Case Analysis : Wells Fargo

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Arbitration is defined as “the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a decision, known as an award.1” It is a more effective means of handling disputes in a quick and concise manor. There is much customization available in an arbitration, however, Forced arbitration is a clause primarily used by large companies to speed up disputes and to help keep negative press coverage from effecting their company. Often, we see these clauses in banking agreements, cell phone companies and others corporations that have a very large consumer base.
In the month of September of 2016, Customers of Wells Fargo learned of a disturbing fact: The company in which they entrusted their primary means to an end, had been defrauding
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Actions Brought
First cause of action brought was California’s Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus & Prof. Code 17200, et seq., which is in place to protect consumers by forcing commercial banks to use fair competing environment. This law allows for action against any fraudulent or unfair business practice that causes harm to consumers.2
Second cause of action states that Wells Fargo violated the California Customer Records Act Civil Code Section 1798.80, et seq. Wells Fargo violated consumer “personal information,” protections described by Civil Code sections 1798.80 and 1798.81.5(d), which protects among other things, name, signature, address and Social Security number all of which were used by employees with special access to open the fraudulent customer accounts2.
Third cause of action is the violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. By engaging in misleading actions with the handling of customer accounts, Wells Fargo was in violation of A.R.S § 44-1522(A). These unlawful actions caused significant loss of money and undue stress as a result of the deceptive actions taken by Wells Faro.2
Five similar actions were brought upon Wells Fargo to make a total of eight legal actions. However, on September 10, 2015, Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the complaints and compel the Plaintiff’s into arbitration.3 This action was taken through the arbitration clause Wells Fargo slipped into the legitimate accounts of their customers. On

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