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Cox Joins List of ISPs Eroding Legal Rights With Fine Print
Users Have The Ability to Opt Out
by Karl Bode 08:51AM Monday Dec 12 2011 Tipped by Rob_ See Profile
AT&T long tried to use fine print to try and ban their customers from suing them via class action, instead forcing users into binding arbitration where corporations win more often than not. Despite the fact that many lower courts declared such activity violated user rights and was "unconscionable," the Supreme Court earlier this year ruled in AT&T's favor, opening the flood gates for every corporation to include this language in their TOS. Sony and Microsoft added such provisions recently, as did video game powerhouse Electronic Arts. Most ISPs have since followed suit as well, with users in our Cox forum noting that Cox is the latest.

As with most of these TOS changes, the ISP is required to allow you to opt out if you'd like to actually retain your legal rights. The opt out instructions from Cox's recent update:
Opt Out: You may opt out of this dispute resolution provision (except for the jury trial waiver contained in Section 20.6 above) by notifying Cox of that intent within 30 days of receipt of this Agreement by sending a letter stating your intent to reject this dispute resolution provision to Cox at Cox Legal Department, Attn: Litigation Counsel, 1400 Lake Hearn Drive NE, Atlanta, GA, 30319. Exercising this right, should you choose to do so, will not affect any of the other terms of this Agreement or other contracts with Cox and you may remain a Cox customer. If you opt out of the dispute resolution provision, you will not be required to do so again if Cox modifies this section in the future or you agree to a new term of service.

topics flat nest 

Des Plaines, IL

some should try a reverse to this carp

By sending a payment with a note saying by taking this payment you wave the right to sue me or cut off services (for any reason whatsoever) and you can not put any kind of PPV block on be if you do so in the next 2 years you Will pay me a $30 /m ETF.

And then stopping paying.

Porsche Snob

State College, PA

Re: some should try a reverse to this carp

I like that. Somehow, I don't think that'll hold up though
Miami, FL

Re: some should try a reverse to this carp

I don't see why not. They do it all the time and it is legal. If I send in a payment with a letter stating there is to be a change in the agreement and by accepting the payment they agree to the changes, it should be just as legal as when they send a message in the bill advising of a change in the agreement and payment or no response within 30 days is considered acceptance of the changes.

hmmmm...This deserves more discussion from those who know contract law in the US.


Re: some should try a reverse to this carp

Don't have much time to reply but short answer is it will not hold up....

Fort Smith, AR

Re: some should try a reverse to this carp

Plus they probably have a dedicated legal dept and lots deeper pockets than you or I to take you to court or ruin your credit...

Bethel, CT
So, they don't accept your payment then, and turn off your service for non-payment.

Ach Du Lieber
Premium,ExMod 2002-05
Seaside, CA

Re: some should try a reverse to this carp

said by camper:

So, they don't accept your payment then, and turn off your service for non-payment.


Plus maybe even charge you a reconnect fee...

I bid 50 quatloos that the newcomers will fail...

When you enter in to service with a company you sign a contract. There is section in the contract that says company can modify the the contract at any time. You are not obligated to accept the terms of the modification and depending on language can either get out it if cause you material ham or the service will end when the contract expires.

When you are signing a contract you are welcome to try to negotiate the terms but unless you are big ass company no will even talk to you about doing that.

East Amherst, NY
·Verizon FiOS

It's all twisted

OK, so the theory in contract law is that you have a purchaser and buyer (the transaction). In some more complex ones it is in both directions. In any case to modify a contract, one has to do it by proposing the change and acceptance. Depending upon the jurisdiction, rules vary. You cannot modify a written contract w/ verbal in most cases. In recent years they will send change in TOS, but that is considered a material change and you can get out of contracts w/ this. So they play games and call things fees to get out of the material change, but in reality unless you have a lawyer (or go to small claims -- which they dont want you to), you pay the termination fee or spend lots of time fighting them. Is it wrong, yes. But the bean counters know that it is too costly to fight them, and then they keep tightening the noose on every new contract. Class action used to keep that in check, NO MORE. So the govt is the last resort, BAD CHOICE. They suck, hence the free market system gets broken. The opt-out is the old skool way to do things, recently we have been forced to accept new conditions AND give up rights on suing, etc (Arbitration) which is absolute Stalinist BS, because just as in government interference "the free market", everyone knows the arbitration system is fubar and is chosen by the vendor and the deck is rigged like in the old Vagas days.

The moral is, that unless you have the time to read through and understand the 30 pages of TOS for every damn product (I can understand, but don't have the time), you would never buy anything because the contracts are written with so much protection on the seller that they are pretty much immune from everyone, EXCEPT class action where groups can join together and get competent legal to "question" the validity of said barbaristic contract language--the safety valve.

So these companies were jumping up and down when arbitration/class action was muted (for now), and of course they are going to follow our hollow judges and take advantage, why wouldn't they.

Again, it is the gov't that allows this, the companies just take advantage. In this case it is the judicial killing the safety valve, and of course the leg wont fix this (they are too busy watching the debates), so everyone suffers. Take a look how judge elections/appointments are now on the level of corruption of leg seats and you will understand the whole system needs a reboot.

Take a look at itunes TOS, and see what we have become:

» ··· ml#GIFTS

Scottsdale, AZ

So there is a use for USPS

So there is a use for USPS after all.

"...notifying Cox of that intent within 30 days of receipt of this Agreement by sending a letter stating your intent to reject this dispute resolution provision to Cox "

An online form (using their bandwidth) would probably get too much response.