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eBay recently made some changes to their user agreement that should be noted. I received this from one of their "eBay messages" (which I usually ignore). However, in that message there was no information on how to "opt-out" of the arbitration agreement that eBay is trying to sneakily have you agree to.

Supreme Court Ruling Companies can block customers' class-action lawsuits Thanks randalotto from SD

While this is not a hot deal, this is very important for anyone using eBay to know and understand that their new changes to the user agreement make arbitration your only solution should you ever have a legal disagreement with eBay; this is also on an individual basis. eBay is more and more becoming a pain the the A$$ to deal with, and some of their practices sketchy at best. Based on this NEW CHANGE, if there ever was a class action lawsuit against eBay, you would not be eligible because you agreed to their "arbitration" as the only means to resolution.

*** The only way out of this is to "opt-out" in writing. If you don't send eBay a written letter opting out, you are agreeing to arbitration as your only solution against eBay should a legal problem ever arise. Certified Mail (or similar) would be a wise choice. For those of you thinking that it is not worth the stamp because you may get a whopping $1 should a class action lawsuit come about... well, remember the lawnmower engine class action lawsuit, that was more than a $1


Updated provisions governing how disputes between eBay and eBay users are resolved.

The User Agreement contains an Agreement to Arbitrate, which will, with limited exception, require you and eBay to submit claims to binding and final arbitration, unless you opt-out of the Agreement to Arbitrate by November 9, 2012. Unless you opt-out: (1) you will only be permitted to pursue claims against eBay on an individual basis, not as part of any class or representative action or proceeding and (2) you will only be permitted to seek relief (including monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief) on an individual basis.

Opt-Out Procedure

You can choose to reject this Agreement to Arbitrate ("opt-out") by mailing us a written opt-out notice ("Opt-Out Notice"). For new eBay users, the Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than 30 days after the date you accept the User Agreement for the first time. If you are already a current eBay user and previously accepted the User Agreement prior to the introduction of this Agreement to Arbitrate, the XXX Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than November 9, 2012 . You must mail the Opt-Out Notice to eBay Inc., c/o National Registered Agents, Inc., 2778 W. Shady Bend Lane, Lehi, UT 84043.

The Opt-Out Notice must state that you do not agree to this Agreement to Arbitrate and must include your name, address, and the user ID(s) and email address(es) associated with the eBay account(s) to which the opt-out applies. You must sign the Opt-Out Notice for it to be effective. This procedure is the only way you can opt-out of the Agreement to Arbitrate. If you opt-out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, all other parts of the User Agreement and its Legal Disputes Section will continue to apply to you. Opting out of this Agreement to Arbitrate has no effect on any previous, other, or future arbitration agreements that you may have with us.



Where I found the above information...
Or go here


Mods... if this information is posted somewhere, I could not find it. This is very important to know and I felt it best in the Hot Deals forums because it will get more visibility here.

Thanks erratic*attic (whoever you are)

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If I have an issue and just really wanted to contact executives within the company who and where do i send the ceritifie... (more)

edgepark (Sep. 12, 2012 @ 9:35p) |

Great now Paypal has the same dealy.

zapjb (Oct. 04, 2012 @ 9:27a) |

I had posted the one about Paypal already. Ganda had posted the mailing address in that one. When I got the Paypal email... (more)

gizmo (Oct. 06, 2012 @ 11:52a) |

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There should be a law requiring that if a company want their customer to agree to something like this the company have to give them a way to opt out through the internet.

I like it.
It's about time companies stopped the class action lawsuit lottery and 'automatic' enrollment of lazy consumers getting their $5 check and the corporate lawyers getting their somewhat larger check.
Now if you have a problems with this company, then you will determine, at your expense, if your claim is valid enough to take to arbitration. No more mob rule. It keeps their cost of doing business down and the savings can be passed on to the auction sellers or make higher profit for them. If you do not like it then auction your items some other way.
Look for more companies to put the same language in their use agreements to stop the lawsuit lottery problems.

