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Dear PayPal

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jerry Lobdill       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Dear PayPal,

The instructions for composing an email to you say to include as much detail as possible. You'll be sorry for that.


Let's start here: Who am I, and what do I want? (Not that you really give a damn.) I am a member of the Silent Generation, also known as the "Lucky Few". I want simple transactions in which it is implicitly understood through common law and common practice and long experience what the parties should expect. I do not want to enter into a legal written "contract of adhesion" (Google it) with a seller or a buyer when I go into the marketplace to buy or sell most things people need or want. Huge transactions are a different matter, as they always have been for 15-20 generations. In other words, I want sensible, sane, rules that are common law as our society has always had even before this nation came into existence.

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With that in mind let's talk about what is wrong with commerce today and specifically YOUR business with me. You just sent me (apologetically) your latest policy changes governing the business I may or may not choose to do with you. Thank you for that--you were not required to do that according to a caveat that is boiler-plate in these kinds of documents today.


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These (important) changes required 11 pages (8.5x11, 12-point Arial font) and 6945 words. Your attorneys say that I MUST read and accept the terms contained in their painstakingly crafted agreement before I can pay a vendor or sell even a roll of toilet paper to a customer. These gentlemen have charged you at a rate of $300 per hour or more to generate this agreement amendment, a cost of doing business that, ultimately, I pay for and which adds a ridiculous overhead to the cost of simply buying or selling anything through your money-handling service. Worse, you say that I am BOUND by these 6945 words (and all that they are pertinent to), and the simple act of electing to buy or sell using your money-handling service is a legally enforceable act that has far-reaching legal implications for me and for all who use your transaction service. If I don't spend the hour it takes to study your 6945 words, and file them away with God-only-knows how many other legal sheets of verbiage your lawyers say I'm BOUND by when I buy or sell anything through PayPal, it doesn't matter. It's my own throat I'm cutting if I fail to accept that responsibility your lawyers claim I MUST accept.


Somewhere in your reams of policy terms there is boiler-plate that warns me that there are additional conditions that you impose on me. This clever prose says that you may alter the terms of our agreement without notice, and that I should visit your web site whenever I use your service to be sure I am up-to-date on my understanding of what my legal responsibilities are. Otherwise, hey, it's my fault I failed to do this--just in case I may want to complain about your service later. All this when I buy or sell even a roll of toilet paper.


You may wonder why toilet paper seems to be on my mind today as I write this. Ask your expensive legal team to explain it to you if that is the case, but please do not add the cost of that legal advice to my bill for PayPal services. I pay too much for that as it is.


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Yours truly,


Jerry Lobdill


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I am a retired physicist and hold a B.S. in Ch. E. as well. I have been an environmental activist since the early 1970s. I have been a writer of opinion pieces and other essays since about 1995 and am a published author of history. I have (more...)

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