Microsoft sent the bad news to its users this week. The software company’s new terms of service require United States users of its products and services to resolve disputes against it in private arbitration, if the claim cannot be resolved in small claims court. Microsoft bans its customers from joining their claims together in class actions against it. The company also made changes to the terms for its XBox LIVE gaming service. Add it to the list of corporations that are taking advantage of the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The case continues to be the go-to corporate tool to trounce the legal rights of U.S. consumers.
The Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus discussed the company’s move when it was first announced in June. Said Lazarus: "(T)he reality is that Microsoft is telling people they can stuff it if they want to join together in exercising their constitutional right to a jury trial…And the company has the full backing of the U.S. Supreme Court in staking out this arrogant, deeply consumer-unfriendly position."