Authored by: Ollie Lammers
Forced arbitration is becoming a common practice with companies, including car rental companies. These arbitrations are in the terms and agreements and do not allow consumers to opt-out that will allow a consumer to use the product still.
According to Public Justice, arbitrations are hidden deep in contracts and have legal jargon difficult for most people to understand. Public Justice recently took on a case where the plaintiff rented a car from Sixt Rent-A-Car at the Phoenix airport, and the company tried to charge the plaintiff with bogus damage claims.
The company accused the plaintiff of causing damage to the car when he did not and tried to charge the plaintiff several hundred dollars in fees associated with the alleged damaged. Sixt Rent-A-Car has a history of overcharging clients, and the plaintiff ended up working with Public Justice to bring a class-action lawsuit against the company.
The plaintiff did sign a contract when he rented the car, but it did not include an arbitration clause in the contract. After the case was filed, the company tried to find an arbitration clause to stop the possibility of them going to court. The Sixt company found that since the plaintiff reserved the car through Orbitz.com, they have an arbitration clause in their terms and conditions. Sixt tried to say that the plaintiff had to file their claim with Orbitz.com first instead of with Sixt.
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