Lyft tweaks terms of service after warning

Lyft tweaks terms of service after warning
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Lyft is revising its terms of service to allow users to continue to use the ridesharing service even if they opt out of receiving promotional messages. 

The change, implemented over the weekend, is a reaction to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warning that the company was violating robocall laws. 

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The company now allows users to specifically opt out of receiving autodialed or prerecorded “promotional” texts and calls. 

“You may opt-out of receiving promotional or marketing texts or calls from Lyft at any time by texting the word END to 46080 from the mobile device receiving the messages,” according to a new paragraph added to the terms of service

Previously, if users wanted to stop receiving promotional messages, they had to unsubscribe from all messages — meaning they would no longer be able to hail rides using the service. That option is still available by sending the word “STOPALL” to 46080.  

The app-based company denied that it was using promotional texts to “spam users with unwanted communications.” 

Lyft also provided more detailed opt-out guidelines on their FAQ page. The FCC has noted that the previous unsubscribe option was difficult to locate. 

The FCC bars nearly all autodialed or prerecorded calls or texts to mobile phones without consent. It also bars those same kind of telemarketing calls to landlines. In addition, it prohibits companies from requiring consent as a condition of purchasing a product or service. And companies are supposed to notify customers of their right to refuse the calls. 

"To protect consumers from being forced to give consent unwillingly, FCC rules forbid requiring consumers to agree to receive marketing robocalls and autodialed calls/texts as a condition of purchasing any goods, services, or property," the commission wrote in a press release publicizing its warning to Lyft and another company, First National Bank. 

In a message announcing its changes, Lyft pointed to Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s statement last week criticizing the agency’s enforcement bureau for going after the company. He said the move highlighted the commission's "complete cluelessness when it comes to the tech economy."