(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Monday, December 16, 2002

Every time I get a bill from some big company that includes an insert explaining "changes" to my "agreement" with them -- and, wouldn't you know it, those changes are always to the benefit of the company, and no company representative ever called to negotiate those new terms with me or to see what my thoughts might be -- I muse to myself "I really ought to do the same: send them a darn piece of paper making the changes that I want, and telling them that these changes will be part of our agreement unless they notify me immediately in writing to the contrary."

Well, somebody went and did just that, and lo and behold prevailed in the Alabama Supreme Court. The consumer did away with a prior "agreement" to arbitrate all claims, by including a notice with her payment that said "we're not going to arbitrate any more, and you can't make any further changes in our agreement unless I specifically ok them." And the Alabama Supreme Court, in this decision issued last week, gave effect to this modification of the parties' arrangement. As Nelson on the Simpsons says, "ha ha."

You can probably expect to receive an insert in all of your bills in the next few months, declaring an amendment to your "agreement" by which you "agree" that you can't do this. But what happens if you "X" that out and send it back noting that you don't agree? Fun fun fun, until all the companies gang up and deny you all services because you're a troublemaker, and you end up living in a shack in the woods as an outcast from the consumerist society.

posted by sam 2:23 PM 0 comments


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