Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Cingular’s arbitration clause, a nasty piece of work that supposedly “forfeits your right to a lawsuit” just by signing a contract with Cingular. We’re about to see if works, because Cingular (now AT&T) is the target of a 9-state class action lawsuit stemming from (this gets a little confusing) Cingular’s purchase of AT&T wireless, and they’re playing the “arbitration clause” card to get it thrown out of court.
“Although the exact wording of these provisions has changed somewhat over time, each has required customers to pursue their disputes with Cingular or AT&T Wireless in either individual arbitration or small claims court,” the defendants allege in their motion.
“Cingular’s arbitration provisions do not contain a prohibitive cost structure or otherwise impose disincentives on customers’ ability to pursue their claims. . . . Accordingly, this court should issue an order compelling each plaintiff to pursue his or her claims in individual arbitration or in small claims court and dismissing this lawsuit.”
So if you wondered why that clause was in there, now you know just how they planned to use it. —MEGHANN MARCO