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More and more, other businesses are sneaking arbitration clauses into their contracts with consumers. Even nursing homes and doctors are now pulling the wool over patients’ eyes and burying arbitration clauses into their patient care agreements. Be careful what you sign when receiving medical care anywhere and, of course, when signing any consumer contract. Why should you be suspicious of arbitration clauses? After all, big business will tell you that resolving disputes by arbitration is cheaper for you and faster.
One reason to be suspect is that big businesses rarely agree to arbitration clauses to resolve their own disputes. Three law school professors from Cornell, New York University, and the University of Michigan recently completed a study finding that big businesses put arbitration clauses in 75% of their consumer agreements, but only 25% of their contracts overall. If these companies believe arbitration is a fair and cost saving process, then why don’t they insist on arbitration clauses when they contract with one another?
Read before you sign. Don’t waive your right to have your case decided by a jury of your peers lightly.