81% Of Americans Hate Mandatory Binding Arbitration

According to science, even the President is more popular than mandatory binding arbitration. A recent poll shows that Americans hate everything about the extrajudicial resolution system, from its inescapable omnipresence, to its unappealable decisions that rob consumers of their day in court. The poll provides a refreshing contrast to a different study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which found that Americans love mandatory binding arbitration more than pie.

Our favorite polling question takes aim at people who support mandatory binding arbitration, but don’t quite know what they’re supporting:

A majority of those who were initially supportive or unsure of binding arbitration disapprove of arbitration when important information is given about common provisions in consumer contracts. With added information, Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of binding arbitration.

Big shift among binding arbitration supporters. Those who said they approve of, or were not sure about binding arbitration were presented the three following facts:

1. The arbitrator who decides the outcome of the dispute will be selected by the company
2. The consumer may never take legal action against the company over the dispute
3. Binding arbitration applies even in cases where the consumer has been seriously injured by the product or service

When presented with this information, two in three (66%) disapprove of binding arbitration and only one in five (21%) approve. Among those who initially said they were unsure, disapproval is very high (64% disapprove, 6% approve). Disapproval is high even among those who initially approved of arbitration (67% disapprove, 28% approve).

After learning the specifics of contract provisions, Americans overwhelmingly are against binding arbitration. When initial and final disapproval ratings are combined, binding arbitration loses by more than eight to one (81% initial/final disapproval, 10% final approval).

Congress may be unable to do anything about our unpopular President, but 64% of us want them to get off their asses and pass the Arbitration Fairness Act. When they return tomorrow, rested from their holiday break, give ’em a call and tell them to channel our collective hatred of mandatory binding arbitration into action.

New Poll: Americans Say “No Thanks” To Binding Arbitration [Consumer Law & Policy Blog]
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