Question: Can a business make consumers arbitrate disputes the consumer may have with the business?
Answer: Only if the consumer agrees to it. But, this agreement may be done at any time.
Although there is a federal law that supports the right to agree to arbitrate disputes – the Federal Arbitration Act – at its heart, arbitration is a matter of contract. In order to have their disputes decided in arbitration, the parties to the dispute must agree to arbitrate it. This agreement often happens at the time the contractual relationship is formed, whether that is through a software licensing agreement, loan agreement, purchase agreement, service agreement, or some other agreement between the business and its customer. If there is no pre-dispute arbitration agreement, the parties can agree that the dispute should be decided in arbitration after the dispute arises. One way or another, for disputes to be decided in arbitration, the parties must agree to settle their dispute in the arbitration forum. Continue reading Can a Business Make Consumers Arbitrate Disputes?