NY Attorney General Questions eBay And Paypal's New 'Robocall' Policy
eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY) and subsidiary PayPal recently issued changes to their user agreements that will go into effect on July 1. One aspect of the new agreement, provisions allowing eBay and PayPal to call and text customers, was quick to raise concerns among users.
Apparently, users were not the only ones concerned with the policy changes, as the New York state attorney general’s office is now asking eBay for clarification on the policy.
The proposed user agreement states that eBay and PayPal have the right to use “autodialed or prerecorded calls or text messages” to contact users. eBay and PayPal could call users to collect debts, gather information or offer promotions.
It’s not just the inclusion of the automated calls and texts in the terms that are troubling. There is also no mention of an “opt-out” option for users who do not wish to be contacted by the companies.
PayPal Defends The Terms
In a blog post last week, PayPal attempted to calm its customer base by addressing the new terms. PayPal senior vice president and secretary Louise Pentland wrote that the company has “no intention of harassing you.”
“In reaching out to you for account service purposes, such as fraud alerts, we occasionally use technologies that allow us to contact you efficiently,” Pentland explained in the post.
Attorney General Not Convinced
Despite the clarification, New York’s Internet Bureau Chief Kathleen McGee sent a letter to the two companies expressing concerns that the new policy may violate the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
“Given eBay’s dominant market position, it is unclear whether consumers really have a choice at all,” McGee wrote in her letter.
An eBay spokesperson told CNET that the company plans to respond to the questions raised in the letter soon.
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