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Consumer Reports - Right to sue

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News video: Consumer Reports - Right to sueSome companies use fine print to stop you from getting a good deal.

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Transcript: Consumer Reports - Right to sue

overseas. kota territory news>> when you buy a product or service and something goes terribly wrong, ... you may think, "i can always sue." but consumer reports warns that people often unwittingly give up their right to sue by agreeing in advance to submit any dispute to binding arbitration. in tonight's consumer report, our alicia garcia tells us why &lt;&lt;that>> can be a raw deal. (v/o) The used car Jon Perz bought seven years ago has hardly ever left the garage.

There was an engine problem the dealer first failed and then refused to fix, and that made the car unsafe.

The dealer also refused to return Perz's original 10-thousand-dollar payment.

Then Perz found to his dismay he'd agreed to binding arbitration and couldn't sue. perz>> (sot) "i didn't even know what an arbitration agreement was. i was really beside myself that we've lost our right to court." garcia>> (v/o) Instead of being heard by a judge or jury, the dispute was sent to an arbitration firm selected by the car dealership. margot gilman consumer reports>> (sot) "Having the company select the arbitrator can be a serious conflict of interest.

And unfortunately, such arrangements can be typical in binding arbitration agreements." garcia>> (v/o) Binding arbitration clauses are becoming a more common requirement, including for some big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, at&amp;t, and even services like Match.com.

You agree by signing a contract, clicking "i agree," or just by using the product or service. gilman>> (sot: Margot Gilman) "Companies say that binding arbitration can make it easier and less costly for both sides to settle disputes.

But there are concerns that giving up the right to sue can deprive consumers of an important legal protection." garcia>> (v/o) Jon Perz regrets the day he ever signed that contract.

Still, just a few weeks ago, after a seven-year ordeal, the dealership was ordered by another arbitration firm to pay him 20-thousand dollars in damages. perz>> (sot: Jon Perz) "This is not going to happen to me again. i will go to dealer after dealer after dealer, and my first question when i walk around the lot: 'Do you have an arbitration agreement?'" kota territory news>> (v/o) consumer reports advises that if you don't want to agree to binding arbitration, ... try crossing it out and requesting a new agreement. or if you have already signed, there




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