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wanna read the new "surprise" the Bushite's have for consumer's?

wouldn't you just know it...yet another "trick" being pulled on you, dear Consumer, by the
Rethuglican's...friend's of Bush...campagne contributor's get their money's worth, don't
they?...while YOU pay for it ALL....

-Caveat Lector-
Consumer and Media Alert:

Most Consumers Never Even Notice "Mandatory Arbitration Clauses,"
Now Being Slipped Into Everything from Bills to Contracts

NCLC Seeks More Protections, Crafts Model State Law

BOSTON - It may be in tiny print among the ads stuffed into your credit-card bill. Or a few lines buried in a multi-page health insurance agreement, home-repair contract or college loan. The language is often dense legal-ese, but make no mistake: It translates into a giant trap door for consumers.

Welcome to the astonishingly unfair and undemocratic world of mandatory arbitration clauses. All that small print and buried verbiage boils down to this: that by simply continuing to use your credit card or health plan, for instance, you've suddenly agreed to resolve all disputes arising with that company - even very serious ones - through binding arbitration.

This passive consumer "agreement" to arbitration is a rather shocking way to obtain what passes for "informed consent" to a truly momentous waiver of rights. And it's only the start of the problem.

So beginning today, and in light of recent nationwide developments on this issue (details below), NCLC is calling on consumers and the news media to focus far more attention on the consequences of these clauses, which are spreading like wildfire across America.

A look at how businesses are using mandatory arbitration clauses says more about why they're so disturbing. The kind of passive "notice" that locks consumers into arbitration increasingly ties them to a system that thoroughly stacks the deck when serious disputes arise.

Companies alone select the arbitration service - often one dependent on them for repeat business. Those same companies often write the arbitration rules, and unsurprisingly those rules often demand complete secrecy about the proceeding and its outcome while limiting what evidence consumers can present. Consumers usually pay more for arbitration proceedings than they would for a public court proceeding.

If they lose there's no appeal -- that means even legal errors in an arbitrator's decision are frequently beyond remedy.

And if they refuse to participate in this rigged game these clauses often dictate, they'll automatically lose the dispute, with no further recourse.

National Consumer Law Center advocates believe these clauses are the single biggest threat to consumer rights in recent years, a de-facto rewrite of the Constitution that undermines a broad range of consumer protections painstakingly built into law.
Keep your credit cards and avoidmanditory arbitration clause 10.Jan.2004 20:20

glen owen, Wharton graduate 1973 theKnownUniverse@yahoo.com

It is perfectly possible to obtain a VISA or MasterCard through a Canadian bank.
. . . I had a MasterCard through Canada Trust 1993-95 (which worked just fine in all uses in the USA, including cash advances) attached to a US dollar account I set up while on a working vacation in Vancouver BC. Although I do not know for sure whether Canadian cards are absent those dispossesive clauses or some others equally obnoxious, wouldn't it be BEAUTIFUL if every card issuer in the United States lost a massive percentage of their accounts to Canadian issuers.
. . . Another great thing, it would be the heavy hitter super-gold etc cardholders who would be most likely to switch. leaving American issuers with nothing but crapola accounts.
. . . Touche`!

Even more reason 11.Jan.2004 03:13

citizen unbound

... to tear up those credit cards right now - an important step towards freeing yourself and the world.