(credit: Aurich Lawson)
Five Democratic US senators allege that ATT’s use of forced arbitration clauses has helped the company charge higher prices than the ones it advertises to customers.
The senators pointed to a CBS News investigation that described “more than 4,000 complaints against ATT and [subsidiary] DirecTV related to deals, promotions and overcharging in the past two years.” But customers have little recourse because they are forced to settle disputes with ATT in arbitration, according to Sen.

Al Franken (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.).
“Forced arbitration provisions in telecommunications contracts erode Americans’ ability to seek justice in the courts by forcing them into a privatized system that is inherently biased in favor of providers and which offers virtually no way to challenge a biased outcome,” the senators wrote in a letter yesterday to ATT CEO Randall Stephenson. “Forced arbitration requires consumers to sign away their constitutional right to hold providers accountable in court just to access modern-day essentials like mobile phone, Internet, and pay-TV services.”
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