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Journal pcwhalen's Journal: Bottom feeders

Software companies, hardware companies, credit card companies, cell phone companies all have one thing in common: they want everyone to arbitrate. They tell you that to use their stuff, you must agree to it, no jury trial. You as a consumer probably don't read the contract anyway, you just want the stuff and to go on with your day.


One day you realize your cell phone company has screwed you for a small amount of money, under a hundred bucks. But you're unhappy because you feel cheated; you want your hundred bucks back. Arbitration fees are over 300 dollars for the first day! Would you spend 300 to try to get back 100? No, the companies figure you won't either.

There used to be a way for you to hire a class action lawyer to sue for everyone who got screwed like you ALL AT THE SAME TIME. One lawsuit instead of lots of little ones tying up people's time and resources. And that suit got the attention of the company because it had real bite: think if they screwed a million people out of that 100 dollars. The hit to them could be over 100 million plus paying me, the attorney for the class.

Class actions made companies stop and think about nickel and diming the masses, presuming no one would notice as they reaped millions.

If all you can do is arbitrate, they maybe get 10 arbitrations for the 100 dollars and get to keep the 100 million. Would you keep up the nickel and dime crime if you made huge money off it with little downside? Of course!

Kills me.

Those same companies call me a bottom feeding attorney. Who's the real bottom feeder, 'ya think?

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire