This chapter provides a snapshot of consumer redress processes in the United States, and suggests policy reforms building on advances in the European Union. The US traditionally has been distinct in its allowance for class relief and other judicial action as the primary means for consumers to pursue remedies in B2C transactions. However, these traditional American remedies processes have diminished due to the strict enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration clauses and other restrictions on class actions in the US. Furthermore, US small claims court and credit card chargeback procedures are limited and outdated, while emerging online complaint and dispute resolution processes remain largely unregulated. This leaves many consumers without meaningful access to remedies when they experience purchase problems. Accordingly, the chapter will suggest ideas for regulatory reforms building on the EU model for ODR aimed to expand consumers’ access to remedies with respect to their small dollar claims.
Schmitz, Amy, Consumer Redress in the United States (November 25, 2015). THE TRANSFORMATION OF CONSUMER DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: A RENEWED APPROACH TO CONSUMER PROTECTION, ___ (Oxford Univ Press, 2016, forthcoming); U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No 15-16.