Robert Murphy Consumer Rights Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Experts in the video say, forced arbitration is used by companies to prevent them from being sued by you. They do this by adding language into their contracts – often in very tiny print – that requires the signer to submit to an arbitration process of their own choice if you have any complaints about their service.
How does this work? When you sign up for student loans or pay to put a loved one in a nursing home or even agree to a certain job position, there could be a section hidden in the small print. For example, when you buy Comcast services, you are given a twenty plus page contract.
What can you do? Besides urging your own Congress members, not much. An organization called Fair Arbitration Now suggests reading the fine print of your contracts and trying one of three tactics:
- If the contract has an opt-out clause, use it.
- If the contract doesn’t have an opt-out clause, ask to opt out anyway (although your odds aren’t good).
- Take your business to a competitor (although it may be hard to find one that doesn’t also use forced arbitration).