Jun 30, 2015 07:45 AM EDT

PayPal Changes ‘Robocalling’ Policy Amid Telemarketing Rule Confusion

After sparking some telemarketing confusion among its consumers, online payments system company PayPal revised its "robocalling" policy just two days before its updated policies were to take effect. PayPal explained its upcoming terms of service will only be implemented when it needs to collect a debt, warn consumers about a shady activity or tackle fraudulent cases. 

One of the world's largest Internet payment companies, PayPal, has recently updated their user agreement informing all its consumers that the company has extensive authority to make automated calls (robocalls) and texts. This policy made its over 150 million users understandably nervous, Engadget has learned.

In PayPal's "robocalling" policy, consumers won't deal with marketing spiels or pre-recorded messages unless with given consent, which could be revoked any time. According to The Bell Jar, PayPal said consumers have a choice to allow robocalls and text or not. But the initial information was unclear.

Now, under the company's newly revised policy, customers or users should give the company a written consent before PayPal can place autodialed or pre-recorded calls (robocalls) and texts for marketing purposes.

"We have also been working proactively with regulators to clarify that our focus is on our customers, on consumer protection and on doing the right thing," PayPal's Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Company Secretary Louise Pentland stated in a blog post. "We appreciate the feedback our customers have provided to us on this issue and apologize for any confusion we may have caused," she added.

PayPal also said that they respect their customers' communications preferences and recognize that their consent is required for certain robocalls and texts.

Meanwhile, PayPal emphasized the changes were made to clear up telemarketing issues and confusion instead of avoiding the ire of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who was worried that the company's "robocalling" policy was violating the strict rules on robotic telemarketing, Washington Post reported. 

PayPal's "robocalling" policy revision is indeed an important change for all its consumers after the initial terms of service ignited reactions from concerned lawmakers and FCC.

"I commend PayPal for taking steps to honor consumer choices to be free from unwanted calls and texts," FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc stated.

LeBlanc added that PayPal's "robocalling" policy revision, along with the company's commitments to expand its disclosures, is significant and welcomes improvements.

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