Thou Shalt Not Sue Sony

from the can't-let-people-have-rights dept

AC alerts us to a change in the new Sony PlayStation Network terms of service that basically says that you agree not to sue the company. Honestly (and Sony pointed this out in its defense), such clauses are pretty common. It is debatable how enforceable some of these clauses are, but they say that you have to go to arbitration, rather than sue. The terms also bar participating in class action lawsuits, which seems much more questionable. Where Sony gets ridiculous is in claiming that this change "is designed to benefit both the consumer and the company by ensuring that there is adequate time and procedures to resolve disputes." That makes me think of a two syllable word whose first four letters are bull. Come on. At this point, everyone knows that binding arbitration between a company and a consumer wildly favors companies. A study from a few years back found that companies win in arbitration against consumers 95% of the time. Sony knows this. So its move is not about protecting consumers at all, and it's insulting for it to imply that it is.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2011 @ 6:24am

    Mike unfortunately you're wrong about banning participating in class action lawsuits being illegal. The US Supreme Court recently ruled in the last few years that this is perfectly legal in a controversial 5-4 ruling. I forget the name of the case, but the case was about a cell phone company in California. The cell phone company advertised free cell phones if you sign up for their plan. But then when customers went to get their 'free' cell phone they were charged over 30 dollars in a state tax.

    Obviously 30 dollars in tax means that the phones weren't really free. So someone started a class action lawsuit against the cell phone company. I believe that the cell phone company lost in court until they appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that their contract bars class action lawsuits, and the idiots in the supreme court sided with the cell phone company.

    This means that class action lawsuits will soon be pretty much dead in the US, once all companies not run by complete idiots amend their contracts to ban class action lawsuits. This pretty much guarantees that companies can get away with stuff like that Cell Phone company, because no one is going to waste their time suing over $30 dollars. The lawsuit itself would cost the victim much more then $30 dollars even if they won.

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