Paypal pushing users into binding arbitration

You probably just received a notice from Paypal, and you probably didn't read it.  That's okay, I do these things so that you don't have to.  Paypal is binding any users who don't opt out through physical mail to internal arbitration without outside legal recourse.  They've done this before, but without the opt-out procedure it's proven legally thorny for them.

Paypal is, of course, notoriously difficult to deal with, and we'd all like to have legal recourse should it be necessary.  Here, from their agreement, is the opt-out method:
  1. You can choose to reject this Agreement to Arbitrate ("opt out") by mailing us a written opt-out notice ("Opt-Out Notice").  For new PayPal users, the Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than 30 Days after the date you accept the User Agreement for the first time.  If you are already a current PayPal user and previously accepted the User Agreement prior to the introduction of this Agreement to Arbitrate, the Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2012. You must mail the Opt-Out Notice to PayPal, Inc., Attn: Litigation Department, 2211 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131.

    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.
If everything just went fuzzy on you and you woke up in another room after trying to read that, the gist of the gist is that you must send snail mail to Paypal by December 1 of this year indicating your intent to opt out, or thirty days after you first sign up if you are not a current Paypal user.  It has to include your name, address, phone number, and all email addresses you use with Paypal.  The letter must state your intent to opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, and probably should be labeled "Opt Out Notice" at the top.

Here are the requirements in easy-to-digest list form:

  • Labeled "Opt-Out Notice"
  • States that you opt out of the "Agreement to Arbitrate"
  • Signed
  • Sent through physical mail
  • Includes your:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • all email addresses used with Paypal
  • By December 1st 2012 OR thirty days after you sign up for new users
  • Send to:
PayPal, Inc
Attn: Litigation Department
2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131
I strongly recommend that all readers do so as soon as possible.