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General Mills Changes Course on Requiring Arbitration for Consumers

One of the largest food companies in the country, General Mills, has announced that it will withdrawal its plans to have consumers relinquish their right to sue, according to The New York Times.

An email was sent by the company after 10 p.m. on Saturday night that said concerns with its plans to require consumers to agree to informal negotiation or arbitration have been occurring among the public. The company said in the email that it will remove the new terms from its website.

“Because our terms and intentions were widely misunderstood, causing concerns among our consumers, we’ve decided to change them back to what they were,” Mike Siemienas, a company spokesman, wrote in the email. “As a result, the recently updated legal terms are being removed from our websites, and we are announcing today that we have reverted back to our prior legal terms, which contain no mention of arbitration.”

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The company published the new terms on its website very quietly recently. The new terms were for consumers who download coupons, join the company’s online forums and take part in promotions or sweepstakes to agree to arbitration instead of suing General Mills during a dispute.

Consumers ripped apart the terms, which were reported by The New York Times on Wednesday, on both Facebook and Twitter. When logging onto the homepage for General Mills, a pop-up box would appear that asked visitors to “require all disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service to be resolved through binding arbitration.”

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