Update: Downloading General Mills coupon could mean you can't sue company

Update: Downloading General Mills coupon could mean you can't sue company


Update: In a blog post on the General Mills site posted late yesterday, the company said it would be reverting back to its old legal terms. "We rarely have disputes with consumers –- and arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled," the company's blogpost said. "Many companies do the same, and we felt it would be helpful. But consumers didn’t like it." Read what led up to this below.

Food giant General Mills, maker of many breakfast cereals and such brands as Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, is making headlines after adding language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, join it in online communities such as Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest, or interact with it in a variety of other ways.

Instead, anyone who has received anything that could arguably be a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use binding arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site.

In language added Tuesday after The New York Times asked it about the changes, General Mills seemed to go even further, suggesting that buying its products would bind consumers to those terms.

The change in legal terms, which occurred shortly after a judge refused to dismiss a case brought against the company by consumers in California, made General Mills one of the first major food companies to seek to impose so called “forced arbitration” on consumers.

Read the original article from the New York Times.
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