So you have heard about the new Apple credit card and want to try it. Before you sign the dotted line, you'll want to consider at least one aspect of Apple's agreement (aside from fees and percentages): the arbitration clause.
Arbitration clauses have become extremely popular in business-to-consumer agreements – and for good reason. When you accept arbitration, you essentially put the essential benefits in the company court. For example, most arbitration clauses prevent you from being part of a class action or from pursuing the company individually. Instead, an arbitrator (often chosen by the company) examines the case and then makes a final decision.
In the case of Apple's new credit card, the agreement you would be asked to sign is the standard deal offered by Goldman Sachs (which backs up the Apple card). More specifically, the compromissory clause begins as follows:
By accepting this Agreement or using your Account, unless you refuse the arbitration as set out below, you acknowledge that YOU ARE GIVING THE RIGHT TO MAKE CLAIMS (AS DEFINED BELOW) AND THE RIGHT TO INITIATE OR PARTICIPATE IN A COLLECTIVE ACTION. You hereby knowingly and voluntarily waive the right to be heard by a court or to have a trial in court for all claims subject to this Agreement. You further acknowledge that you have carefully read this arbitration clause, that you agree to its terms and that you voluntarily enter into this Agreement, without reliance on any promise or statement, except of those contained in this Agreement.
And this is just the introduction.
But you can opt out of this arbitration clause. The agreement you sign for the Apple Card gives you specific instructions on how to proceed. Basically, it says that you will have to contact the company within 90 days of opening the account, using Messages, call toll free at 877-255-5923 or by writing to Lockbox 6112, PO Box 7247, Philadelphia, PA 19170-6112. He will want the following information.
- Your name
- The email address associated with your account
- The mailing address associated with your account
- A statement that you "exercise your right to reject this arbitration clause"
(Note: Some readers have indicated that if you opt out of the arbitration convention using Messages, you will not get any type of confirmation.) Instead, the representative at the other end of the the line will recommend you take screenshots of your conversation It goes without saying that as long as the company has not changed this policy, screenshots are a great idea – just in case.)
That's all! If you do not have time to read the entire agreement (its 15 pages are in small print), the arbitration clause will be resolved. However, it may be worthwhile to take the time to read the text in its entirety, as compliance with these credit card agreements is an education in itself.
Update August 20 at 3:50 pm ET: This article has been updated to report the lack of confirmation of the removal of the message.
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