Another reason big companies don’t want you to read the fine print

Kai Ryssdal and Robert Garrova Nov 2, 2015
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Another reason big companies don’t want you to read the fine print

Kai Ryssdal and Robert Garrova Nov 2, 2015
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Americans accept contracts almost every day. Most recently it might have been on a computer — or on a phone for that matter. Netflix, AT&T, Starbucks— they all have them in one form or another. It seems you have to agree before you can do just about anything these days.

But according to Jessica Silver-Greenberg of The New York Times, there’s a good chance that contract will have a particular clause — usually nine words or so — that keeps your legal dispute in cheap, private arbitration instead of expensive court.

Silver-Greenberg and her colleagues at the New York Times have written a series of pieces that investigate just how this arbitration clause protects mega-corporations from mega-lawsuits.  

Silver-Greenberg spoke with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal about these clauses and how ubiquitous they are. 

“…When it comes to cell phones, 99 percent of cell phone providers include this (arbitration clause). So if you want to be a Luddite, sure, you don’t have to sign the clause,” she said. “But for the most part, these are things we rely on for our daily lives.”

Click the above audio player to hear more. 

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