AT&T: Mandatory Binding Arbitration Actually Benefits The Consumer

Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that it’s okay for companies to effectively preempt class-action lawsuits by putting mandatory binding arbitration clauses into their contracts with consumers. To most of us, that looks like a slap in the face to the American consumer, but the folks at AT&T want us all to know that the Supreme Court decision is actually going to benefit us all.

In a statement sent to Consumerist, a rep for the Death Star writes:

The Court recognized that arbitration often benefits consumers. And as noted in the opinion, “…[T]he District Court concluded that the [the plaintiffs] were better off under their arbitration agreement with AT&T than they would have been as participants in a class action, which ‘could take months, if not years, and which may merely yield an opportunity to submit a claim for recovery of a small percentage of a few dollars.’” We value our customers, and AT&T’s arbitration program is free, fair, fast, easy to use, and consumer friendly.

The Supreme Court decision came about after plaintiffs in California attempted to get class-action status for their suit against AT&T. The telecom titan argued that the customers were contractually obligated to enter into arbitration and thus, could not seek class-action status. A district court and circuit court disagreed, but the Supreme Court ruled with a 5-4 vote in favor of AT&T.