*I want to personally thank all the losers who have already voted my comments negative and those who thought about it too. I'll wear my NEG rating like a badge until there are enough intelligent people around to discuss business matters logically. If you have been insulted then examine your own beliefs and express them as to why companies who spell out every detail of their business agreement should pay millions of dollars if a mob of angry and greedy people do not like them.*

maximusrebatus said:   I like it.
It's about time companies stopped the class action lawsuit lottery and 'automatic' enrollment of lazy consumers getting their $5 check and the corporate lawyers getting their somewhat larger check.
Now if you have a problems with this company, then you will determine, at your expense, if your claim is valid enough to take to arbitration. No more mob rule. It keeps their cost of doing business down and the savings can be passed on to the auction sellers or make higher profit for them. If you do not like it then auction your items some other way.
Look for more companies to put the same language in their use agreements to stop the lawsuit lottery problems.


I take the opposite view. The courts are there to serve people that have been wronged. Everyone knows that those arbitration boards favor large corporations, otherwise, they wouldn't get paid. Corporations have no right to insulate themselves from the rule of law itself (the courts). If individual people lose their right to sue a corporation, that corporation becomes even more invincible.

I, for one, do not want a future in which corporations are invincible.

Agreement says that you could choose to arbitrate OR file a small claims lawsuit in Utah. Previous agreement said that you could file in Santa Clara County, California. (the location of eBay's headquarters) Since I live nearby I was fine with that. Now, it now must be done in Utah. I would guess Utah was chosen because it would be the most inconvenient location for the maximum number of persons. (Only Alaska would be worse. The most remote area in the lower 48 is eastern Utah). Could also be because Utah is also the most Republican State in the US. Perhaps also because California courts have ruled in the past that eBay's terms are unconscionable and people have won small claims suits against eBay in California before.

I don't think opting out will solve any problem. If you opt out, eBay is likely to ban you from their website.

Not a good sign of our consumer-rights future

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/business/28bizcourt.html

labboypro said:   Not a good sign of our consumer-rights future

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/business/28bizcourt.html

Link is for subscribers only.

Supreme Court Ruling Companies can block customers' class-action lawsuits Thanks randalotto from SD

Text of NY Times article referenced above:

April 27, 2011
Supreme Court Allows Contracts That Prohibit Class-Action Arbitration
By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — Businesses may use standard-form contracts to forbid consumers claiming fraud from banding together in a single arbitration, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a 5-to-4 decision that split along ideological lines.

Though the decision concerned arbitrations, it appeared to provide businesses with a way to avoid class-action lawsuits in court. All they need do, the decision suggested, is use standard-form contracts that require two things: that disputes be raised only through the informal mechanism of arbitration and that claims be brought one by one.

“The decision basically lets companies escape class actions, so long as they do so by means of arbitration agreements,” Brian T. Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, said. “This is a game-changer for businesses. It’s one of the most important and favorable cases for businesses in a very long time.”

The decision fits in with recent rulings that have favored arbitrations and been wary of aspects of class actions.

The case was brought by a California couple who objected to a $30 charge for what was said to be a free cellphone. They had signed a “take it or leave it” standard contract from AT&T Mobility that required them to resolve disputes through arbitration and barred them from banding together with others to seek class-action treatment, whether in arbitration or in traditional litigation in court.

The couple, Vincent and Liza Concepcion, filed a lawsuit against AT&T Mobility seeking class-action treatment. The company, relying on the contract, responded that the case could neither proceed in court nor as a class action in any forum. But lower federal courts refused to enforce the arbitration agreement and allowed the case to go forward. They relied on a 2005 ruling from the California Supreme Court that barred class waivers as unconscionable.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority on Wednesday, said the lower courts had failed to properly apply the Federal Arbitration Act, which overrides some state court decisions disfavoring arbitration.

The California Supreme Court decision had barred class waivers in all standard-form contracts, whether applicable to arbitrations or court proceedings, as unconscionable if they gave rise to claims that the companies issuing them had set out “to deliberately cheat large numbers of consumers out of individually small amounts of money.”

