back to article Wanna sue us for selling your location? Think again: You should read your contract's fine print, says T-Mobile US

T-Mobile US has finally responded to a lawsuit filed in May that accuses it of trashing its customers' privacy by selling off their location data. But in that first response [PDF], the mobile network makes no mention of the issue at the heart of the lawsuit – peddling subscribers' whereabouts to third parties who then resold …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Arbitration clauses should be illegal

    Arbitration clauses in service agreements like that should not be allowed. They are nothing but a "get out of jail free" card for the companies involved.

    As to T-Mobile specifically, their stance is par for the course. They're a US telecom, and like all US telecoms that I'm aware of (and their lacky, Ajit Pai), they are actively hostile to their customers.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Facepalm

      How far will they go?

      "In so doing, they agreed to arbitrate any dispute related to T-Mobile’s services in exclusive favor of T-Mobile’s services. T-Mobile’s services will determine the amount of compensation litigants will need to pay T-Mobile’s services."

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Arbitration clauses should be illegal

      No, they serve a purpose.

      However, in this case... the arbitration clause should be stricken because you don't have any real consent. Its a bit of a 'shrink wrap' contract.

      IMHO This should become a class action lawsuit.

      Ajit Pai is the wrong man for the job.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Arbitration clauses should be illegal

        Ajit Pai is the wrong man for the job.

        Given the rest of the goons employed by Trump he appears to fit right in..

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Arbitration clauses should be illegal

        "Ajit Pai is the wrong man for the job."

        And the next contestant is Ian Michael Gumby, specialised subject "The Bleedin' Obvious."

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Arbitration clauses should be illegal

        Arbitration clauses do have a role, but I don't believe that role is in consumer agreements like this.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Arbitration clauses should be illegal

      Under UK law, generally arbitration clauses are secondary to existing law. So in this case Tmob could insist on their own arbitration, but that wouldn't stop someone from taking them to court for the exact same issues (in this particular case I assume it would be covered under the GDPR).

  2. Magani
    Unhappy

    Usual mob of Bar Stewards

    There's a buck to be made, so ethics and morals get subjected to defenestration.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Usual mob of Bar Stewards

      If only the customers could defenestrate the company officers, things might be a bit simpler. Oh to be in 17th century Prague...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Usual mob of Bar Stewards

        People have had enough of crashing windows! it seems a particularly cruel and unusual punishment for corporate execs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Usual mob of Bar Stewards

          More for the windows involved..

        2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Usual mob of Bar Stewards

          Corporate execs seem to have no problems crashing Windows, hey most of us do that - now crashing through windows would be suitable for their competency levels.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    it seems a particularly cruel and unusual punishment for corporate execs.

    Nah... it's not enough actually. Even hangin' is too good for 'em.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's at least not wasteful, you can recycle the rope.

      I wouldn't compost them, though, the only flowers that would grow on that soil would be venus flytraps.

  4. doublelayer Silver badge

    A backup plan

    So, although we all think arbitration clauses are harmful, they'll probably get supported. I can only hope that the contract makes the company cover the costs for the arbitration unless they are proven to not be at fault (I'm sure they don't want to do that, but I've seen it before in such clauses). Maybe we can get enough people to start individual arbitration cases to show the companies that, if they want this to end within their lifetimes, they should just let the single trial go through.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: A backup plan

      "unless they are proven to not be at fault"

      Which can't happen in arbitration. Arbitration does not determine fault, let alone prove anything.

  5. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Facepalm

    They take their customers data very seriously...

    Of course they do, they can make money from it...

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    ""As T-Mobile customers, each Plaintiff accepted T-Mobile’s Terms and Condition," T-Mob's response reads. "In so doing, they agreed to arbitrate on an individual basis any dispute related to T-Mobile’s services and waive their right to participate in a class action unless they timely opted out of the arbitration procedure outlined in the Ts&Cs. Neither Plaintiff elected to opt out."

    Hmmm, it's this sort of clause that should be illegal. Firstly, not only for the fact that it was probably buried deep down on page 12 of their T&Cs in a four point font, but secondly for the fact that it's highly unlikely that the average T-Mobile punter has the geological amount of time available to put into a challenge - which is how long these sort of things usually take, and thirdly because they'd probably be drowned in lawyers.

    T-Mobile know this, and also know that it is a scummy position to put your "highly valued" customers in. Yet they do it anyway.

    Scumbags.

  7. SPiT

    My understanding is that under modern English law (so I don't know if it applies in america) is that arbitration might be binding for a breach of contract but because the plaintiffs are claiming a breach of law the contracted terms don't apply. That should mean that this can be converted into a court case and converted to a class action. The mobile companies are actually more exposed because the FCC haven't enforced the law and hence the plaintiffs can pursue that breach of law themselves.

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