(AJ Brujstein)

General Mills’ New Policy: If You Engage With Us Online, You Can Never Sue The Company

Companies want customers to engage with them online as if they’re just another pal on Facebook or Twitter, one that can offer downloadable coupons and promote contests with attractive prizes. But in new language recently added to General Mills’ website, consumers who interact with the company online will be agreeing to give up the right to sue the company in the future. [More]

9 Federal Laws That Companies Can Skirt By Using Forced Arbitration

9 Federal Laws That Companies Can Skirt By Using Forced Arbitration

There are numerous federal laws that explicitly give wronged consumers the right to file a lawsuit against the company that harmed them, but all those statutory rights are being taken away by companies that insert arbitration clauses into their terms of service. [More]

Why You Should Opt Out Of Forced Arbitration, In 3 Sentences

(afagen)

While more and more companies are adding “forced arbitration” clauses to their terms of service, only a handful of these businesses are offering customers the choice to opt out of this part of the contract. Here are the reasons why you should take advantage of that option whenever possible. [More]

DropBox Jumps On Forced Arbitration Bandwagon, But Offers Online Opt-Out

DropBox Jumps On Forced Arbitration Bandwagon, But Offers Online Opt-Out

Another company is taking the coward’s way out of resolving legal disputes with its customers by tweaking its Terms of Service to take away users’ rights to take the company to court and to prevent multiple users from having their complaints heard as a group. This time, it’s online storage service Dropbox, which is currently notifying users of the bad news. [More]

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

Your Guide To Proposed Laws & Regulation That Could Help Consumers In 2014

2013 is gone, a collection of memories never to be dealt with again.  Next week, the 113th Congress returns for its second session, ideally to enact legislation throughout 2014, some of which could help consumers if they were to become law. [More]

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory binding arbitration clauses, those fun bits of contractual language that take away your right to sue a company and force you into a resolution process that is heavily weighted in the company’s favor.  The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who earlier this year introduced the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and so he obviously has a thing or two to say on the topic. [More]

CFPB Report Confirms That Banks & Credit Card Companies Are Taking Away Your Right To Sue

CFPB Report Confirms That Banks & Credit Card Companies Are Taking Away Your Right To Sue

In 2011, the Supreme Court held that it was A-OK to not only hide a complicated forced-arbitration clause in a novel-length contract for a consumer product or service, but that it was also just peachy that such a clause stripped the consumer of his/her right to bind together with other affected customers in a class action. Since then, sellers of everything from cellphone service to video games have added these complicated clauses in an attempt to keep complaining consumers out of court and into the unfair arena of arbitration. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its first report on forced arbitration, and the results are, sadly, not shocking. [More]

(MoneyBlogNewz)

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]

(bclinesmith)

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]

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]

(afagen)

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]

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]

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]

Good advice.

American Express Tries To Sneak Forced Arbitration Clause On Users, Gives Until Feb. 15 To Opt Out

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]

(hvoltmer)

Will Opting Out Of eBay Arbitration Clause Get My Account Deleted?

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]

(See the sample letter here)

Here Is A Downloadable Template For Opting Out Of PayPal Arbitration Clause

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]