Recently, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus reported that Microsoft has announced modifications to some of its customer contracts. If you have a beef against them or one of their products, you’d better be able to settle it in arbitration or small claims court because you will not be able to pursue a class action lawsuit against them.
In a blog post, Microsoft’s assistant general counsel Tim Fielden said that the new policy “gives Microsoft powerful incentives to resolve any dispute to the customer’s satisfaction before it gets to arbitration.” He claimed that “customer complaints will be resolved promptly.”
Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel for the advocacy group Public Citizen, said that she was disappointed by Microsoft’s action but not surprised. “This is the trend among companies, and it’s been getting worse,” she remarked.
What likely accelerated this trend was the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in 2011 stating that a business may require arbitration and prohibit class action lawsuits in its service contract.
Businesses would rather pay a professional arbitrator because settlement amounts are capped. Also, the arbitrator would be unlikely to risk displeasing the party paying his or her fee.
“Ending class action lawsuits allows a company to evade accountability for wrongdoing,” Hines said. “You’re denying consumers their legal rights.”
If you have a grievance against a company but think that your loss is not enough reason to file a lawsuit, you just might be able to join others in a Kentucky class action lawsuit. Contact the Louisville class action litigation lawyers at Gray and White Law. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation.