8/20/2007

AT&T loses use of arbitration clause, users can take company to court

It seems that every company on the planet would like to be able and handle all complaints or cases pending against them in arbitration, at least in AT&T's case, that's still an option but is not the only option not after a new court ruling.

AT&T had a little known clause in its service contracts that said if you made use of their service you lost your right to bring a class action lawsuit against the company and instead were forced to go through arbitration. No more, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the clause "unconscionable" and any pending cases like this can now make it to a real court of law.

This was also the case while Cingular was still Cingular and since being taken over by AT&T then of course, it will apply to any case pending that was started under Cingular. Though, I'm not aware of any, I do know a number of people who are unhappy with AT&T service and a few problems associated with the iPhone, hey, AT&T, see you in court. Not that I would be foolish enough to make use of AT&T's service UNLESS I bought an iPhone and even then it doesn't completely make up for the below average service provided by the company.

Comcast is also trying something similar, with this ruling against AT&T it paves the way for the courts to nullify these clauses that other companies could be/are using as well.

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