June 09, 2015

Senators to PayPal: Change New User Agreement That Forces Consumers to Accept Unwanted Robocalls

Washington (June 16, 2015) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter to PayPal, the global online payments system, calling on the company to change its User Agreement. PayPal recently released a new User Agreement that would require consumers to consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages. Consumers cannot opt out of these new terms, which go into effect on July 1, 2015, without also forfeiting their ability to use PayPal services.

This new policy could harm consumers by forcing them to receive a flood of unwanted and intrusive calls. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), companies can robocall a consumer’s phone number only after obtaining consumer consent, and consumers have the right to revoke their consent and stop receiving unwanted calls without also terminating requested services from a company. PayPal has received a communication from the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlining TCPA compliance requirements, including the requirement that the use of a service cannot be conditioned on consent to receive robocalls that fall under the TCPA.

“Consumers should not have to agree to submit themselves to intrusive robocalls in order to use a company’s service,” write the Senators. “This new policy could adversely affect consumers by exposing them to a barrage of unwanted calls that are unstoppable unless consumers choose to discontinue using PayPal.”

A copy of the Senators’ letter to PayPal can be found HERE.  

Last month and in January, Senator Wyden and his colleagues sent letters to the FCC calling on it to reject proposals to weaken the TCPA.