If you’ve been following ThePopTort lately, you know that forced arbitration clauses have been showing up everywhere since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed them to in 2011 and again in 2013.
Do any of these companies ring a bell? Amazon, AOL, Dropbox, Ebay, Groupon, Hulu, Instagram, Microsoft, Netflix, Paypal, Spotify, Stubhub, Ticketmaster, AT&T, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tracfone, Verizon, American Express, Chase, Citibank, Discover, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise Financial, Charles Schwab, E Trade, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, T Row Price, TD Bank, Vanguard, Comcast, Direct TV, Time Warner Cable, PNC, US bancorp. I bet they do.
If you are a customer at any one of them, you probably have no idea that you’ve already agreed to resolve any dispute you may have with them through a private, rigged forced arbitration system. This is a system designed and controlled by the companies themselves, since not only do they force you into this system, but also they get to pick the company that runs the arbitration.
If this makes you angry, then go here and sign this petition!
And then, go here and sign this petition, too. This one’s focused on five big banks, and it reads:
JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp and PNC Financial have found too many ways to break the law.
Buried in the fine print of these banks’ customer contracts is a forced arbitration clause that kicks ripped-off customers out of court and instead funnels them into a rigged game designed by Wall Street. Customers are forced to plead their cases to a private arbitrator who doesn’t even have to follow the law.
The arbitrator’s decision is almost impossible to appeal, and any evidence of corporate wrongdoing — conveniently for the Big Banks — remains secret.
With forced arbitration, Wall Street has given itself a license to steal from the public and evade the law. Tell these banks to respect consumers and stop using forced arbitration!
Finally, set aside 20 minutes today and watch a movie! Below is the Alliance for Justice’s new film, Lost in the Fine Print.
Narrated by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Lost in the Fine Print tells the story of three everyday people who found themselves trapped in a system that favors large and powerful companies at the expense of hardworking Americans. But it also tells the story of how they’re determined to keep fighting forced arbitration, and how important it is for all of us to take a stand. Lost in the Fine Print is a game-changing film featuring Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Congressman Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Paul Bland, Deepak Gupta, and others!
Any of those stories could be you one day. Let’s stop it now.