Several key Democratic senators are taking aim at PayPal's new user policy that automatically opts you into receiving robocalls.
PayPal's updated user agreement threatens to hurt consumers by exposing them to unwanted calls and solicitations, according to a letter to the online payments company by Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Al Franken (Minn.), Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). "Consumers should not have to agree to submit themselves to intrusive robocalls in order to use a company's service," the senators wrote to PayPal.
The group, which includes one of Congress's most ardent privacy advocates (Wyden) and an architect of the nation's telecommunications laws (Markey), is demanding to know whether PayPal is "reexamining" its user agreement in the face of skepticism among consumers and regulators.
Under the updated policy, which goes into effect July 1, customers who wish to continue using PayPal must accept the company's terms or cancel their accounts. It says that users give PayPal permission to contact them using automated phone calls and text messages to notify them of account activity or to resolve disputes — but also opens the door to surveys, offers and promotions.
PayPal has said that it has no intention of harassing its customers and that users can opt out of the robocalls by writing to the company's customer service representatives.
But that move still requires accepting the user agreement to begin with, a drafting choice that has raised the hackles of the Federal Communications Commission. Last week, the agency sent a letter to the company saying it had "serious concerns" about PayPal's new policy.
PayPal acknowledged that it had gotten the letter and in a statement Tuesday said its officials "look forward to responding."