Though neutral on its face, the ruling placed an unlawful burden on arbitration agreements and so ran afoul of the federal arbitration law, Justice Scalia wrote.

“Requiring the availability of classwide arbitration interferes with fundamental attributes of arbitration,” Justice Scalia wrote. He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Arbitrators are ill suited to handling sprawling cases, Justice Scalia said, and sensible businesses would not agree to participate in informal proceedings from which very limited appeals are possible when faced “with even a small chance of a devastating loss.”

“We find it hard to believe,” Justice Scalia wrote, “that defendants would bet the company with no effective means of review, and even harder to believe that Congress would have intended to allow state courts to force such a decision.”

Justice Scalia added that the arbitration agreement at issue in the case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, No. 09-893, was more than fair in the procedures it used and the payments it contemplated in individual cases.

The company, in a statement on Wednesday, said the decision was “a victory for consumers.”

“We value our customers,” the statement said, “and AT&T’s arbitration program is free, fair, fast, easy to use and consumer friendly.”

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for himself and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, said the state court decision banning class waivers did not violate the federal law favoring arbitrations.

Class arbitrations, Justice Breyer wrote, are perfectly appropriate ways to resolve claims that are minor individually but significant in the aggregate.

He said he was puzzled by Justice Scalia’s assertion that there was tension between the goals of arbitrations and class treatment. “Where does the majority get its contrary idea — that individual, rather than class, arbitration is a fundamental attribute of arbitration?”

The apt comparison, Justice Breyer continued, is not between individual and class arbitration but between class arbitration and class actions in court. Class arbitrations, he said, are more efficient.

But the most fundamental problem, he said, is that minor frauds like the one asserted here by the California couple will not be remedied.

“What rational lawyer would have signed on to represent the Concepcions in litigation for the possibility of fees stemming from a $30.22 claim?” he asked. Quoting from a decision in another case, he answered his own question. “Only a lunatic or a fanatic sues for $30,” he said.

I think that this is just fine. Class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers. They drive up costs for the rest of us.

If you have not been wronged, then the $1.38 class action settlement check is all fine and good.

If you have been harmed, it would be more benefitial to personally go to the company's HQ and tinkle-tinkle on their front door.

Sometimes "no class action" terms are still unenforcable:

The bigger concern is that companies like eBay can force you to new TOU without explicit approval from individuals. Instead of presenting customers with a form to approve or disapprove, they automatically switch us all to the new TOU and force us to write them to opt out. Whichever side of the arbitration terms you fall on, you have to agree that quietly changing TOU under the covers is shady business practice (a convoluted email in legalese doesn't cut it IMHO). This just smells of a lawsuit that'll make its way to the supreme court.

Is their any generic letter that some helpful soul has written that can be filled in with my personal info? And I just send it in to eBay by certified mail.

Opt-Out Notice

I do not agree with this Agreement to Arbitrate that was recently presented to me.

________________ signature
________________ date
And include your name, address, and the user ID(s) and email address(es) associated with the eBay account(s) to which the opt-out applies

Mail to:
eBay Inc.
c/o National Registered Agents, Inc.
2778 W. Shady Bend Lane
Lehi, UT 84043

I kept it simple. You can word it anyway you like. The simpler the better (I think).

zapjb said:   Is their any generic letter that some helpful soul has written that can be filled in with my personal info? And I just send it in to eBay by certified mail.

Scrooge said:   I think that this is just fine. Class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers. They drive up costs for the rest of us.

1) Class action lawsuits can be abused but they offer a means of addressing businesses that feel they can act or fail to act with impunity because the amount at issue is too small for any reasonable person to bother litigating on his/her own. Are they always beneficial to the public? No. But you could also say that products liability lawsuits only drive up the costs for the rest of us, to hell with the millions of people who might otherwise have lost fingers, limbs, or their lives had businesses been allowed to escape responsibility for the negative effects of their cost-cutting measures. Absolute statements like "Class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers" demonstrate naive thinking.

