Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that it’s okay for companies to effectively preempt class-action lawsuits by putting mandatory binding arbitration clauses into their contracts with consumers. To most of us, that looks like a slap in the face to the American consumer, but the folks at AT&T want us all to know that the Supreme Court decision is actually going to benefit us all. [More]
In a huge blow to peeved consumers, the Supreme Court ruled earlier today that companies can block customers from joining together in a class-action suit by forcing each complaint into arbitration.
A provision buried deep within the recently passed Wall Street reform bill has the power to finally kill off mandatory binding arbitration, one of the more dangerous anti-consumer practices still sanctioned by law. While the bill includes a limited provision banishing arbitration agreements from mortgages and home equity loans, it also gives broad powers to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to kill off arbitration in all other consumer financial products. [More]
A little over two weeks ago, tipped by reader Chan, we told you about how buried in T-Mobile’s online terms and conditions is a way to opt-out of their mandatory binding arbitration clause, but unfortunately the website where you were supposed to do it was down. We gave their PR guy a heads up and now the site, www.t-mobiledisputeresolution.com, is online. [More]
Consumerist is no fan of mandatory binding arbitration, a clause in many consumer contracts that forces you to give up your right to sue in small claims court and have all disputes resolved by a professional arbitration firm that gets paid directly by the companies. So when I saw that there was an way to opt-out of T-Mobile’s arbitration clause online, I was stoked. Then I tried to go there, and the site was broken. Fail phone! UPDATE: T-Mobile Fixes Broken Arbitration Opt-Out Site [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 “credit union on steroids” has gone to mandatory binding arbitration for all disputes, removing customers’ ability to successfully sue them if things go wrong. Previously, USAA had arbitration as an option, but allowed members to opt out. Now, if you want to opt out of arbitration, you’ll have to close your accounts.
The arbitration rollback continues apace! Last Thursday, JPMorgan Chase announced it won’t send disputes to arbitration and is rethinking putting the clauses in its consumer contracts. Coming on the heels of news that NAF and AAA will stop arbitrating consumer credit card disputes, Creditcards.com wrote, “Two more supporting beams have crumbled and now, with astonishing speed, the entire edifice of the mandatory credit card arbitration system is collapsing.”
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.
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.