Without knowing it, you have probably agreed to a company's arbitration clause when accepting their terms and conditions. When agreeing to arbitration you waive the right to sue if a dispute arises. Instead, your dispute is heard by a third party arbitrator who will determine how to settle the issue.
Many companies and corporations will claim that this process is good for the consumer, but just how exactly does it affect an individual? Some main points include:
Lack of Fairness
Corporations and companies can be more familiar with the arbitration process, making it unfair to the consumer. Many companies who are in favor of arbitration can also be more familiar with different arbitrators who do not always have the consumer's best interests in mind.
The arbitration process can often take more time to resolve than litigation.
Lack of Jury
Having panel of peers (a jury) is a privileged right that the consumer gives up in the arbitration process. The arbitrator plays the role of both judge and jury in the resolution, which could lead to a biased decision.
If you have been forced to arbitrate with a company after a dispute has arisen, do not hesitate to share your story in a comment below. How did the process affect you?