T-Mobile the latest to be stopped by the courts...
were recently slapped down by the courts for trying to bury language in your terms of service that would limit your legal rights. The companies tried to force consumers to take place in mandatory arbitration instead of having their grievances heard in a court of law. This week T-Mobile was shot down
by the courts for trying to do the same thing.
In T-Mobile's case, the company was trying to derail a class action lawsuit brought about by two customers who were suing the company for burying rate hikes in below the line bogus fees (among other suspect charges), according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Obviously arbitration companies will be more loyal to their clients than to you, but a recent report by Public Citizen
showed just how
loyal. The report stated that one arbitration outfit frequently used by credit card companies ruled in favor of its corporate clients 95%
of the time, if not more:
Between Jan. 1, 2003, and March 31, 2007, arbitrators working for the Minneapolis-based NAF ruled for businesses in 95 percent of the California cases examined. In fact, 90 percent of the NAF cases were handled by just 28 arbitrators, who awarded businesses $185 million. One arbitrator handled 68 cases in a single day – an average of one every seven minutes, assuming an eight-hour day – and ruled for the business in every case, awarding 100 percent of the money requested.
Of course, that's not what the National Arbitration Forum website
tells consumers who are trying to understand the process. The site soothes consumers by noting that "a 2003 American Bar Association study of employment arbitration found that claimants prevailed more often and received larger awards in arbitration than in litigation."