How to: Opt out of Paypal’s shady new policy update

UPDATE: I notice that folks are still checking this post as a source of info! That’s great! I just wanted to add that the nice folks at The Consumerist have put together a template to make opting out easier!
It’s also come to my attention that ebay, which Paypal owns, is implementing a similar policy change. The ebay deadline is November 9th! Get a template and more info on that monkey business here.

Totally un-art related! I was pretty skeeved out by Paypal’s new policy update, which states that

The update to the User Agreement is effective November 1, 2012 and contains several changes, including changes that affect how claims you and PayPal have against each other are resolved. You will, with limited exception, be required to submit claims you have against PayPal to binding and final arbitration, unless you opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate (Section 14.3) by December 1, 2012. Unless you opt out: (1) you will only be permitted to pursue claims against PayPal on an individual basis, not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action or proceeding and (2) you will only be permitted to seek relief (including monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief) on an individual basis.

I don’t trust Paypal at the best of times (they’ve screwed over several of my friends) but this is really a red flag for me. I mean Paypal, an almost monopolistic entity on the web that handles tons of peoples’ money every day, is almost entirely unregulated, and has a habit of seizing funds and freezing accounts at whim? Who even reserves the right to do this without explanation in their policies? That Paypal wants to block users from participating in class action lawsuits? No no no.

So I emailed them a number of (initially polite but increasingly irate) requests to be opted out and sent written verification that I was opted out. I took screenshots of these requests, just in case Paypal decided to be extra skeevy and not acknowledge my requests. This morning, I finally got this:

To opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, you must mail an Opt-Out Notice to:

PayPal, Inc.
Attn: Litigation Department
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131

Please note: Your Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2012. The Opt-Out Notice must state that you do not agree to the Agreement to Arbitrate and must include your name, address, phone number, and the email address(es) used to log in to the PayPal account(s) to which the opt-out applies. You must also sign the Opt-Out Notice for it to be effective.

You can view this Policy Update by logging in to your PayPal account. To log in to your account, go to https://www.paypal.com and enter your member log in information. Once you are logged in, look at the Notifications section on the top right side of the page for the latest Policy Updates. We encourage you to review the Policy Update to familiarize yourself with all of the changes that have been made.

Thank you for being a valued member of the PayPal Community! We wish you continued success using our services.

Spreading the word because I want to give as many of Paypal’s users as possible the opportunity to opt out of this sticky mess.

Remember: Opt out of policy update section 14.3, Agreement to Arbitrate, and send out your request well before the December 1st 2012 cut-off. Also probably best to keep a copy of your letter, and request that they give you written verification that you’ve been opted out.

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5 thoughts on “How to: Opt out of Paypal’s shady new policy update

  1. The best way to opt out is to stop using the service. Yes, I know that it is occasionally difficult to avoid PayPal, but it’s the best, if not the only way to send them a message.

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