Arbitration is an alternative method of resolving disputes. Two parties present their sides of a complaint to an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. The arbitrator’s job is to weigh the facts and arguments of both sides and make a determination.
While there are instances of voluntary arbitration, forced arbitration arises when a company requires a consumer to submit any dispute to binding arbitration as a condition of buying a product. The consumer has to waive their right to sue, participate in a class-action lawsuit, or file an appeal. With this type of dispute resolution, the decision is binding and the results are not made public.
When consumers are dealing with defective or harmful products, forced arbitration can get in the way of recovery and informing others about the potential dangers. That’s why it’s important for consumers to know how to fight back against forced arbitration.