Once again, Paypal, an eBay company, proves why monopolies are bad.
In case you haven’t noticed, a new rule went into effect this month. From now on, you cannot participate in a class action suit against Paypal. Why? Because you agreed not to. That’s the change they made in their end-user agreement. The one you cannot negotiate upon or refuse to agree to (unless, of course, you don’t want to sell on eBay).
The idea is that if Paypal makes a mistake (or otherwise harms you) for small amounts, it won’t be worth your while to sue them on your own. Until now, If they made such a mistake against all their users for small amounts, users could have sue dcollectively in a class action. Well, now they cannot. So the road is clear. Shave $1 from each Paypal user and voila – millions of dollars of free money. How many of these users are going to travel to Santa Clara County to sue Paypal? Probably no-one. For one dollar? Perfect solution for a big problem any service provider faces: how to take money from the users without being sued. Kudos Paypal.
What’s the law on this issue? Well, apparently the law is on their side. This summer, AT&T won a case in the US Supreme Court allowing them to do exactly that: add a condition in the agreement forbidding class-action suits against them. Take it or leave it. If you leave it – check the competition (that Paypal doesn’t have), they might have added the same rule.
In case of Paypal – you can opt-out. How? Send them a letter. Yes, a letter. Company that doesn’t even have a proper call-center for customer services, and that its whole business model is on-line operation, wants you to send a letter to their San Jose office. You have until December 1st. Citizenvox have conveniently put a template for you to use, if you’re interested.
Other things you can do:
1. Call your Congressmen to demand they take action against such brutality.
2. Don’t use eBay and Paypal.
Your Little Advisor.