Another One

It seems that consumers just can’t win anymore in America. I already wrote about the FCC trying to kill net neutrality, and how ISP duopolies are trying to kill municipal competition through local governments – both things that if kept alive would be great for protecting consumers against the reigns of big industry players. And now, Americans have another anti-consumer piece of legislation to worry about.

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Wow, DJ Khaled totally called how much anti-consumer policy would come out of this Administration and Congress.

Senate just voted to strike a federal rule passed in July that prevented financial companies that bind their users by arbitration agreements from prohibiting those same consumers from suing as a class. Meaning that even if you unknowingly agreed to an arbitration clause somewhere on the 48th page of a Terms of Service (something Equifax seriously tried to do), you would still be able to sue if there was any sufficient wrongdoing.

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Does leaving yourself open to the largest security breach in US history and having 150 million American’s social security information leaked count as sufficient wrongdoing?

This vote allows companies to actually bind users to those arbitration clauses. To give you an example of what this means, it prevents consumers affected by the Equifax hack to be able to sue the company, instead they are forced to go to a private court for arbitration.

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Wait, I never signed an agreement with Equifax, or paid them for anything. They just scooped up all my important data and then got themselves hacked by using “admin” as a username and password – but I’m still the one that gets screwed even further?

But this isn’t just about Equifax. This is about an alarmingly trend in the United States that protects large corporations from the consequences of their actions – above and beyond any concern for the little guy.

The vote was 50/50 along party lines except for 2 republicans, with the tie-breaking “Yes” vote cast by VP Pence. This is just another piece of evidence that the Republican-led Congress is one that is beholden to corporations and not the people. With a vote this anti-consumer, I am afraid of what other legislation will be passed if there isn’t a serious shakeup in the 2018 mid-term elections. If Americans who value consumer protections in all of its forms don’t stand up to the blatant corruption in our government, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Remember the last time you saw the tip of an iceberg?

Until Tomorrow!

Post 24 – October 25th

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