Opt Out Of E*TRADE's Arbitration Clause

Reader Jeff perused the contract for his new E*TRADE account and found not only a big wonkin’ arbitration clause in there, but a successive clause actually giving you a chance to opt out of it and retain your rights to not have disputes moderated in a corporate monkey court beyond the reach of law.

If you do not wish to be bound by this arbitration clause, you must notify the Bank in writing within 60 days after receiving a copy of this Agreement. You must send your request to: Arbitration Manager, E*TRADE Bank, Legal Department, 671 North Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia 22203. Your request must include your account number(s) and a clear statement of your intent, such as “I reject the arbitration clause stated in the Bank’s account agreement.

Not like you’re expecting troubles but new E*TRADE customer interested not ceeding their constitutional rights to due process in a court of law would be advised to take E*TRADE up on their generous offer. The contract says disputes will be moderated by the American Arbitration Association. Hm, why doesn that sound familar? Oh, those are the nice folks who helped screw Jordan Fogal in our story, “Tremont Homes Sells Rotten Lemon, Provokes Victimized Homebuyer Into Five-Year Consumer Crusade.”

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  1. huadpe says:

    This is a smart tactic for E*Trade to avoid having their binding arbitration clause thrown out. If you look at, for example, the recent case in California against Sprint, a large part of the reason the clause was found unconscionable was that the contract was totally non-negotiable, except to accept or reject it as a whole. This makes the contract much more likely to stand up in court.

  2. Amy Alkon says:

    Can you opt out of those mandatory arbitration contracts in, say, Cingular’s agreement, by sending them a letter? I don’t plan to sue them, but I find the fact that they put this in their agreement disgusting, and hope our Senaturds and Congressturds will lift their tongues from lobbyists’ asses long enough to pass a law outlawing this.

    My sympathies to the lady in Texas who lost her house and so much money through this scummy sort of thing in their contract.

  3. chazz says:

    I wonder if it would hold up if you send it in after 60 days, say 24 months later.