I’m sure no one at General Mills read my blog post Friday about their outrageous attempt to deny consumers access to the judicial system, but consumer outcry has forced the company to backtrack on this new policy. Good for General Mills, and for all consumers.
The company explained it in a post on their own blog:
We’ve listened – and we’re changing our legal terms back
As has been widely reported, General Mills recently posted a revised set of Legal Terms on our websites. Those terms – and our intentions – were widely misread, causing concern among consumers.
So we’ve listened – and we’re changing them back to what they were before.
We rarely have disputes with consumers – and arbitration would have simply streamlined how complaints are handled. Many companies do the same, and we felt it would be helpful.
But consumers didn’t like it.
So we’ve reverted back to our prior terms. There’s no mention of arbitration, and the arbitration provisions we had posted were never enforced. Nor will they be. We stipulate for all purposes that our recent Legal Terms have been terminated, that the arbitration provisions are void, and that they are not, and never have been, of any legal effect.
That last bit is from our lawyers.
We’ll just add that we never imagined this reaction. Similar terms are common in all sorts of consumer contracts, and arbitration clauses don’t cause anyone to waive a valid legal claim. They only specify a cost-effective means of resolving such matters. At no time was anyone ever precluded from suing us by purchasing one of our products at a store or liking one of our Facebook pages. That was either a mischaracterization – or just very misunderstood.
Not that any of that matters now.
On behalf of our company and our brands, we would also like to apologize. We’re sorry we even started down this path. And we do hope you’ll accept our apology. We also hope that you’ll continue to download product coupons, talk to us on social media, or look for recipes on our websites.
Our legal terms? You’ll find them right on our website. You’ll also find they’re back to what they always were.