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(The New York Times)   General Mills: Oh, alright, you can sue us   (nytimes.com ) divider line
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2551 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Apr 2014 at 1:36 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-20 01:49:31 PM  
I don't understand why they reversed course on this now. I could see killing it before ever rolling it out as a policy, and I could see killing it after courts say it's unenforceable, but what the hell could they possibly have learned after rollout that they didn't anticipate? I'm not buying the "unforeseen negative consumer reaction" line. No consumer wants arbitration. What the hell did they expect?
 
2014-04-20 01:55:25 PM  

the_vicious_fez: I don't understand why they reversed course on this now. I could see killing it before ever rolling it out as a policy, and I could see killing it after courts say it's unenforceable, but what the hell could they possibly have learned after rollout that they didn't anticipate? I'm not buying the "unforeseen negative consumer reaction" line. No consumer wants arbitration. What the hell did they expect?


They expected nobody to notice. They'll wait for this to blow over, and slip it back in when we're sufficiently distracted by whatever the Kardashians are up to, or when the next pretty white girl goes missing.
 
2014-04-20 02:09:34 PM  
Don't worry about it, General Mills - we've already opted out of Cheerios.

You obviously know something I don't regarding your legal liability, and I will have to operate on that assumption unless I have a reason to change my mind
 
2014-04-20 02:29:22 PM  
"It turns out our lawyers figured out that we can't actually do this"
 
2014-04-20 02:55:06 PM  
If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.
 
2014-04-20 03:10:29 PM  
They figured out the TOS would leave no room for cartoon mascot on the box.
 
2014-04-20 03:13:45 PM  

BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.


You, sir, are a hero without a sword.
www.zeldauniverse.net
 
2014-04-20 03:47:35 PM  

BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.


GM has already out-done you.  They were claiming, in a statement burried 3-deep on their website that simply buying their product, even without ever having seen their carefully hidden EULA, that you were bound to arbitration.  OF course Comcast will have to counter with "our policy is only inside the head of one of our lawyers (not telling you which one - and he or she might or might not even been employed by us), and you are bound by arbitration over _any_ disagreement if you have ever used any letter in our name either written or verbal (BTW, our new corporate name is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Inc.); we now are claiming all citizens of the US are our chattel property."
 
2014-04-20 03:48:05 PM  

Soon, every product will come with its own End-User Licensing Agreement! Yay for corporate rule!

 
2014-04-20 03:49:47 PM  

phalamir: BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.

GM has already out-done you.  They were claiming, in a statement burried 3-deep on their website that simply buying their product, even without ever having seen their carefully hidden EULA, that you were bound to arbitration.  OF course Comcast will have to counter with "our policy is only inside the head of one of our lawyers (not telling you which one - and he or she might or might not even been employed by us), and you are bound by arbitration over _any_ disagreement if you have ever used any letter in our name either written or verbal (BTW, our new corporate name is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Inc.); we now are claiming all citizens of the US are our chattel property."


Right, lots of companies claim that but from what I understand no one has ever brought it to court, my nefarious pro-consumer plan would be to entice that to happy and then purposely lose so that there is precedent set where its proven to be unenforceable and companies abandon these ridiculous anti-consumer scare tactics.
 
2014-04-20 04:09:53 PM  
FTFA: "Because our concerns and intentions were widely misunderstood, causing concerns among our consumers, we've decided to change them back to what they were,"

"Widely misunderstood"? You're actually pulling the "people are stupid" card? It's a pity that the Internet remembers everything.

/section 3, if anyone's really curious.
//Here's the old-new version.
 
2014-04-20 04:18:15 PM  
Arbitrators are awesome because they find in favor of whoever is paying them.  I highly recommend it.
 
2014-04-20 04:19:11 PM  

BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.


Kickstarter, dude. It might set the record for most quickly funded project ever.
 
2014-04-20 04:38:54 PM  

buzzcut73: the_vicious_fez: I don't understand why they reversed course on this now. I could see killing it before ever rolling it out as a policy, and I could see killing it after courts say it's unenforceable, but what the hell could they possibly have learned after rollout that they didn't anticipate? I'm not buying the "unforeseen negative consumer reaction" line. No consumer wants arbitration. What the hell did they expect?

