Jeff Sovern Calls for Credit Card Terms Transparency
Consumer contracts should not be secrets
By Theresa Amato and Jeff Sovern
The Hill | Congress Blog
[W]hen the Illinois legislature considered a bill in 2012 that would require standard form contract terms to be available to consumers on the web, it ran into stiff opposition and the bill died. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association argued that posting contracts would enable competitors to see them. Of course, those same competitors should be able to obtain the contracts the way any consumer would now—by agreeing to them.
While many consumers may have little interest in reading contract terms, consumers who do want to know what they are agreeing to – and in many cases the rights they are giving away to their potential detriment -- should have the ability to find out before accepting the terms. Consumer contracts should not be secrets. Nor should it take hours, much less lawyers, to find them. It should require a mouse click, not a quest.