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PayPal backs off, slightly, on new robocall policy

In a couple of weeks, online payment service PayPal will be changing its terms of service to start robocalling and auto texting its customers. And at first, the company’s attitude toward complaints about these unpopular forms of communication was, “Take it or leave it.”

According to BGR News, not long ago PayPal announced that it will begin sending its customers robocalls and auto texts, as part of its new user agreement, which is set to begin on July 1. These communications will alert customers to account issues, but PayPal will also use them to send out advertisements and surveys — unsolicited.

Worst of all, PayPal did not offer an opt-out option. That meant that consumers had two choices: put up with unwanted, data-eating calls and texts, or quit using PayPal entirely. At least one customer asked whether he could opt out of the auto texts and robocalls. In response, PayPal said no, then sent him directions for closing his account.

The announced change, and lack of options, led to an uproar online from consumers. Under pressure, PayPal later reversed itself. The company now says it will provide an opt-out option for those who do not want to receive robocalls and auto texts.

However, as BGR notes, it remains to be seen how easy the opt-out process will be to find and perform on PayPal’s website.

Consumers of online services generally must trust these companies with a great deal of sensitive information, such as phone numbers, addresses and bank account numbers. Sharing this data is not an invitation for abuse, however.