Kia Franklin

Be Afraid, be very afraid… of binding mandatory arbitration

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Being trapped into binding mandatory arbitration against a powerful corporation that has paid the arbitrator to "resolve" your dispute? Mwoohahaha. If that isn't scary, I don't know what is.

But don't be afraid, be informed! Over at Citizen Vox, Joe Newman introduces us to a great new blog devoted solely to informing the public about the dangers of arbitration, by chronicling real-life arbitration horror stories that happen to everyday people:

Halloween is coming up and it’s time to share your scariest consumer stories. A new blog, Arbitration Horror Stories, wants to hear from people who have had their lives turned upside down by those binding mandatory arbitration clauses that are hidden in all kinds of consumer contracts — for everything from credit cards and stock trading accounts to gym memberships. You usually don’t know that you’ve signed away your rights to take these companies to court over a dispute until it’s too late.

Thanks for the tip, Citizen Vox! Check out this new blog, especially when you feel like getting a good scare!

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 11:01 AM, Oct 02, 2008 in Arbitration | Consumer Rights
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There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of arbitration...but as you point out, it is not fair that the consumer can't be involved in selecting the arbitrator.

What can a consumer do? I'd recommend always challenging the validity of the arbitration agreement in court as a "contract of adhesion" first...specifically the clause allowing only the company to pick the arbitrator and the fact that the arbitration should be final and binding. That costs money, of course, so the consumer should try to appeal within the AAA for the ability to select the arbitrators...thoughts?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 4, 2008 12:41 PM

The link to Citizen Vox is no good. You need to get rid of "stories:".

Posted by: Bill Poser | October 5, 2008 2:51 AM

Thanks Bill, link fixed.

Posted by: Kia | October 8, 2008 4:55 PM