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Shelleyp

@sbcglobal.net

2 recommendations

reply to cdru

Re: No responsibility

Do you understand the concept of an adhesion contract? These are take ir or leave it contracts that consumers have to sign in order to get a service.

Do you then understand the term "unconscionable"? An adhesion contract that is unfair to the weaker party (the consumer) is unconscionable.

What this all means is that with some services, such as credit cards or cellphone access, there is no recourse for the consumer. If they want a credit card, they have to sign these unconscionable contracts. If they want any cellphone, they have to sign these contracts.

What has happened is that companies have been embedding mandatory arbitration clauses into their service contracts for the last decade, naming arbitration companies that are dependent on repeat business from these companies, and who rule in favor of the companies, and obscene amount of times. Then when a party tries to sue a company because of some abusive business practice, the company's lawyers step in and say, "No, you gave up the right to have your case heard in a court of law". More importantly, you gave up your right to participate in a class action lawsuit against the company.

Now, if you think this is fair, and that a "contract is a contract", great. I'm sure the companies will just love you.

Many of us, though, prefer a level playing ground.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

said by Shelleyp :

Do you understand the concept of an adhesion contract? These are take ir or leave it contracts that consumers have to sign in order to get a service.
Yes, I understand the concept of an adhesion contract. An adhesion contracts aren't necessarily invalid. Most consumer credit, insurance, rental contracts, etc are in some form an adhesion contract. It's take it or leave it, if you don't like the terms, go elsewhere.

Do you then understand the term "unconscionable"? An adhesion contract that is unfair to the weaker party (the consumer) is unconscionable.
No they aren't necessarily. They only become unconscionable when they are grossly one sided, or are the result of fraud or misrepresentation.

What this all means is that with some services, such as credit cards or cellphone access, there is no recourse for the consumer. If they want a credit card, they have to sign these unconscionable contracts. If they want any cellphone, they have to sign these contracts.
Yes there are terms that have been found unconscionable, but there are just as many that are perfectly valid. Unconscionable or not, people are still signing them when they have other options. Most cellular providers offer prepaid or contract-less accounts. There are thousands of banks offering credit cards, or there is also the option of Visa/MC check cards or gift cards if you don't really need the credit portion of the card. You have choices. The choices may not be to your liking, or your terms may not be as favorable, but you have choices.

What has happened is that companies have been embedding mandatory arbitration clauses into their service contracts for the last decade, naming arbitration companies that are dependent on repeat business from these companies, and who rule in favor of the companies, and obscene amount of times. Then when a party tries to sue a company because of some abusive business practice, the company's lawyers step in and say, "No, you gave up the right to have your case heard in a court of law". More importantly, you gave up your right to participate in a class action lawsuit against the company.
And the courts have also ruled in the past that mandatory arbitration may be illegal. Just because some legalese says it's so doesn't make it so, as AT&T is finding out.

Now, if you think this is fair, and that a "contract is a contract", great. I'm sure the companies will just love you.

Many of us, though, prefer a level playing ground.
No, I don't think it's fair, but I also don't sign contracts that I think aren't fair. It doesn't excuse the companies from putting the unconscionable clauses, but it doesn't excuse the consumer from reading and understanding what they are signing either. I will guarantee you an overwhelming majority of the people that would be party to the class action lawsuit never even read their contract that they were signing.


fireflier
Coffee. . .Need Coffee
Premium
join:2001-05-25
Limbo

said by cdru:

Yes, I understand the concept of an adhesion contract. An adhesion contracts aren't necessarily invalid. Most consumer credit, insurance, rental contracts, etc are in some form an adhesion contract. It's take it or leave it, if you don't like the terms, go elsewhere.
And if said consumer needs a POTS line and someone like AT&T is the only POTS carrier in their area, what do you propose? VOIP is not a direct alternative to POTS. They are very similar but they are not identical in functionality to POTS. Sometimes there are no other options if a consumer requires a particular type of service. The take it or leave it option doesn't always work. Would you feel the same way if your power company added clauses to their service agreement that you found unacceptable? Would you then disconnect your home electrical service? My guess is, you'd file a complaint with your PSC.
--
Tradition: Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid. --despair.com


EGeezer
Go Cats
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to cdru

said by cdru:

I will guarantee you an overwhelming majority of the people that would be party to the class action lawsuit never even read their contract that they were signing.
Companies have the right to offer contracts as they see fit. There also exists the right for people to complain and participate in class actions suits. If the companies don't like their customers' complaints and legal actions, they can - subject to contract terms with the customers - drop them and go get new ones.

Companies have the right to lobby congress for favorable treatment and customers have the same rights. Historically, when one or the other tilt the playing field sufficiently, then the pendulum starts swinging the other way to tilt it back. We're starting to see that happen now.
--
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. -- Justice Louis D. Brandeis


TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ
reply to Shelleyp

Shelley:

Stick around. Join up. Perhaps Karl can put you to work.

I like the cut of your jib.



Shelleyp

@sbcglobal.net

Thanks, TScheisskopf.