They expected nobody to notice. They'll wait for this to blow over, and slip it back in when we're sufficiently distracted by whatever the Kardashians are up to, or when the next pretty white girl goes missing.


Why is it that these inane posts always bring up stuff that nobody watches anymore?
 
2014-04-20 06:14:28 PM  

BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.


just make a insert-your-name-here form that all corporations must sign in order for them to accept your business.  email it to everyone on the planet.  have it include every particular wording needed to prevent this requirement of arbitration along any other general fairness type of clauses.  if EVERY corporation suddenly realized this was a requirement from the consumer their tunes might change on how they'd like to get our dollars.
 
2014-04-20 08:07:11 PM  

FormlessOne: Soon, every product will come with its own End-User Licensing Agreement! Yay for corporate rule!


Corporations are people, my friend.
 
2014-04-20 08:29:33 PM  
Too bad for them, I wrote a T&C that specifices that in exchange for my money they agree to binding arbitration by my fishing buddy Tom.  Can't wait to sue.
 
2014-04-20 08:41:32 PM  

stratagos: Don't worry about it, General Mills - we've already opted out of Cheerios.

You obviously know something I don't regarding your legal liability, and I will have to operate on that assumption unless I have a reason to change my mind


You might want to take a look at this list just to make sure you're 100% free of them.  There are dozens of brands under the General Mills umbrella.
 
2014-04-20 10:36:31 PM  

BumpInTheNight: phalamir: BumpInTheNight: If I had some free time and money one of the things I'd do is create a company that sells something (I don't really care what) and have the users click on some sort of eula trying to enforce binding arbitration.  Then I'd get someone to buy the product and challenge that eula...and I'd tell the company lawyer to lose so that no one will ever have to deal with this lurking in the shadows 'can crap like this be enforced in a eula' bullshiat ever again.

GM has already out-done you.  They were claiming, in a statement burried 3-deep on their website that simply buying their product, even without ever having seen their carefully hidden EULA, that you were bound to arbitration.  OF course Comcast will have to counter with "our policy is only inside the head of one of our lawyers (not telling you which one - and he or she might or might not even been employed by us), and you are bound by arbitration over _any_ disagreement if you have ever used any letter in our name either written or verbal (BTW, our new corporate name is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Inc.); we now are claiming all citizens of the US are our chattel property."

Right, lots of companies claim that but from what I understand no one has ever brought it to court, my nefarious pro-consumer plan would be to entice that to happy and then purposely lose so that there is precedent set where its proven to be unenforceable and companies abandon these ridiculous anti-consumer scare tactics.


Two obvious problems:

(1) Considering the pro-business slant of most judges and/or juries, I'm not sure you could lose if your entire defense was to mercilessly torture/rape/murder the judge's and jury members' entire families - hell, if you did it in front of SCOTUS, Scalia would be openly weeping in ecstasy at you insightful legal argument.

(2) I'm pretty sure purposefully throwing a defense is a really fast way for a lawyer to get disbarred and never work again.  Hope you plan to pay him his standard salary for life.
(2a) And if you tell the lawyer to mask his throwing of the case, you always risk actually winning.  After all, "throwing the case in such a way it is not obvious" is ridiculously close to "defending the case to the best of your ability" [and see Point 1 above about how easy winning a case will be]
 
2014-04-21 01:11:20 AM  
Thanks Supreme Court, you farking retards. Oh, and this...

img1.wikia.nocookie.net

/Simpsons did it
 
2014-04-21 06:05:01 AM  

phalamir: Two obvious problems:

(1) Considering the pro-business slant of most judges and/or juries, I'm not sure you could lose if your entire defense was to mercilessly torture/rape/murder the judge's and jury members' entire families - hell, if you did it in front of SCOTUS, Scalia would be openly weeping in ecstasy at you insightful legal argument.

