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Apr 17 2014
3 years ago
11:00 AM MST

“Like” a Brand on Facebook, Sign up for Email Newsletter, Enter Contest = Void Your Right To Sue

Apr 17, 2014 @ 11:00 AM MST
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

UPDATE (as of 4/21/14): General Mills has reverted back to their prior legal terms, which contain no mention of arbitration. Check out this article for more information,

UPDATE: The New York Times just released a new article entitled “General Mills Amends New Legal Policies” which states that the new legal policies do not apply to people who access the General Mills Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

How many times a week do you “like” a brand on Facebook, sign up for a newsletter or enter a contest sponsored by a brand? If you’re like me, then your answer is probably 3-5 times or more per week!

According to an article in the New York Times entitled “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue“, brands like General Mills are adding new language/terms to their website/Facebook pages which will prevent you from suing the company in the future. As an example, General Mills updated its privacy policy on Tuesday (you may have noticed this announcement on the General Mills website – look for the gray bar at the very top!) and added new Legal Terms found here.

Key updates to the General Mills Legal Terms include:

• New provisions relating to any disputes. These new provisions contain an agreement to resolve any and all disputes you may have with General Mills or any of its affiliated companies or brands contain through informal negotiations and, if these negotiations fail, through binding arbitration. This includes disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service. All arbitrations will be conducted on an individual basis; you may not arbitrate as a member of a class. Claims may not be brought in court (with the limited exception of small claims court in certain circumstances), nor may you participate in any class action litigation. (See Section 3, “Binding Arbitration.”)

• New provisions about how you become bound by these legal terms and how you can opt out of them. Your use of any of our sites or services, or participation in any other General Mills offering, means that you are agreeing to these Legal Terms. You may terminate this agreement at time by notifying us by email of your intent to do so, but only if you also cease to participate in any of our offerings.

What are your thoughts on these changes? Does this make you hesitant to participate in contests and/or to print coupons when you are required to agree to these types of legal terms?

(Thanks, Jill and Amanda!)

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