(Rich Rogala)

Yelp Sues Law Firm Over Allegedly Bogus Reviews

The folks at Yelp have decided to get tough with what they believe are businesses that post fake reviews on the site in order to appeal to customers or to counteract genuine, negative feedback from actual customers. The company has sued a small San Diego-based bankruptcy law firm, alleging that it filled its profile with false, positive reviews. [More]


Comcast Lawsuit Shows Why Mandatory Binding Arbitration Is Just Plain Evil

I know, I know… lots of you hear a phrase like “mandatory binding arbitration” and your eyes gloss over and your mind drifts off like it did when your high school history teacher tried to teach you about the Monroe Doctrine or the Teapot Dome scandal. And that’s exactly how companies like Comcast — and AT&T, Time Warner Cable, American Express, Sony, Microsoft, eBay, and many, many others want you to react. But here’s a decent example of why you should give a hoot about having your rights taken away by a few words in a contract you can’t possibly alter. [More]

(angela n.)

TiVo Adds Mandatory Binding Arbitration For Customers: Here’s How To Opt Out

We at Consumerist have crusaded against the evils of mandatory binding arbitration for most of the last decade. Companies love it, though, because it means we can’t sue them. TiVo is only the latest company to insert language requiring customers to use arbitration and give up their right to sue. You can opt out of that provision, though, if you want to. [More]

Time Warner Cable Customers Sue Over CBS Blackout

Time Warner Cable Customers Sue Over CBS Blackout

It’s two weeks into the Time Warner Cable vs. CBS staring contest and millions of TV viewers around the country still have no access to the network or its premium counterpart Showtime. That means it’s apparently time to call in the lawyers. [More]

Click image to see full size.

Straight Talk Users Sue Walmart And TracFone Over Throttling Of Unlimited Data Plans

Once again, a lawsuit calls into question the definition of “unlimited” when it refers to smartphone data plans. This time, the plaintiff claims that Straight Talk Wireless (a partnership between TracFone and Walmart) is effectively putting monthly data caps in place by throttling data speeds for users once they use a certain amount of data. Furthermore, alleges the complaint, users aren’t being told about the throttling until it’s too late. [More]

Important information: Time Warner Cable hates you.

Time Warner Cable Jacking Up Modem Fees

Not even a year after Time Warner Cable ticked off its entire customer base (except maybe some who are also heavily invested in TWC) by deciding to charge a $3.95/month modem rental fee for equipment that customers already had in their homes, the company has done as we predicted and begun raising that rate to $5.99 a month for equipment that is now even older and more out-of-date than it was last October. [More]


Supreme Court Deals Another Blow To Consumers, Lets Companies Use Forced Arbitration To Skirt The Law

The Supreme Court has once again ruled that forced arbitration clauses in contracts are enforceable, and that they can be used to preempt class-action lawsuits, even in cases where class-action suits are the only economically feasible way for the plaintiff to make its case. [More]

Click on the image to see how each of the surveyed banks fared in the Disclosures categories.

Consumer-Friendly Checking Account Practices Vary Wildly From Bank To Bank

Unless you’ve been hiding under a bed for the last six years, you probably know that the banking industry isn’t exactly beloved by many American consumers. As a reaction to public sentiment (and threats of regulation), a number of banks have begun phasing in some more consumer-friendly practices, but a new study shows these changes are not industry-wide and that several banks are still years behind. [More]

Charles Schwab Drops Class-Action Ban Clause From Contracts

Charles Schwab Drops Class-Action Ban Clause From Contracts

After AT&T somehow convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that a couple of sentences buried toward the end of a contract that maybe .05% of customers ever think about reading was all that was needed to preempt class-action lawsuits, many large companies have rushed to pack their user agreements and licenses with clauses that force customers into arbitration. But, stuck in a battle with an industry regulator, the folks at Charles Schwab have decided to go another way, announcing that they have gotten rid of the part of their arbitration clause that bans class-action suits… for now. [More]

Worst Company In America Round 1: AT&T Vs. Verizon

Worst Company In America Round 1: AT&T Vs. Verizon

It’s the final day of Round One play in the Worst Company In America Thunderdome, so why not start it off with a showdown between the two largest — and most-hated — telecom titans around! [More]

Worst Company In America Round 1: PayPal Vs. Sallie Mae

Worst Company In America Round 1: PayPal Vs. Sallie Mae

Ready or not, it’s time to start Day 2 of bloodthirsty competition in the Worst Company In America tournament. Kicking things off for today is a match-up between two companies that love processing your payments, but don’t really show the love when you call to complain. [More]


Supreme Court To Decide Whether Companies Can Use Forced Arbitration To Skirt Federal Laws

It’s been nearly two years since the Supreme Court slapped U.S. consumers across the face, ruling in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion that companies could take away customers’ rights to class-action lawsuits by including a tiny arbitration clause in user agreements. Today, SCOTUS hears another arbitration case that could shift the balance even further in favor of corporations. [More]

StubHub has joined the binding arbitration gang.

Now You Can No Longer File Class-Action Suits Against StubHub; Here’s How To Opt Out

Yet another company with the potential to tick off a lot of consumers has slipped a consumer-unfriendly mandatory binding arbitration clause into its user agreement. This time, it’s the ticket re-selling marketplace StubHub, but there is a way for users to opt out of this clause. [More]

Merry Christmas, Instagram.

It Was Only A Matter Of Time: Instagram Hit With Civil Lawsuit Over Terms Of Service

While many of us were hanging our stockings with care on Monday evening, Facebook and Instagram were facing a far less cheery Christmas present in the form of a proposed class action lawsuit filed in a federal court in California. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a little legal action against a ginormous social network, right? [More]

Instagram's new TOS takes away your right to a class-action lawsuit, unless you opt out now.

Here’s How To Opt Out Of Instagram’s New Arbitration Clause

Among the other controversial changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service is a spanking new forced-arbitration clause that, as things do, effectively takes away consumers’ rights to band together in a class-action against the company. Thankfully, you can opt out of the clause in writing before Feb. 15, 2013. [More]


‘Six Strikes’ Anti-Piracy Program Delayed To 2013, This Time Because Of Hurricane Sandy

A long-in-the-works anti-piracy program from five major telecom players is probably not something you would think could be affected by a hurricane, but that’s apparently what is keeping the “Six Strikes” program from launching this week. [More]

A friendly notice from TWC

Two Class-Action Suits Filed Over Time Warner Cable’s Modem Rental Fee

We had a hunch this would happen when Time Warner Cable unceremoniously gave customers two-weeks notice that they would soon be paying a monthly modem rental fee for equipment that was already installed — the cable company is now a defendant in two identical lawsuits filed earlier today. [More]


eBay Has A Zero-Tolerance Policy For Scammy Sellers (Who Haven’t Figured Out How To Game The System)

Recently we warned eBay buyers that they needed to make sure to complain about possible scams within 45 days or not only are they unable to get their money back, they can’t even leave negative feedback for the seller. We tried to get an explanation from eBay for this seemingly biased policy. Not surprisingly, eBay hasn’t been terribly forthcoming. [More]