On July 1st, Paypal’s terms and conditions will change to allow the online payment service to send every one of its users texts and phone calls at any time, about anything, from debt collection to billing-related queries to advertising.
Here’s an excerpt from the updated T&Cs that will kick in on July 1st, found on the company’s website in revised section 1.10:
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 . . . . (PayPal) may share your phone numbers with our Affiliates or with our service providers, such as billing or collections companies, who we have contracted with to assist us in pursuing our rights.
Yes, it says right there that PayPal can not only contact you using numbers you’ve provided, they feel they’ve got the right to contact you using numbers they “have otherwise obtained”, and then pass your information on to their affiliates as well.
While this is the age of unbridled pursuit of the almighty advertising dollar and the changes to PayPal’s T&Cs are therefore somewhat understandable, it’s also the age of choice, and people should be given the option as to whether they’d like to participate or not.
Unfortunately PayPal isn’t honouring this: the company has not provided its customers any way to opt out of being bombarded by its messaging.
Instead, Geek.com says if you don’t agree with the changes, your only option is to close your PayPal account.
Happily, this is also the age of mass communication where everyday, on-the-street consumers have more of a voice than ever before thanks to social media platforms, and there has been an outcry. As one Twitter user put it:
#Paypal – for the highest service in digital mugging
— Lloyd Wright (@lloydguitarist) June 4, 2015
It’s not yet clear how this will resolve, exactly, but with PayPal’s 160 million worldwide users and the widely-accepted hatred of unsolicited advertising, what is clear is that something has to give.[Source – Yahoo Finance, Geek.com, Twitter]