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PayPal apologises over robocall user agreement

PayPal has apologised to users over the changes to its terms and conditions which were heavily criticised earlier this month.

The e-commerce platform admitted that the user policy caused “confusion and concern” and that more should have been done to clarify the situation.

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The majority of criticism stemmed from the fact that the policy change appeared to subject users to robocalls and automated messages without any opt-out clause. PayPal was also able to share personal details with its affiliates. The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, warned the company that it could be in breach of US regulations.

“We value our relationship with our customers and work hard to communicate clearly,” PayPal explained in a blog post. “Recently, however, we did not live up to our own standards. In sending our customers a notice about upcoming changes to our User Agreement we used language that did not clearly communicate how we intend to contact them.”

PayPal added that it will not subject customers to pre-recorded calls or automated texts in order to share marketing material without user consent. It said that automated communications would primarily be used to investigate fraud and collect debts and that users were free to use the service without consenting to the new changes.

Travis LeBlanc, an FCC enforcement bureau chief welcomed PayPal’s decision as one that respects customer views.

Read more: Why the PayPal robocall agreement has consumers up in arms

“The changes to PayPal’s user agreement recognize that its customers are not required to consent to unwanted robocalls or robotexts,” he wrote. “It clarifies, rightly, that its customers must provide prior express written consent before the company can call or text them with marketing, and that these customers have a right to revoke their consent to receive robocalls or robotexts at any time. These changes, along with PayPal’s commitments to improve its disclosures and make it easier for consumers to express their calling preferences, are significant and welcome improvements.”