Professor Amy J. Schmitz recently published a chapter, “Consumer Redress in the United States,” in an Oxford University Press book exploring the developments in consumer dispute resolution on a global level.
In her chapter, Professor Schmitz discusses the various dispute resolution processes in the United States and suggests policy reforms building on advances in the European Union. The United States traditionally has been distinct in its allowance for class relief and other judicial action as the primary means for consumers to pursue remedies in business-to-consumer 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 United States. This has left many consumers without meaningful access to remedies when they experience purchase problems.
Accordingly, Professor Schmitz argues that the United States should build on the current progress in the European Union toward regulated online dispute resolution systems for expanding access to remedies with respect to common consumer purchases.