For-profit colleges that require students to sign away their legal rights, forcing them into arbitration in order to enroll in classes should not receive federal financial aid, a coalition of 47 consumer advocacy groups urged acting Secretary of Education John King on Friday. [More]
Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain
Last summer, a consumer in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against online retailer Accessory Outlet over what she called a bogus $250 fine the company imposed, claiming she breached the terms of sale when she threatened to have the charge canceled after the iPhone case she ordered never shipped. Today, a New York court sided with the consumer by granting a default judgement in the case, essentially agreeing that Accessory Outlet’s “terms of sale” and the debt it alleged the woman owed were void. [More]
A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]
Once again, a business who is displeased with an anonymous review on Yelp is trying to sue that reviewer and attempting to compel Yelp to reveal that user’s actual identity. But this morning, lawyers for Yelp and consumer advocates were in court to argue that there is no justification for unmasking the writer of this review. [More]
For more than two years, a carpet cleaning company in Virginia has been trying to compel Yelp to turn over the identities of reviewers the company accuses of posting false and defamatory information. While both a trial court and a state appeals court have told Yelp to fork over that info, the crowdsourced reviews site has not yet done so — and tomorrow it takes its case before the highest court in Virginia. [More]
For months, we’ve been telling you about KlearGear.com, the online retailer that was trying to collect a $3,500 fee from unsatisfied former customers over a negative review because of a “Non-Disparagement Clause” inserted into the site’s Terms of Sale after the customers made the purchase. The customers have been trying to fight the ridiculous anti-consumer fee (which shouldn’t apply to them anyway, as they never agreed to it at the time of purchase), and finally sued the company after having their credit tainted by a bogus debt. Now a federal court has sided with the couple and tossed out the $3,500 fee. [More]
No one likes being made fun of or humiliated (okay, some people do, but that’s part of a much larger discussion), but you can’t throw your authority as a big, scary federal agency around to stop people from mocking you, even if they’re making some money doing so. [More]
When you write a review on Yelp, you are supposed to feel assured in your ability to keep your identity from being made public. But a Virginia carpet cleaner is attempting to compel Yelp to reveal the names of seven people who posted reviews about the company. [More]
Bank of America poses “a grave threat to U.S. financial stability,” according to watchdog group Public Citizen, which has called for the bank to be broken up. [More]
Jeff Sovern at Public Citizen has a simple message for the Washington bureaucrats who will soon create the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency: Put Elizabeth Warren in charge and build the agency in her image.
Why Elizabeth Warren, you ask?
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.
The FDA slapped a black box warning on a group of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones for their link to tendonitis and tendon rupture in patients. Drugs in this group include Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Oscient, Factive, Proquin XR, Floxin Noroxin. Ruptures associated with the drug have included the achilles tendon, thumbs, shoulder, bicep and hand. Public interest group Public Citizen has been petitioned the FDA in 1996, 2005 and 2006 to add greater warnings to the drug. Only after Public Citizen sued the FDA for not responding to the petitions were the warnings added. One patient described what happened after he was hospitalized for an infection and treated with Cipro…