CFPB To Consider Rules That Would Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

(Van Swearingen)

The lengthy, often complicated terms of use for more than half of all credit cards — and nearly half of all federally insured bank deposits — include clauses that force customers into arbitration, taking away their right to sue these companies in a court of law and usually blocking them from joining together in a class action. Critics argue that these forced-arbitration clauses allow banks and other businesses to break the law with impunity. Heeding the call of lawmakers and consumer advocates, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to consider rules that would ban this practice among financial institutions. [More]

Three On-Demand Food Delivery Services Hit With Lawsuits Over Worker Misclassification

Three On-Demand Food Delivery Services Hit With Lawsuits Over Worker Misclassification

GrubHub, DoorDash and Caviar can all deliver food to customers with a few taps and clicks on an app, and they all have something else in common — they’re each facing new lawsuits alleging that their delivery drivers are misclassified as independent contractors. [More]

Judge: Uber Contract Forcing Drivers Into Arbitration Contradicts Itself

Judge: Uber Contract Forcing Drivers Into Arbitration Contradicts Itself

There are two legal cases against ride-hailing service Uber that are attracting attention nationwide. One is a class action that could include thousands of people, and the other is a labor dispute concerning only one person. Yet something interesting and potentially important happened in the latter case today: a San Francisco Superior Court Judge said that the part of Uber’s contract with drivers that forces them to arbitrate disputes individually with the company is unenforceable. [More]

Dish Taking Away Users’ Right To Sue Company In Court. Here’s How To Opt Out

Dish Taking Away Users’ Right To Sue Company In Court. Here’s How To Opt Out

Over the weekend, a number of Consumerist readers wrote to us with the bad news that, like a growing number of companies, Dish Network is updating its terms of use to strip customers of their right to dispute legal claims in a court of law. There is a way for Dish subscribers to opt out of this restriction — but only if they do it right away. [More]

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Last summer, a consumer in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against online retailer Accessory Outlet over what she called a bogus $250 fine the company imposed, claiming she breached the terms of sale when she threatened to have the charge canceled after the iPhone case she ordered never shipped. Today, a New York court sided with the consumer by granting a default judgement in the case, essentially agreeing that Accessory Outlet’s “terms of sale” and the debt it alleged the woman owed were void.  [More]

Small Business Owners Say DirecTV Installation Errors Result In Collections Lawsuits

Small Business Owners Say DirecTV Installation Errors Result In Collections Lawsuits

If a small business, like a bar or restaurant, lies to a cable company and orders residential service instead of the more costly commercial offerings, it would make sense that the pay-TV provider might sue to collect the money it should have received. But what if the reason for the gaffe wasn’t intentional deception but a mistake by an installer? [More]

Commercials for Everest University continue to appear on TV, because the schools are now operated by Zenith Education Corp.

Why Do I Keep Seeing Commercials For Everest University?

If you’re sitting at home watching television on any given afternoon, you’re likely to see a few commercials touting the supposed convenience and benefits of attending a for-profit college. But with the recent, very public collapse of now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc — and the closure of many of its schools — you might be wondering why your Jerry Springer show is being interrupted with ads for Everest University. [More]

Expansion Of Military Lending Act Closes Loopholes Exploited By Predatory Lenders

Expansion Of Military Lending Act Closes Loopholes Exploited By Predatory Lenders

Nearly a decade after legislation was put in place to protect U.S. military personnel and their families from predatory financial products, the Military Lending Act received a much-needed update to close loopholes often exploited by shady lenders to skirt the rules and put the financial lives of servicemembers at risk. [More]

Root Sports Pittsburgh is one of several regional sports networks owned by DirecTV.

Smaller Cable Companies Concerned About AT&T/DirecTV Merger’s Impact On Prices For Regional Sports Networks

As we’ve seen with the ongoing locals sports broadcasting messes in Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, pay-TV operators with exclusive regional and team-specific networks sometimes put too high a price on their content, meaning other providers can’t afford to carry these stations and large swaths of fans are left in the dark. And a trade group representing small and midsize cable operators are worried that this problem may only get worse without certain conditions being put on the pending $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV. [More]

(Ryan Glenn)

FTC Affirms Consumers’ Right To Go To Court Over Warranty Disputes

In just the last four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled against consumers’ rights and in favor of companies that use fine print in their contracts to block wronged customers from suing in court and from joining together as a class action. In spite of these rulings, the Federal Trade Commission recently upheld rules that give warranty buyers the right to a day in court, even if they have to go through arbitration first. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Hammerin Man)

Legislators Once Again Trying To Delay New Lending Protections For Military Personnel

The Department of Defense is trying to do something good for servicemembers by closing loopholes in the Military Lending Act that can leave military personnel vulnerable to predatory lenders. But these safeguards are now the target of a Congressman who has received substantial campaign contributions from payday lenders. [More]

(matthrono)

Banks Continue To Improve Consumer Safeguards, But Progress Isn’t Coming Fast Enough

Opening a checking account with a bank is a rite of passage of sorts for many consumers, but the plethora of small-print disclosures, fees and other services are enough to confuse even the most seasoned account holder. While banks attempted to simplify their practices over the years, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows that some banks – and regulators – have a long way to go before they’re truly doing everything they can to protect consumers. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]

(Dustin Michelson)

PRO Students Act Aims To Protect Students From For-Profit Colleges’ Bad Behavior

It’s difficult to go a month or even just a few weeks without hearing of another for-profit college being under investigation for unscrupulous practices, such as inflated job placement rates and pushing students into costly student loans. New legislation announced today aims to curtail the number of investigations we hear about by protecting students from predatory, deceptive, and fraudulent practices in the for-profit college sector, before they even enroll. [More]

(sparkle-motion)

Legislation Would End Forced Arbitration In Student Enrollment Agreements

When Education Credit Management Corporation announced late last year that it would buy 56 of for-profit education chain Corinthian College Inc.’s Everest University and WyoTech campuses, consumer advocates expressed great concern that the new company – which would operate under the name Zenith – would continue the unfair practice of requiring students to sign away their right to seek any legal action against the company if they’re wronged. While ECMC ultimately said it would do away with the practice, new legislation aims to strengthen students’ legal rights when it comes to forced arbitration. [More]

Judge: Uber Must Face Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination Against Blind Passengers With Service Dogs

Judge: Uber Must Face Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination Against Blind Passengers With Service Dogs

Months after the National Federation of the Blind claimed in a federal civil rights lawsuit that some of Uber’s drivers have discriminated against blind passengers by refusing to pick them up when they had guide dogs — and in one case, allegedly putting a service dog in a car’s trunk — a judge has ruled that the ride-hailing company must defend itself against the suit. [More]