eBay steps up the robocalls

If you thought the online marketplace stayed on the interwebs, think again.

Under a new user agreement, eBay can robocall and text customers and share customer phone numbers with other companies starting next month.

The eBay user agreement, updated earlier this month and set to take effect March 26, gives the ecommerce giant almost free rein to spam customers with promotions and surveys — unless users opt out. The agreement also lets eBay share customer contact information with eBay-affiliated companies and vendors such as collection agencies.

“These service providers may also contact you using autodialed or prerecorded messages calls and/or SMS or other text messages …

 

“Members of the eBay corporate family and/or our affiliates will only contact you using autodialed or prerecorded message calls and/or SMS or other text messages, if you have requested their services.”

Is that the phone ringing?

eBay also has rights to obtain customer phone numbers from third party vendors or “by our own efforts.” So even customers who don’t provide a phone number on their eBay account could get a robocall.

This latest iteration of the customer agreement builds on the user agreement released last August, when the company first added a robocalling clause.  And indeed, the calls have been coming since last summer, much to the annoyance of some customers.

Agreements earlier than Aug. 21 did not give eBay the same robocalling rights.

The March contract also spells out when eBay can robocall customers:

… for reasons relating to your account or your use of our sites, services, application or tools (such as to collect a debt, resolve a dispute, or to otherwise enforce our User Agreement) or as authorized by applicable law …

 

and

 

… for marketing, promotional, or other reasons that you have either previously consented to or that you may be asked to consent to in the future. 

You can opt-out of the marketing e-mails and robocalls in just a few seconds. Here’s how:

  • Go to My eBay (must access with username and password)
  • Click on Account
  • Communications Preference
  • Promotions and Surveys
  • Unclick the boxes

 

 

 

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (206 Posts)

Heather Somerville is a business reporter covering venture capital and startups for the Bay Area News Group.