Score one for the consumer over unfair arbitration. Just last week, Minnesota’s Attorney General sued the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) for fraud, false advertising, and deceptive trade practices—and now the company has agreed to pull out of the credit card business entirely. According to the settlement reached on July 17th, “The only business NAF can now be involved with is in arbitrating Internet domain disputes, a business it has long been in.”
NAF provided arbitration services for Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Discover Card, and American Express.
Minnesota’s Attorney General, Lori Swanson, is using the win to put pressure on another arbitration company that’s currently trying to build up its credit card arbitration business:
Swanson says she is also sending a letter to the American Arbitration Association, an NAF competitor that has been trying to build its credit-card arbitration business. The letter, which makes no allegations of bias, asks the AAA to exit the business because most consumers don’t realize they must use arbitration, rather than going through the courts, as part of credit-card contracts, the AG says. “I am asking the AAA to show some leadership,” Swanson says. AAA General Counsel Eric Tuchmann says he wasn’t prepared to comment on the AG’s proposal until he saw a copy of the letter.