I hate PayPal. I use it because it has ended up as a ubiquitous solution, but overall I find it to be untrustworthy and of dubious reliability. There are basically two kinds of users, those who have been fucked over by PayPal, and those who have not yet been fucked over by PayPal. Search for "paypal horror stories" and then be sure to run your credit reports. But currently there's still no viable alternative. No, not even that bastion of privacy protection, Google, has built the usurping platform.
Anyway, PayPal's latest fuckery involves the new tech industry hotness: burying shady stuff in user agreement revisions. Companies like Valve, Microsoft, Netflix,and Sony have all added wording to their user agreements to ban future class action lawsuits. Shitty stuff, but usually abstract. Class action stuff is usually pretty boring. All the laptop power adapters frayed, so we can al trade them in. Yay. Or perhaps some wordings were willfully obfuscating fees in a cell phone carrier. Meh, a couple bucks to you, but screwing thousands of people out of millions of dollars. If you were forced to go to small claims court for all that stuff, there would be literally zero chance for the kind of corporate oversight and justice that really needs class action to be effective.
But this is different. PayPal has a documented history of freezing users checking accounts and holding funds for months without reason. This is an unregulated pseudo-bank that can really put a hurting on you, and they answer to no one. In fact, my writing this could very well cause them to freeze my funds or my business account. You'll hear if that happens.
However, PayPal in their infinite munificence has allowed the option to opt out of this part of the user agreement. But you have to do it by postal mail by December 1, 2012. Clever, huh? From the afore-linked PayPal User Agreement:
The Opt-Out Notice must state that you do not agree to this 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 sign the Opt-Out Notice for it to be effective. This procedure is the only way you can opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate. If you opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, all other parts of the User Agreement, including all other provisions of Section 14 (Disputes with PayPal), will continue to apply. Opting out of this Agreement to Arbitrate has no effect on any previous, other, or future arbitration agreements that you may have with us.
There are some quick templates to do this. Because I like you guys so much, I've put some language here that you can use to craft your own opt out letter. You can add some snarky comments if you like. God knows I did.
Attn: Litigation Department
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131
Re: Opt-out Notice
To Whom It May Concern:
I officially opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate.
By this letter, I am opting out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, including the prohibition on class actions, as authorized by paragraph 14.3.e of the PayPal User Agreement.
Be sure to sign your name
Put your name
and telephone number.
PS—If you're in the "herp-derp-if-you-don't-like-it-don't-use-it-or-build-the-alternative-and-also-we-should-get-back-on-the-gold-standard" camp: shut the fuck up. There's an alternative way to fight the predatory bait-and-switch that passes for capitalism these days. Its called communication and direct action. Go give Paul Ryan a backrub and let the grownups handle things.