by Jeff Sovern
This is based on Fred O. Williams's story at CreditCards.com. The vote was 229 to 184, though he seems to indicate that this was the final vote. I think it was just on the vote to consider the bill. Williams's article, titled DIY credit card arbitration: You may be able to opt out, focuses, as the headline implies, on opt outs. Here is a quote from the article:
"It's a fig leaf merely intended to help the clauses look voluntary when they are not, and stand up in court," Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center * * *
Whether the opt-out provision actually restores consumers' legal rights, however, depends on whether enough consumers use it to expose the corporation to court action. If relatively few customers take advantage of the opt out, there won't be enough of them to support a class-action lawsuit if a company action harms large numbers of customers.
"I generally think opt-out isn't enough," said Michael Best, director of advocacy outreach at the Consumer Federation of America. "You have to know you can opt out, you have to find it … these are long contracts."