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A consumer reporter who really gets it

A consumer reporter who really gets it

By Paul Bland, Senior Attorney

This weekend we wrapped up our fall board meetings in Cleveland, the home city of board president Jack Landskroner. While in Cleveland, Jack and I spent some very worthwhile time talking arbitration and consumers’ rights issues with Sheryl Harris, a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Yesterday, she published a story quoting both Jack and me. It’s called “Companies Keeping Consumers Out of Courts.” “

“When you can’t get a company to resolve a wrong,” Sheryl writes, “you should be allowed to have a say in whether you take your case before a judge, jury or arbitrator.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. But in Ohio consumer protection laws have been weakened, and at the national level what the U.S. Supreme Court said in the Concepcion case has done much of the same. The overall picture, however, is not as dark as some pro-arbitration corporations would like to believe. (I’m really not THAT cynical!)

We’re doing everything we can to make sure corporations that put forth especially harshly worded contracts cannot bar their customers from getting justice. And remember that, in many circumstances, we consumers can still take matters into our own hands. As Sheryl says, “You don’t have to sit by while your rights are traded away.”

Read more here: http://www.cleveland.com/consumeraffairs/index.ssf/2012/10/companies_keeping_consumers_ou.html