FCC Questions PayPal’s Robocall Policy

PayPal and eBay’s plan to make robocalls and send text messages to users seems to have raised a red flag with federal and state officials who have sent a warning letter to the company.

In a letter sent to PayPal, the Federal Communications Commission has warned that the recent change in PayPal’s user agreement, which goes into effect on July 1 this year, might “violate federal laws governing the use of autodialed, prerecorded and artificial voice calls, including text messages.”

The letter pointed out that for PayPal to comply with the FCC rules, it must get prior consent from users in written or oral form and also identify the telephone number(s) to which the user has given his or her consent to be called or texted.

According to the updated agreement, not only would PayPal retain the right to share the user’s phone number with its affiliates or its service providers such as billing contractors or collection companies but could also contact users via phone or text to poll opinions through surveys or questionnaires or to contact users with offers and promotions.

In a response to the notice, PayPal said, “We strive to be as clear as possible with our customers and clarified our policies and practices last week on the PayPal blog.”

The New York Attorney General’s office on the other hand has just asked the company for more detailed information about the change in its terms of service, which after July 1 would automatically kick in should a user decide to use the company’s service.

“Our customers can choose not to receive autodialed or prerecorded message calls,” the company added in its response.

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