Arbitration Opt Outs: Should I Opt Out Of A Forced Arbitration Clause In The Terms Of Service Agree
Should I OPT OUT of ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS when a service vendor places it in their Terms of Service requirements? This is a question that individuals should consider carefully because it has risky ramifications.
Generally speaking, the consumer should use Arbitration Opt Out whenever possible because it is often the wisest choice. The use of Arbitration to resolve disputes between the consumer and vendor is not the only way to resolve disputes.
Indeed, there are problems with Arbitration! Since there are other ways to resolve disputes between the consumer and vendor, why not avoid the difficulties inherent in Arbitration?
Below, some of the more common problems with Forced Arbitration that the consumer will usually encounter:
1. Arbitration clauses generally take right of the consumers to JOIN their grievances together. Vendor companies like this because they only have to deal with consumers who are willing to arbitrate. Thus, the company (vendor) avoids all the other consumers who are not willing to go as far as arbitration in resolving their grievances. Companies can avoid paying damages to so many of their customers who may have grievances for damages. In essence, companies can harm large amounts of customers and only have to pay to the usually small amount of them who will go all the way to arbitration.
2. Generally speaking, Forced Arbitration takes the right to FILE A COMPLAINT against the company in court that has wronged them. Thus, you are giving up the right to have a court give you an independent resolution to the dispute.
3. Generally speaking, consumers who have been harmed usually enter into the arbitration process without legal representation. This gives the company a great edge over the consumer. Often, Arbitrations can get confusing and complicated. Without legal representation, the consumer is often fighting against a corporate legal department that has years of experience defending these complaints. The legal system has been shown to be more in favor of the corporations regarding dispute resolution. Let us not forget, it is the corporation with their large legal departments who have the knowledge, funds and experience to provide a good defense against complaints.
In conclusion, Forced Arbitration is not really, generally speaking, in the consumer’s best interest. The consumer has the right to go to arbitration if they want to anyway. It is when Arbitration is forced that the consumer loses his ability to choose how they would like to resolve disputes.
Keeping control of dispute resolution is what avoiding Forced Arbitration is about. It is the wise consumer who protects their right to chose between dispute resolution options. Thus, the answer to our initial threshold question of “SHOULD I OPT OUT OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS?” is, all things considered, a resounding Yes!