Lawmakers Want Answers On Walmart Prepaid Card Glitch That Left Thousands Without Funds

Lawmakers Want Answers On Walmart Prepaid Card Glitch That Left Thousands Without Funds

When a prepared credit card system goes down, millions of unbanked American lose their ability to access funds needed to pay bills, buy groceries, and make other purchases. This scenario was illustrated last month when customers using Walmart-branded Green Dot prepaid debit cards said they had been stranded without their funds for several days, and in some cases weeks. Now, a pair of lawmakers wants to understand the debacle better and work to prevent something similar from happening again.  [More]

Lyft

Judge Approves $27 Million Settlement In Lyft Class Action For California Drivers

The class action lawsuit filed on behalf of drivers against ride-hailing service Lyft is one legal step closer to resolution: the judge has approved the $27 million settlement, which is more than double the original $12.5 million proposal. Drivers in California for ride-hailing service Lyft will stay independent contractors, but at least they will receive cash settlements, and the service will change some policies that affect drivers. [More]

Comcast Admits It Incorrectly Debited $1,775 From Account, Tells Me To Sort It Out With Bank

Knight725

Nearly two years after Consumerist reader Robert shut down his business-tier service with Comcast, he’s still fighting with the nation’s largest broadband provider over a $1,775 early termination fee that should not have been assessed. Comcast even admits the money shouldn’t have been debited from Robert’s bank account, but now says it’s his responsibility to sort the mess out with his bank. [More]

Adam Fagen

Lawsuit Against For-Profit Sanford Brown Institute Moves Forward, Despite Arbitration Clause

The highest court in New Jersey has ruled that a lawsuit filed by former students against for-profit educator Sanford Brown Institute can move forward, even though the school’s enrollment agreement has an arbitration clause that takes away students’ right to file such lawsuits.  [More]

Google Fiber Copies Comcast, AT&T; Forces Users To Give Up Their Legal Right To Sue

Discrete_Photography

Since its introduction in Kansas City, Google Fiber has presented itself as a disruptive force in the pay-TV and internet markets, offering high speeds for reasonable prices, and bringing new competition to markets generally dominated by a single provider. So it’s disappointing to learn that Fiber has decided to follow in the footsteps of AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and other reviled providers by quietly stripping its customers of their right to sue the company in a court of law. [More]

Michael

Proposed Rule Stops Colleges From Stripping Students Of Their Right To Sue

A recent study found that almost all of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains have enrollment agreements that block students from suing the school and prevent them from joining in class actions against these colleges. Following the 2015 bankruptcy and collapse of mega-chain Corinthian Colleges Inc., the sagging numbers at University of Phoenix, last week’s death knell for Brown Mackie College, and pending investigations and lawsuits against ITT and others, the Department of Education has decided that maybe these schools — which reap billions in federal aid each year — should probably have to be held accountable in a court of law when they screw students over. [More]

Alan Rappa

Amazon Goes After Third-Party Sellers For Buying, Creating Fake Reviews

Months after filing several lawsuits to block companies from selling fraudulent positive reviews on its site, Amazon is now turning its focus to those that purchase the fake reviews, taking action against one company and two individuals who sell on the e-commerce site.  [More]

C x 2

AT&T CEO Says He Can’t Deploy Robocall Blockers Without FCC Approval. He’s Wrong

On his personal phone line, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson blocks unwanted, pre-recorded and auto-dialed robocalls. So why is Darth Randy not making this technology available for all of his customers? He claims it’s because he needs the FCC’s permission to do so, but the FCC says that just isn’t so. [More]

Adam Fagen

210 Law Professors Agree: Banks Should Not Be Able To Sidestep Legal System When They Break The Law

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules that would make it more difficult for banks, credit card companies, and other financial services to stripping customers of their constitutional right to file lawsuits against these companies. The 90-day public comment period has finally opened on this rule, and the first one comes from a chorus of 210 law professors who all agree that consumers deserve the right to their day in court. [More]

University Of Phoenix To Stop Stripping Students Of Their Right To Sue School

University Of Phoenix To Stop Stripping Students Of Their Right To Sue School

A recent study found that student enrollment agreements at virtually all of the nation’s biggest for-profit colleges have forced arbitration clauses that strip students of their rights to file a lawsuit against the school, and in most cases bar students from joining their similar or identical disputes together. Under pressure from lawmakers and consumer advocates who questioned how these schools could continue to take billions in federal aid while trying to avoid accountability in the courtroom, the nation’s biggest for-profit educator has decided to stop using the controversial arbitration clauses. [More]

Ronald M. Eikelenbloom

The 3 Myths Banks Are Using To Defend Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules intended to restore some of those constitutionally granted rights that the Supreme Court has stripped away in recent decades. Faced with the possibility of having to be held responsible for their bad actions, some industry groups are coming out in force against the rules, presenting the same laughably thin argument that consumers ultimately benefit by not being able to sue the companies they do business with. [More]

afagen

Court: Uber Would Owe Drivers $852 Million More As Tipped Employees

How much is at stake in the choice of ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to keep their drivers as independent contractors instead of making them employees? To understand why the car-summoning app is glad to pay drivers as much as $100 million in a class action settlement, look at the numbers: the company calculates that it would owe drivers $429 million, while drivers’ attorneys estimate that drivers would receive $730 million in expenses, and $122 million in tips. [More]

TLFagan

Proposed Rules Would Take Away Banks’ “Get Out Of Jail Free” Card

Many bank accounts, and almost all credit cards, wireless services, private student loans, and payday loans contain clauses in their contracts that strip consumers of their right to sue these companies, and their right to join others in a class action, effectively allowing businesses to sidestep the legal system. While lawmakers in Congress debate the issue, and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly given its approval to these practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is making good on its pledge to restore consumers’ constitutional right to having their day in court. [More]

Screwed Over By A For-Profit College? You Probably Signed Away Your Right To Sue

Screwed Over By A For-Profit College? You Probably Signed Away Your Right To Sue

When Corinthian Colleges Inc. collapsed, leaving thousands of students in the lurch with student loan debt and credits that they didn’t know would be usable at other schools, they were generally unable to sue the failed for-profit educator because the students had unwittingly signed away their right to a jury trial or class action. CCI wasn’t the only for-profit operator with this anti-consumer practice, and a new report tries to get a grasp on the scope of the problem. [More]

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

If you wanted to get an idea on the ridiculous overuse of forced arbitration, here’s one of the more absurd examples we’ve seen — a weight-loss supplement with the added non-benefit of stripping users of their right to sue the company that made the pills. [More]

New Bill Could Stop Cable & Phone Companies From Taking Away Customers’ Right To Sue

Kat Northern Lights Man

Five years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with AT&T, ruling that companies could use a couple paragraphs of legalese buried deep in unchangeable user agreements to strip customers of their right to file a lawsuit. An upcoming piece of legislation seeks to restore that right for telecom customers. [More]

Here’s Why The Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Aren’t Really Funny

Here’s Why The Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Aren’t Really Funny

We regularly post discoveries from what we call the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, usually obsolete technology that is still on the shelf at comically high prices. It’s fun to laugh at the ancient digital cameras, defunct multiplayer games, and indestructible classic phones on the shelf, but the electronics clearance shelf can be a hazardous place for people who don’t read fine print. [More]

Molly

Reminder: You Should Opt Out Of Starbucks Card Mandatory Arbitration Now. Here’s How

This week, the new terms and conditions for Starbucks cards — the gift and stored-value cards that you can use to rack up rewards in their newly revamped reward program — went into effect. That means existing users have until May 12 to opt out of the chain’s normal requirement that card users waive their right to sue the company. [More]