Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun July 25 2021 19:53:03

Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Many large companies now force customers to agree to binding arbitration in cases of disputes, preventing users from suing them in court - Amazon among them.

But in a surprise move, Amazon changed its Conditions of Use, sending the following letter to customers last week:

Dear (Redacted),
We wanted to let you know that we recently updated our Conditions of Use.

One of our updates involves how disputes are resolved between you and Amazon. Previously, our Conditions of Use set out an arbitration process for those disputes. Our updated Conditions of Use provides for dispute resolution by the courts.

Please visit https://www.amazon.com/conditionsofuse to read our updated terms in full.

As always, your use of any Amazon service constitutes your agreement to our Conditions of Use.
Thank you,
Amazon

Binding arbitration clauses require each customer to file a dispute individually - and there is a perception arbitration often favors companies over their users. 

While class action lawsuits potentially have more teeth, the legal cases we had written about in years past often led to settlements, with most customers receiving a paltry check.

We did notice that while Amazon now allows lawsuits, there's a bit of a gotcha:

"Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in these courts. We each waive any right to a jury trial."

Amazon customers may now get their day in court, but not before a jury.

The New York Times covered the news and spoke to Deepak Gupta, a lawyer who represented customers in a landmark 2010 Supreme Court case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

Referring to binding arbitration clauses, Gupta said, "It was never about making it easier for customers to resolve disputes - it was about killing claims."

eBay continues to have an arbitration clause in its User Agreement - as does Etsy.

If you have ever participated in a lawsuit or arbitration as a buyer or seller, chime in - and let us know what you think of binding arbitration clauses.



Comments (3) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?   Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 26 08:14:01 2021

Another reason why AMZ should be broken up.  Kick the sand in the face of the consumer, as AMZ flexes their judicial muscle.  But I'm a firm believer of what goes up, always comes crumbling down.

Perminate Link for Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?   Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Jul 26 15:28:12 2021

A reader said this provision may also pose a major challenge to customers: "Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, "

Perminate Link for Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?   Amazon and the Return of Class Action Lawsuits?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 29 08:36:40 2021

The problem isnt the small words in the TOS on how you can sue them or not - its the costs born on smaller sellers or groups that do want to sell them - and forcing cases in WA tells you as much.

eBay has a similar provision (I believe) and if they dont - that would be their first move (any first year lawyer would do that move).

Any monies spent would never be recovered in any case ... and they know it.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.