Many companies require mandatory arbitration in their service contracts. This means that, should you have a dispute with the company, the dispute will be handled privately and not in a courtroom. The companies can at times pick the arbiters, and the results of the arbitration cannot be appealed and are almost never made public.
Mandatory arbitration rules are often stacked against the consumer. For example, companies can require that arbitration take place in a city distant from the consumer to make it harder for him or her to travel to the meeting. The ruling also prevents consumers from banding together for a broad legal challenge against the company. As few consumers can afford to battle with large companies as individuals, this prevents many suits from going to court.
However, things are supposed to be different for deployed troops. There are a number of federal protections against repossessions and foreclosures for service members, but some companies violate these protections repeatedly. The Government Accountability Office found in 2012 that financial institutions violated the law more than 15,000 times.
Consumer lawyers say there is reason for companies to resist making exceptions to active service members: admitting that the rule is bad for the military is dangerously close to admitting that the rule is bad for all consumers.
If you are an active service member and are having trouble with a service contract, The Lambert Firm can help you explore your legal options. Contact us today for assistance.