2). Arbitrators are pawns of corporate interests. You'd have to have a slam dunk case to have any decent chance of winning and even then you still might get a decision in favor of the big corporation that defies logic, reason and the facts. In close to slightly close cases, the big corporation almost always wins. Think that is "just fine?"

ahcool said:   There should be a law requiring that if a company want their customer to agree to something like this the company have to give them a way to opt out through the internet.

There is. Simply send eBay an email telling them you opt out and send a cc to yourself for a record. eBay is obviously claiming that there is no way that they can handle the voluminous opt-out claims they would be getting if it wasn't snail mail. If it does come to a class action suit, the attorneys will be delighted to have an extra point to attack eBay on, and claiming that they made the opt-out process unreasonably hard will be a great one. It's pretty obvious that if you send them an email telling them you opt out, that your intent is clear.

Thanks for the heads up OP. My question is, is it worth it to opt out, considering the fact that very few people will opt out, and therefore the "class" in any class action suit would contain very few people? I doubt that any class action lawyer would take the case with such a small class pool. So even if some eBay users do opt out, eBay has probably effectively eliminated class action suits.

george2001 said:   Thanks for the heads up OP. My question is, is it worth it to opt out, considering the fact that very few people will opt out, and therefore the "class" in any class action suit would contain very few people? I doubt that any class action lawyer would take the case with such a small class pool. So even if some eBay users do opt out, eBay has probably effectively eliminated class action suits.

may be we should setup a poll for all eBay users and see how many are interested in opt-out?

ahcool said:   There should be a law requiring that if a company want their customer to agree to something like this the company have to give them a way to opt out through the internet.

Or at least they should be required to send Certified Mail to every eBay account address. Seems only fair.

I wonder how long it will take eBay to zap the IDs of those who opt out? You *know* they're going to track this and create a shitlist.

My accounts are more than a decade old with extensive history, and as such they have significant value to my business.

I also wonder if this covers PayPal, since eBay owns it. At some point there's going to be an almighty case against the &*%* *&#(ers that PayPal are.

ganda said:   I wonder how long it will take eBay to zap the IDs of those who opt out? You *know* they're going to track this and create a shitlist.

My accounts are more than a decade old with extensive history, and as such they have significant value to my business.


As the song says, "You don't spit on Superman's cape..."

BradMajors said:   labboypro said:   Not a good sign of our consumer-rights future

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/business/28bizcourt.html

Link is for subscribers only.


Odd. I'm definitely NOT a subscriber, and it comes up fine in my browser. Thanks to geezlouise for posting the text.

Typed, signed, copied & ready to go to PO & send by Certified Mail.


Edit: Decided to add Return Receipt as well. Over $5 total. eBay better not issue these opt-out dealy-bobs more than every couple years or more.

My prediction is that something is already in the wind for a BIG lawsuit somewhere about eBay and or Paypal or ??? and that this is their lawyers taking precautions to keep eBay from taking a bath.

Microsoft has already amended their Services Agreement to follow suit:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/microsoft-servic...

Just skip straight to Section 10: Binding Arbitration and Class Action Waiver If You Live in the United States.

Now this won't completely stop people from banding together to fight corporations in large cases of wrongdoing (if the people are sufficiently organized), it's just going to make it much more involved for them to take the matter to court. Unfortunately I fear in the end this will all lead to corporations and organizations becoming more reckless with the environment, their employees, customers, really everything - with the notable exception how much they strive to control the arbitration boards.

Found a great article here: http://centerjd.org/content/snapshot-justice-truth-about-class-a... (specifically the "Class Actions Save Lives and Protect Our Rights" section).

Some prior class action lawsuits mentioned there:

• Brown vs. Board of Education - Outlawed school segregation.
• Enron and WorldCom - Corporate fraud.
• Corporate toxic pollution cases.
• Defective bullet-proof vests after a CA police officer was shot to death.
• Illegal strip-searches by New York City jail guards in the late 1990's.

