But the terms also give PayPal permission to send you "surveys or questionnaires" and "offers and promotions."
It's these types of telemarketing offers that have driven hundreds of thousands of public complaints to the FCC. In response, the agency's proposal — which could take effect June 18 — would allow phone carriers to employ robocalling blockers that automatically put a stop to autodialed calls. It would establish stricter definitions of autodialing so that companies can't wriggle out of honoring rules meant to thwart it.
Most importantly, the proposal makes it easier for consumers to tell telemarketers to go away. Instead of having to fill out and mail complicated forms or take other convoluted steps to protect their privacy, Americans would be able to tell a caller to stop calling — and the company would have to respect that request immediately.
A PayPal spokesperson said it's the company's policy to "honor customers' requests to decline to receive auto-dialed or prerecorded calls."
But PayPal's new terms don't make that very clear.
"If you do not agree to these amended terms," the revised document says, "you may close your account within the 30 day period and you will not be bound by the amended terms."
In other words, put up with it — or get out.