According to reports posted on the The Tech Herald, Sony have added a new clause to their latest Terms of Service documentation, which prevents any class action lawsuit against them from the end user.
Section 15 of the new TOS document adds “Any dispute resolution proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative, or private attorney legal action, unless you and the Sony entity with which you have a dispute specifically agree to do so in writing following the initiation of the arbitration.”
If a customer has a problem with the service, then they should give Sony notice of a dispute in writing, allowing Sony the opportunity to resolve the issue through ‘informal negotiations’. After 60 days, and if the matter hasn’t been resolved, then customers can seek arbitration.
When a customer agrees to the new TOS, they can opt out of forced arbitration, if they submit the exemption in writing to Sony within 30 days of accepting the revised terms.
The document details “Your written notification must be mailed to [Sony to the attention of the legal department/arbitration], and must include your name, your address, your PSN account number, if you have one, and a clear statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with any Sony entity through arbitration.”
Small court claims are outside the new rules and regulations. Many people will not fully read the TOS before ‘agreeing’, so they will be bound to them without realising.
TechDirt added “Where Sony gets ridiculous is in claiming that this change “is designed to benefit both the consumer and the company by ensuring that there is adequate time and procedures to resolve disputes.” That makes me think of a two syllable word whose first four letters are bull. Come on. At this point, everyone knows that binding arbitration between a company and a consumer wildly favors companies.”
Kitguru says: Do you read the small print? We doubt many people do.