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Banks, telecoms, electronics, retailers among companies requiring forced arbitration

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If your bank, cell phone provider, employer, or other company that you conduct business with violated your rights or cheated you, would you want to be able to take them to court?

Many companies are now using fine print to stop consumers from taking legal action, according to Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.

Below is Public Citizen’s listing of some of the largest corporations that have placed “forced arbitration” clauses in their terms of service. Forced arbitration blocks consumers and employees from holding companies accountable in court because they must take their claims to private, secretive tribunals that often favor the companies, the consumer group said in a statement.

Telecommunications: DirectTV, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, Clearwire, Time Warner Cable, Tacfone.

Consumer banking and credit: Wells Fargo, US Bank, Regions Banks, BB&T, Discover, PNC Bank, Chase.

Student loans: Sallie Mae, Citibank, Chase, Discover.

Consumer electronics: Sony, Dell, Gateway, Electronic Arts, XBox Live.

Nursing homes: Candansk, Covenant Dove, Driftwood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Kindred Nursing Center, Manor Care of Florida, OP Winter Haven, SA-PG Sun City Center, Triad Health Management of Georgia.

Home builders: D.R. Horton, Pulte Homes, Centex Corp., Lennar, KB Home, Hovnanian Enterprises, NVR (Ryan), The Ryland Group, Beazer Homes.

Gift cards: Starbucks, Pep Boys, Gold’s Gym, Ticketmaster, Crocs, In-N-Out Burger, Red Mango, Patagonia, Discover.

Ecommerce and entertainment: amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Netflix, Hulu.

Employment: Hooters of America, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Group, Macy’s West Stores, Yahoo! Inc.

Miscellaneous: New Leaf Academy, Orkin.

Public Citizen asks consumers to add more companies that are taking away their rights with forced arbitration by sending an e-mail to action@citizen.org.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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