When the Roberts’ Court granted immunity to corporations by blessing forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, corporations acted quickly to place these provisions in your service agreement.  The list of offenders grows daily. Now, in an effort to portray these forced arbitration clauses as somehow offering you a “choice,” companies, like Paypal, e-bay and American Express are giving you the chance, by a certain date,  to “opt-out” of arbitration altogether.

We think the opt-out option is entirely illusory, but we also think you should opt-out.  In fact, we have included proposed language below you should send to these companies.

But before you opt out, consider the absurdity of what you need to do. The VII Amendment guarantees a right to trial by jury for any controversy in excess of $20.  If this is a fundamental right, why has this right become one you must preserve by affirmatively opting out of a forced arbitration clause? This is entirely backwards. If the Roberts’ Supreme Court was actually protecting our rights, rather than giving them away to corporations, we would expect that the default would be the preservation of our VII Amendment rights, rather than the default being our forced participation in arbitration.  This is wrong.  We don’t need to just opt out of arbitration. We need to end it altogether.

 

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To Whom It May Concern:

I do not agree to the Agreement to Arbitrate. By this letter, I am opting out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, including the prohibition on class actions, as authorized by paragraph [____] of the [Company]User Agreement. This opt-out applies to the following accounts:

Email(s):

[list the email address(es) associated with your account(s)]

Sincerely,

[sign here]

YOUR NAME

YOUR ADDRESS

YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER

YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER