The Fine Print: The Corporate Insurgence

The following is not legal advice. Please contact Alexander Bachuwa, a New York attorney, if you have a consumer protection question or claim.

Since I began writing The Fine Print series, I have initiated dozens of claims which have produced encouraging results for aggrieved claimants. (see The Results Are In! and The Successful Fight Against A Citi Shutdown)

In a case against Dell for $200 in unpaid gift cards which were supposed to be credited with the purchase of a television, I settled the claim for a substantially larger amount. Dell insisted on a strict confidentiality agreement because, to quote opposing counsel, “We don’t want to end up on that blog of yours.” I refused.

The element of surprise is over. Corporations have taken note of my mission to fight on behalf of consumers and have resorted to urban warfare to thwart my efforts. It was not enough that a company would insist on a grace period of 30 to 45 days before it would engage in the arbitration process, something that I refuse to do. Now, corporations are bending, stretching, and in some instances, ignoring the rules all together to avoid the arbitration process entirely.

In a case against a wireless carrier, customer support contacted my client directly even though she knew the client had legal counsel and presented him with a modest settlement offer. Confused as to why he was receiving a call from the company, my client informed of the situation. We were able to settle the matter for a considerably higher amount.

In another matter where credit cards were shut down without notice, an attorney for Citi insinuated that the controlling law for the claim was South Dakota, the institution’s headquarters, and that the protections that my clients had under their state law were not available to them. That is patently false.

On the other extreme, some respondents are resorting to bullying. In a claim against Expedia for an incorrectly charged bag fee, the respondent tried to intimidate me by threatening to seek attorney fees if I was not successful in proving my claim. That claim, like the one against Dell, settled for far more than the cost of a checked bag.

As I file more claims and as I highlight more examples of the Consumer Striking Back, I will not be surprised when the traditional rules of engagement are cast aside and this becomes an all out street brawl. In preparation, I have begun to collaborate with another attorney who is equally motivated to fight this uphill battle and class-action attorneys who wait in earnest for an opening should corporations not follow the rules for the game they invented.

We may be out-manned and outgunned in the struggle to protect consumers against Corporate Mischief, but capitulating no matter what insurgent tactics are utilized, is something that I refuse to do.

About Alex Bachuwa

Alexander Bachuwa is a New York attorney who focuses on consumer protection. He is also a BoardingArea blogger. Contact Alex at through his website at bachuwalaw.com and visit thepointsoflife.com

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  1. Can you go back in time and force Discover to honor their Apple pay promo lol? I contacted a class action firm and they were very polite in refusing to proceed.
    Appreciate all the work you do to keep ms alive and well. Thanks.

  2. I am part of a forum and we have several members, enough for a Class Action that are affected by fraud on their Chase credit card accounts. All the stories are very similar in nature. The fraud keeps happening every few months and it is almost as if someone from inside is involved. First someone removes the account alerts from the online login, then the fraud happens. Doesn’t happen in any of the other cards, only Chase. Let me know if you are interested, and I can connect you with the group.

    • May I ask if it is the United Card Chase card? It was happened three times to us. I suspected it was from the United online account where you have your credit card information stored automatically. I thought it was someone from the IT Department or anyone who has access to your online account at Untied.

  3. So, can you help get my 100,000 MR back from AMEX?
    I got the 100,000 Platinum offer last year, got the points by spending the $3000 buying GCs and then they waited until it was too late to do anything about completing the minimum spend in any other way, they clawed back the 100,000 – as they did with many others. I can show that around the same time I did spend more than that on my AMEX SPG card, showing I could have spent the $3000+ on the Platinum card instead, if I’d known they didn’t like MS.

  4. Well done Alex. Seriously. I occasionally have people suggest that the MS and other credit card stuff I do is shady or unethical in some way, and I point out to them that I don’t make the rules. The credit card companies – large, wealthy, experienced, with robust legal teams – make the rules, and I simply do what they allow me to do. Well done for making them follow their own rules.

      • Here Here! And calling it reward “abuse” to take those offers. If they don’t want to give out the rewards, then they shouldn’t offer them! They take advantage of so so many people without the sense to understand what trouble they get into with credit cards. They are the abusive ones.

  5. I just want to show my appreciation for your efforts in consumer advocacy. Now that the Man is determined to destroy CFPB and consumer protection, We need more lawyers like you to protect us against the Empire. May the Force be with you!

  6. Keep up the great work Alex. I’m sure it can’t be easy to put in all the prep work for some of the smaller cases you must take (like baggage fees or a $200 missing Dell gc), so it’s great to see your sense of justice in action.

  7. awesome brotha. keep kicking the ass and building the practice. like your new website. slick. make sure to post a pic of your seksy self soon.

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