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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Stacked Decks

Posted by: Hammer / 8:48 AM

About that arbitration clause in your credit card agreement:

Arbitration sounds like a cheap, fair way to settle disputes. But just this morning I read an article by attorney Wendell Sherk that started with, "Arbitration is the place where consumer rights go to die." (link isn't working) A study from the Christian Science Monitor backs that claim up. It shows that arbitrators are beholden to the repeat players (credit card companies) that pay their fees. The top ten arbitrators (the ones who got used over and over) ruled for the companies 98.4% of the time, while arbitrators who weren't depending on arbitration fees (those who decided 3 or fewer cases a year) ruled for the customers only 62% of the time.

I think we can safely replace the saying about a snowball's chance in hell with a consumer's chance in arbitration.

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I've done some arbitration myself (although not in cc disputes) so I have a little feel for it.
I think your post is pretty short on analysis and long on gut reaction. I suspect what is really happening is that consumers should lose most of the time - read the contract, it's pretty favorable to the cc company - and the 60% arbitrators are probably trying to find any excuse to rule in favor of the consumers some of the time. Credit is not a right, and if you don't like the rules, don't play the game.

By Anonymous therealrepublican, at 11:27 AM  

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