CA Judges Issues Opinions That Tmobile's Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Are "Unconscionable" And "Not Enforceable"

A California judge issued an opinion that Tmobile’s contract terms forcing customers to go into arbitration instead of being able to sue were, “unconscionable and therefore not enforceable,” reports BoingBoing.

Judge Linda Gemello opines that T-mobile can’t compel arbitration, based on the fact that the contract is unconscionable. Another judge, Mark Simons, “concurs” with Gemello. Barbara Jones, concurs but dissents, saying, “I cannot agree that the contracts are also procedurally unconscionable. In my view, plaintiffs do not show, on the record before us, either surprise or oppression to support their procedural unconscionability claim.” Jones goes on to say that customers had a 14-day return period after they signed the agreement and that they could have chosen not to go with T-mobile, therefore she believes that the motion to compel arbitration should be granted… but she does go on the record to say that she agrees with her other buddies, just not completely.

Dissent aside, a class-action suit suing Tmobile over their non-prorated early termination fees (ETFs) and locking of cellphones now has the possibility of moving forward

All of the major cellphone carriers have implemented arbitration agreements into their customer contracts, not to mention ETFs and cellphone locking.

Consumerist dislikes mandatory arbitration agreements as they effectively remove one of the last resorts consumers have to punish companies for abusive practices.

Go California, the state where it’s illegal for rebates to lose value!

CA court rules T-Mobile contract terms unconscionable [BoingBoing]
Gatton et al. v. T-Mobile USA [PDF]
(Photo: medalian1)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.