If you have a credit card, chances are you have come across an arbitration agreement at some point. This agreement is usually included in the terms and conditions that come with your credit card and requires you to waive your right to sue the credit card company in court. Instead, any disputes must be settled through arbitration. But is it really in your best interest to agree to arbitration?
First, let`s look at what arbitration is. It`s a process where a neutral third party (an arbitrator) reviews the evidence in a dispute and makes a final and binding decision. The decision is usually made much faster than a court case would be, and it`s generally less expensive. However, there are some downsides to arbitration that you should be aware of.
For one thing, you are giving up your right to a jury trial. This means that your case will be heard by a single person instead of a group of your peers. Additionally, the arbitrator may have a conflict of interest. For example, if the arbitrator is getting a lot of business from the credit card company, they may be less likely to rule in your favor.
Another disadvantage of arbitration is that the decision is usually final and cannot be appealed. This means that if the arbitrator makes a mistake or gets the law wrong, there`s little you can do about it. Additionally, the decision is generally not public, so you can`t use it as a way to warn others about the credit card company`s practices.
So, should you opt out of arbitration? The answer is, it depends. If you have a good relationship with your credit card company and don`t anticipate any issues, it may not be worth the hassle to opt out. However, if you`re worried about potential disputes or think you may need to take legal action in the future, it`s probably in your best interest to opt out.
To opt out, you will need to send a written request to the credit card company. Make sure you do this within the time frame specified in the terms and conditions (usually within the first 60 days of opening the account). Keep a copy of your request for your records.
In conclusion, the decision to opt out of arbitration is not one to be taken lightly. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of arbitration before making your decision, and if you do decide to opt out, be sure to follow the proper procedure.