(2) I'm pretty sure purposefully throwing a defense is a really fast way for a lawyer to get disbarred and never work again. Hope you plan to pay him his standard salary for life.
(2a) And if you tell the lawyer to mask his throwing of the case, you always risk actually winning. After all, "throwing the case in such a way it is not obvious" is ridiculously close to "defending the case to the best of your ability" [and see Point 1 above about how easy winning a case will be]


Hrm so I'd have to make sure the same lawyer drafted the eula itself and provided enough language to make it an uphill battle to defend, the other take away is yes I'd probably have to start this in a another country like my native Canada were the political system isn't quite as up for sale as your US one...but only after we finally get rid of captain tarsands Harper.
 
2014-04-21 11:49:42 AM  

valkore: stratagos: Don't worry about it, General Mills - we've already opted out of Cheerios.

You obviously know something I don't regarding your legal liability, and I will have to operate on that assumption unless I have a reason to change my mind

You might want to take a look at this list just to make sure you're 100% free of them.  There are dozens of brands under the General Mills umbrella.


The only unfortunate item on that list is Liberté. The rest is overprocessed crap (Betty Crocker makes fruit snacks? wtf?).
 
2014-04-21 11:58:08 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Arbitrators are awesome because they find in favor of whoever is paying them.  I highly recommend it.


This is so true.  I saw it in action.  A project I was on got bought out by another company, and they asked about twenty of us to transfer to the new employer.  The initial contract included a binding arbitration clause.  Some of us (myself include) balked, and were important enough to the project that they had no choice but to strike the clause.  Others weren't on the "key employee" list and were told "ok, but if you don't sign we won't hire you, and our contract with your current employer requires them to let you go regardless of whether or not we hire you."  So they had to sign or become unemployed.

The contract included a 3yr retention bonus payable in equal lump sums at six and twelve months.  When the time came to pay out, only the few of us who got the non-arbitration form of the employment contract received the bonus.  The others were stiffed.  And when they threatened to sue, the new employer said "nuh-uh.  binding arbirtation."  A couple of them tried, but the new company won the arbitration on the grounds that the employees "hadn't honored the spirit of the contract."  The "evidence" the company used against them was bug tracker reports showing that they had open issues (most of which were actually from before the buyout and were from OTHER PEOPLES' code.)

So lesson learned: don't sign binding arbitration agreements.  They're basically "we can screw you over and you can't do a thing about it" clauses.

There is some karma to this story, though.  After they got farked over, most of the transferred employees quietly found other places to work.  And at the end of year when they paid out the remainder of the bonus money to the four or five of us who they couldn't screw over, we all quit as soon as the checks cleared.  And because we really were vital to the project, it basically died on the vine.  It all came to a head when one of the project's customer-facing web services went down and nobody knew how to fix it.  I was actually called and asked to come in (for free, apparently) to fix it.  I refused, as did anyone else who could have fixed the problem.  They eventually figured it out, but by then the damage was done.  Customers had already started looking for other brokers.  The downhill trend continued, and subsequent outages and horribly shoddy releases just made it worse.  Eventually, they realized that they couldn't continue to bleed money.  They cancelled the project and left the market entirely.

So because they didn't want to pay out a couple of million bucks in retention bonuses, the hundred millions they paid for the project and all its assets, plus all subsequent expenditures, were lost.
 
2014-04-21 02:03:10 PM  
Meh, they dont make anything i buy anyway.  They might as well be General Puppy Mills as far as im concerned.  They are dead to me regardless of this backtracking.
 
2014-04-21 02:28:01 PM  

bagumpity: So because they didn't want to pay out a couple of million bucks in retention bonuses, the hundred millions they paid for the project and all its assets, plus all subsequent expenditures, were lost.


For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
 
2014-04-21 04:25:25 PM  

stratagos: Don't worry about it, General Mills - we've already opted out of Cheerios.

You obviously know something I don't regarding your legal liability, and I will have to operate on that assumption unless I have a reason to change my mind


I'd already boycotted them because of that Cheerios commercial with the inter-racial family.

'Tain't natural, I tells ya!  Agin'st the Will of God!

/not really
 
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