A woman in Philadelphia says her neighbor just laughs every time he sees her now, because his insurance company refused to pay a claim on her car that he hit. The company told her that the man won’t answer his phone, so there’s nothing they can do. Update: Right after I posted this, the OP emailed with an update. See the bottom of the post. [More]
Mandatory binding arbitration, which corporations use to dodge accountability for their discrimination, negligence, or harassment, is a caricature of justice that offers no protection to consumers or employees. It’s also terrible for small business owners, as one couple found out.
We at Consumerist really hate mandatory binding arbitration, the faux-legal sucker punch that companies deliver when they screw up and you try to sue, and so should you. We’ve talked about its evils a lot, but no one can describe this legal abomination as well as the victims themselves, so this week we’ll let them speak.
Swiss bank UBS, which has “admitted conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to settle a sweeping federal investigation into its activities,” has agreed to release the names of Americans who have been secreting away cash in UBS’ fabled Swiss bank accounts. The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating about 19,000 accounts, but the New York Times says the bank may only release a couple hundred names. Update: Now the IRS has asked a judge to demand that UBS turn over the names of around 52,000 clients. UBS says it will “vigorously challenge” the new request.
At what point is an auto manufacturer freed from all responsibility for the car it makes and sells? Griffin says it’s almost certain that the incorrect body control module (BCM) was inserted at the factory, and that GM’s mistake cost him $459 to fix. GM says the former owner (Griffin’s friend) must have swapped out BCMs and therefore it’s “out of our control,” but Griffin argues that’s pretty much impossible.
Speaking of the Walmart/Edelman scandal, there’s a Q&A session with Steve Rubel, senior vice president at Edelman, up at the Washington Post. On one hand, as is the rule-of-greasy-thumb for PR double-speak, most of it seems eminently reasonable and level-headed. In fact, a good amount of it we agree with. But there’s a couple of pearls of wisdom that have tumbled from Rubel’s snout that betray the usual slimy patronization of consumers by executives that gets The Consumerist shouting “Spoon!”