CNet: Why you can't sue your wireless carrier in a class action
Millions of wireless subscribers probably don't realize that since a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, consumers can no longer file class action suits against their carriers.
Sen. Franken is leading the charge on behalf of consumers in their fight against wireless providers. Sen. Franken wants consumers to have options when issues with their wireless carriers arise. As it stands consumers are not allowed to bring a class action suit against their wireless carriers.
"Companies should not be able to effectively insulate themselves from liability when they rip off their customers," said Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has sponsored a bill that would prohibit companies from inserting arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. "But that's what a recent decision by the Supreme Court has allowed them to do."
Consumer advocates and legal experts agree that social media is a powerful tool. But they say it's simply not enough. For Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) the issue is really that consumers have no choice. He concedes that arbitration may sometimes benefit consumers. And he agrees social media can draw awareness to consumer issues. But consumers should be able to decide for themselves, which avenue is best for them.
And that's why last year he introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2011, which forbids companies from forcing its customers into arbitration when they sign a contract. Franken along with 16 other senators that are co-sponsoring the bill, believe that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 was not meant to apply to contracts made between companies and their customers, but between two companies doing business with one another. And it was not meant to limit an individual's choices before a dispute even arises.
"Customers should have the option to bring a claim before our courts--including a class action claim--if that is the only way to get justice," he said. "If they choose to use arbitration, fine. If they choose to band together with other consumers and file a class-action suit, that's fine too. All my bill does is restore their right to make a choice."
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