Buried in the fine print of most consumer contracts – such as credit cards, insurance plans and car deals – is a clause, which waives the buyer’s constitutional right to trial by jury.
These contracts mandate that consumers give up their rights before a dispute even occurs – this is called “mandatory, binding, pre-dispute arbitration.” Arbitration was conceived as an informal, expedited process for resolving routine disputes between businesses. But when it is imposed on a weaker party, such as a consumer, arbitration can be used to defeat valid claims.
Arbitration has several unique characteristics that stack the deck against consumers, making it harder for individuals to prevail in a dispute with a business.
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