Reblog post: Watch out for the fine print when you order your new iPhone! | Take Justice Back.
The new iPhone is out and over 10 Million were sold in the first weekend of the release. For consumers looking for the latest and greatest in tech gadgets this is good news, but what you may not know when you sign your new cell phone contract with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or AT&T is that buried in the fine print are dangerous forced arbitration clauses.
via Global Forwarding
Forced arbitration clauses allow corporations to cheat and steal by eliminating customers’ access to the civil justice system and instead funneling their claims into a biased and rigged system where the corporation has the upper hand. The corporation chooses the arbitration provider and the rules under which the forced arbitration occurs. Even worse, the arbitrator’s decision is final and customers have essentially no ability to appeal. Consumers who are overcharged or have their personal information leaked in a data breach because of their carrier’s negligence may never be able to hold the cell corporation accountable.
Most cell phone forced arbitration clauses also eliminate the ability of consumers to join together in a class action, which is usually the only feasible way for these corporations to be held responsible for cheating their customers. When corporations rip-off consumers for smaller amounts of money, it is very difficult for individuals to find the time and resources it takes to hold a corporation accountable on their own.
By eliminating legal accountability, corporations are able to evade and undermine state and federal laws. This abusive practice can only be stopped if Congress acts. U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) have introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 (AFA) [S.878 / H.R.1844] to restore Americans’ rights. This bill would: eliminate forced arbitration in employment, consumer, civil rights, and antitrust cases; ensure that the decision to arbitrate is truly voluntary; and restore fundamental rights created by state and federal laws that are currently at risk of being wiped out by forced arbitration.