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Senators Ask PayPal to Change New User Agreement

A quartet of Democratic senators has asked PayPal to change its new user agreement, which goes into effect July 1, because it requires consumers to agree to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and texts if they want to use the service. PayPal says it has already clarified that it is not a requirement for using the service.

Signing on to a letter to the online payment company were Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

They say the new policy could hurt consumers by forcing on them a flood of intrusive messages.

According to the senators, PayPal has been informed by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 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,” the Senators wrote. “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.”

They want an answer by July 7 on whether PayPal is reconsidering the policy and, if so, what it plans to do.

"We have received a letter from the United States Senate and look forward to responding," said a PayPal spokesperson. "We strive to be as clear as possible with our customers and clarified our policies and practices two weeks ago on the PayPal blog. As stated in this blog post, our customers can choose not to receive autodialed or prerecorded message calls and may continue to use and enjoy PayPal’s products and services.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.