Huffington Post: You’re Getting Ripped Off By Forced Mandatory Arbitration — Here’s How to Stop It
Forced arbitration rigs the game in favor of big corporations and against consumers and employees. And recently, a New York Times investigation has exposed just how prevalent this damaging practice is; indeed, the story almost certainly affects you, personally.
If you’ve ever opened a credit card, rented a car, or engaged in any number of other routine interactions with big corporations, you’ve probably had to sign away your right to go to court, or band together in a class action with other customers. Instead, you have legally (if unwittingly) agreed that, if a dispute occurs, you will seek justice only through a secret, profit-driven arbitration process — one in which no comprehensive records are kept, no meaningful appeals are allowed, and the arbitrator likely has significant financial incentive to rule in favor of the corporation.
That arbitration clause was likely buried deep in the fine print in a lengthy terms-of-service agreement. Even if you had read (and correctly interpreted) the entire contract, and decided to take your business elsewhere, odds are you would have seen the same clause in every competing company’s terms-of-service agreement, too. Consumers are left with no real recourse: you sign, or you do without a cell phone, or cable TV, or Internet service.