General Mills Retracts Policy, But is This Just the Beginning?
The following is an excerpt from the company’s now-retracted policy:
Of course, your decision to do any of these things (i.e., to use or join our site or online community, to subscribe to our emails, to download or print a digital coupon, to enter a sweepstakes or contest, to take advantage of a promotional offer, or otherwise participate in any other General Mills offering) is entirely voluntary. But if you choose to do any of these things, then you agree to be bound by this Agreement.
The uproar and backlash that General Mills received when it announced their new policy forced them to retract it a few days later. In addition they issued an apology (to read the full apology, click here):
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.
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.
Although it is great that General Mills took responsibility and listened to its customers it seems like it is a battle the consumers are not going to win. “In two recent cases, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the Supreme Court held that mandatory-arbitration clauses- of the same substance as the mandatory-arbitration clause in General Mills’ change of terms- should be enforced against plaintiffs, even though doing so would make pursuing a legal claim so economically irrational that, in all likelihood, no cases would ever get brought.”
Source: The Atlantic and The New Yorker