Published: December 2015

CEOs urged to stop using forced arbitration

Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in writing a letter to the CEOs of American Express, General Electric, JPMorgan Chase, Sears, Citigroup, Toyota and Discover Financial Services, asking them to stop putting forced arbitration clauses in their contracts because the practice is unfair and abusive. Combined, the corporations compel millions of American consumers to surrender their constitutional right to seek redress in the legal system after being victimized by unfair, deceptive or fraudulent corporate business practices.

In a letter to the CEOs of seven major corporations (American Express, General Electric, JPMorgan Chase, Sears, Citigroup, Toyota and Discover Financial Services), Consumer Action and its coalition advocates urged leaders to stop requiring their customers and workers give up their legal rights when they sign basic contracts. Forced arbitration clauses deny consumers and workers the right to hold corporations accountable for their wrongdoings. Instead of going to court, these clauses force consumer claims into private arbitration that favors the corporation. Corporations write the arbitration rules, even choosing the arbitration firm and the location for the proceeding. Forced arbitration is a parallel system of dispute resolution created by and for corporations and explicitly designed to protect their interests above all else.

To make matters worse, consumers are often unaware that the contracts they sign for their every day needs (like opening a checking account, obtaining a credit card or purchasing a wireless phone) subject them to this type of arbitration. Even if they were aware, they would face the difficult choice of foregoing necessary products or services, and even potential employment, to preserve fundamental rights.

Lead Organization

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

Other Organizations

Americans for Financial Reform | Alliance for a Just Society | Alliance for Justice | Atlanta Jobs with Justice (GA) | Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Consumers Union | Empire Justice Center (NY) | Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings | Home Owners for Better Building | Main Street Alliance | MFY Legal Services, Inc. (NY) | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients) | National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care | National Employment Law Project | National Employment Lawyers Association | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Women's Law Center | New Economy Project (NY) | People For the American Way | Public Citizen | Public Justice Center | Take Back Your Rights PAC | Tennessee Citizen Action (TN) | Service Employees International Union | Workplace Fairness | Woodstock Institute

More Information

For more information, please visit AFR's website.

Download PDF

CEOs urged to stop using forced arbitration   (Finalgrparbltrtocos.compressed.pdf)




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