Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System

Amy Schmitz

University of Missouri School of Law

Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 279-366, 2012
Colorado Law School Paper No. 12-04

This article explores the “Squeaky Wheel System” (“SWS”) in business-to-consumer (“B2C”) contexts, referring to merchants’ reservation of purchase remedies and other contract benefits for only the relatively few “squeaky wheel” consumers who have the requisite information and resources to persistently seek assistance. The article uncovers how this system fosters contractual discrimination and hinders consumers’ awareness and access with respect to contract remedies. It also adds empirical insights from my recent e-survey, and offers suggestions for using the internet to empower consumers of all economic and status levels with efficient and accessible means for learning about their purchase rights and asserting their legitimate contract complaints.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 87

Keywords: contracts, consumer protection, dispute resolution, ADR, empirical studies, behavioral economics, e-contracts, online contracts, form terms

JEL Classification: K12, K40, K41, K00, K29, K20, K30, K10, K39

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Date posted: March 19, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy, Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System. Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 279-366, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2025113

Contact Information

Amy Schmitz (Contact Author)
University of Missouri School of Law ( email )
Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-5969 (Phone)

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