The past few years have seen a series of scorning headlines, dismissing any value for consumers with mandatory arbitration. I wrote about some corporation’s over-reaching, and unreasonable imposition of arbitration upon an unknowing customer, namely General Mills website arbitration statement. The binding arbitration movement, is in reality, a move by corporations to silence consumers and avoid, drawn out, embarassing and costly litigation. However, not all is bad in arbitration for the consumer. To understand the positives, let’s look at the negative hype.
Opponents to mandatory consumer arbitration argue that the consumer:
- cannot negotiate the agreement that contains the binding arbitration clause
- is forced to give up their right to their day in court
- is silenced through the confidentiality clause
- cannot form a class action lawsuit to more efficiently bring claims and change corporate misconduct
- cannot afford arbitration
- will not have a fair process, and will not obtain justice
- have no right to an appeal
Yet, all is not lost in arbitration for the consumer. In fact, much can be gained.