Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System

Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 279-366, 2012

Colorado Law School Paper No. 12-04

87 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2012

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; Cyberjustice Lab; University of Missouri School of Law

Abstract

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.

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

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J., Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System. Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 279-366, 2012, Colorado Law School Paper No. 12-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2025113

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Cyberjustice Lab ( email )

Montreal
Canada

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States
573-882-5969 (Phone)

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