To think that any of these potentially wouldn't have happened (or been significantly delayed) because of a ban on class action lawsuits really sucks. Capitalism is great and all, but everything needs its limits.

I have a pending lawsuit in Hawaii. eBay has successfully had the case dismissed because because their forum selection clause requires me to file it in Santa Clara County. I have filed an appeal. My argument is that I did not agree to the agreement to arbitrate or forum selection clauses because when I hit submit I was sending my personal information, and not agreeing to their terms. Another argument is that forum selection selection clauses are unconscionable and create an unreasonable financial burden, and deny plaintiff of legal remedies. And there is a large number of cases that show that forum selection clauses are against public policy in form contracts. As I live in Hawaii and trying to litigate a jury trial in santa clara county is impossible because of my financial situation. Also the reason I brought the suit is eBay is giving away product for free. The customers paid for it initially, but filed for refunds. eBay refunded them even though the order was in process and when they received the goods, I filed an appeal, and they ruled against me. Thereby allowing the customers to receive the goods for free. This is the reason I filed the lawsuit against eBay, because they refused to pay me for the product they facilitated in stealing from me. The other issue is they didn't have a copy of the user agreement from when I signed up, and therefore the judge ruled in their favor without evidence. They had the agreement before and the agreement after.

Well, your assumption is that corporations are innocent angels and the class action litigants are bad people with merit-less complaints. however in my case I am considering a class action suit against eBay, because as they have gotten big, they have forgotten who they serve. They think that they can steal from their sellers and give money to the buyers such as original shipping? This is money that post office received. Why don't they get the post office to refund them?

eBay owes their sellers the loyalty not the buyers. It is the sellers who pay the fees. It is the sellers who are the customers for eBay. eBay owes its loyalty to the sellers. They have forgotten this as they first removed the sellers ability to leave negative feedback on deadbeat buyers. Next they force sellers to refund original shipping if the buyers have buyer's remorse. This causes sellers losses usually for no fault of their own. And in my case eBay outright stole from me $2,000 worth of merchandise and gave it away.

I tried to be reasonable, and talk to them about it, but in the end they said couldn't help me. I tried writing to John Donohoe, the CEO, nothing. No help.

So now I'm going to court. Its not the money, its the principle. If eBay would just be good, they wouldn't have any lawsuits.

wmcorless said:   I have a pending lawsuit in Hawaii. eBay has successfully had the case dismissed because because their forum selection clause requires me to file it in Santa Clara County. I have filed an appeal. My argument is that I did not agree to the agreement to arbitrate or forum selection clauses because when I hit submit I was sending my personal information, and not agreeing to their terms. Another argument is that forum selection selection clauses are unconscionable and create an unreasonable financial burden, and deny plaintiff of legal remedies. And there is a large number of cases that show that forum selection clauses are against public policy in form contracts. As I live in Hawaii and trying to litigate a jury trial in santa clara county is impossible because of my financial situation. Also the reason I brought the suit is eBay is giving away product for free. The customers paid for it initially, but filed for refunds. eBay refunded them even though the order was in process and when they received the goods, I filed an appeal, and they ruled against me. Thereby allowing the customers to receive the goods for free. This is the reason I filed the lawsuit against eBay, because they refused to pay me for the product they facilitated in stealing from me. The other issue is they didn't have a copy of the user agreement from when I signed up, and therefore the judge ruled in their favor without evidence. They had the agreement before and the agreement after.
* There was someone in California who was able to get a judge to rule that eBay's terms were unconscionable. You want to look up how he did it.
* They changed their terms and you now need to file your suit in Utah rather than California.

If I have an issue and just really wanted to contact executives within the company who and where do i send the ceritified letters to?

Great now Paypal has the same dealy.

zapjb said:   Great now Paypal has the same dealy.

I had posted the one about Paypal already. Ganda had posted the mailing address in that one. When I got the Paypal email, there was nothing that said where or how to actually opt out



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