As we sifted through the mountain of nominations for this year’s Worst Company In America tournament, we noticed a trend of readers who cited companies’ mandatory binding arbitration clauses as a reason for nominating. And while it’s businesses like AT&T and Sony that have made all the headlines for effectively banning class action lawsuits, there are a lot of other WCIA contenders who are forcing customers into signing away their rights.
The folks at Public Citizen keep a Forced Arbitration Rogues Gallery on their website, and a number of the businesses listed there are also currently competing for 2012 Golden Poo.
In addition to AT&T — who got the binding arbitration snowball rolling last year by convincing the U.S. Supreme Court that one clause in its 42-page term customer agreement is sufficient to negate all class-action claims — and Sony, the other WCIA contenders in the Public Citizen round-up are:
* Time Warner Cable
* Wells Fargo
* JPMorgan Chase (in the Rogues Gallery twice for consumer banking and student loans)
* Sallie Mae
Public Citizen links to each of these companies’ terms of service so you can play detective and try to find the arbitration clauses among the rest of the stuff no one ever reads.
Forced Arbitration Rogues Gallery [Citizen.org]