AT&T’s New ToS Prohibits Customers from Class Action Suits Against AT&T

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AT&T has amended the language of its Terms of Service (TOS) to prohibit AT&T’s customers from participating in any class action lawsuits or class arbitrations against AT&T.

The new language dictates that “Any arbitration under this Agreement will take place on an individual basis; class arbitrations and class actions are not permitted.”


Even prior to this amendment, AT&T’s TOS already required that no AT&T customer could take AT&T to any other than small claims court, providing that “In the unlikely event that AT&T’s customer service department is unable to resolve a complaint you may have to your satisfaction (or if AT&T has not been able to resolve a dispute it has with you after attempting to do so informally), we each agree to resolve those disputes through binding arbitration or small claims court instead of in courts of general jurisdiction.”

Now AT&T is attempting to further restrict the consumer’s ability to have their day in court by mandating that not only can you not take them to regular court on your own, but you may not join any class action against them.

Of course, AT&T can word their TOS however they want; it doesn’t mean that a court will uphold it.

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Indeed, similar language in other contracts has been held unenforceable by courts in California and Washington, although, conversely, a court in Louisiana held in favor of the language.

AT&T’s reason for including the anti-class action and forced arbitration clauses is likely that, generally speaking, large corporations fare better in arbitration than they do in court.

You can read the full wording of AT&T’s TOS as it applies to arbitration here.

 

Perhaps more interesting is that dozens of other companies are using the same exact wording!

In AT&T’s case, at least, I guess that they are really worried that their customers may just decide to reach out and sue someone.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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