Internet Service Provider Google Fiber Will Now Force Customers into Arbitration
Wednesday, June, 29, 2016
The Internet service provider, Google Fiber, is altering its terms to include a clause that will force subscribers into arbitration should a dispute arise. Customers will no longer have the option to file a lawsuit and fight out their differences in the courtroom. The move brings Google Fiber in line with many other ISPs, including other large providers such as Comcast, Charter, and AT&T.
The arbitration clause in the terms of service do allow cases in small claims court, but otherwise, customers agreeing to the new TOS waive their right to bring legal action against Google Fiber. Arbitration must be sought on an individual basis, so no class arbitration is permitted either. Previously, Google Fiber’s liability was limited to the amount customers pay to use the service, but the updated TOS limits customers even more. Google Fiber customers have two months to opt out of the binding arbitration clause by using an online form.
There is some concern over the two-month grace period. For instance, the new agreement takes place 30 days after accepting the new contract. Google Fiber sent an email to customers in mid-June telling them the new terms of service apply unless they cancel service within 30 days. Many customers find the mention of 30 and 60 day windows to be confusing.
If customers do not take action, it is considered an acceptance of the 30 day period and if they remain customers, they are given another 30 days to opt out of the new terms with the online form. It is no wonder so many are confused by the directions.