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]
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]
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]
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]
It’s the hot new trend in business: Forcing customers into binding arbitration that take away their rights to sue as a group. The latest to latch onto this trend is American Express, which did its best to hide the clause on the final pages of their statements, but which is also giving them until Feb. 15, 2013 to opt out. [More]
For weeks, we’ve been reminding eBay customers that they have until Nov. 9 to opt out of a new forced arbitration clause in the website’s user agreement that takes away consumers’ right to band together in a class-action suit. We’ve also been hearing concern from people that their accounts will be closed by eBay if they choose to opt out. [More]
We already told you that perennial Worst Company In America heavyweight PayPal added a clause to its user agreement that forces customers with legal complaints into mandatory binding arbitration and takes away their right to band together in a class action. You can opt out of the clause by sending a very specifically formatted letter; luckily there’s now a template. [More]
As we’ve mentioned before, eBay recently changed its terms of service to include a mandatory binding arbitration clause that effectively takes away customers’ rights to pursue class-action lawsuits against the company. So it should come as no surprise that eBay subsidiary (and perennial Worst Company In America contender) PayPal has added a similar clause to its user agreement. But just like the eBay clause, users do have a short window to opt out. [More]
A woman who was allegedly raped while working for Halliburton/Kellogg Brown & Root in Iraq will have her civil claims heard in court, not by a company-selected arbitrator, thanks to a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The perils of forced arbitration and the need for the Arbitration Fairness Act were recently featured on an NPR piece. The story discusses the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, the former Halliburton employee who was gang raped in Iraq by her coworkers, then was sent to arbitration when she tried to sue her employer.
The House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law is currently holding a hearing on forced arbitration and credit cards, appropriately titled “Federal Arbitration Act: Is the Credit Card Industry Using It To Quash Legal Claims?” Our friends at Public Citizen will be testifying. You can view (or at least listen to) the Real Player stream here.
Meet Michelle. We met Michelle at Arbitration Fairness Day and she told us about being forced into arbitration when she tried to get her poorly constructed home repaired. Now she’d like to share her story with you.