How to Opt Out of Arbitration When Signing Up for Apple Card

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Amid all the online chatter about Apple Card, you may have come across references to the "arbitration clause" in Apple's agreement, and how you should opt out of it if you intend to apply for the credit card. So what is arbitration, and why should you steer clear of it?


Basically, arbitration is a way to resolve legal disputes between two parties (in this case, between you and Goldman Sachs, which backs Apple Card) without going through the courts.

Arbitration is often touted as being a quicker and less expensive way to resolve disputes. The problem is that arbitration often favors the company over the consumer, because the arbitrator(s) is typically chosen by the company, handing them an unfair advantage.

When you agree to Apple Card's terms and conditions, you are agreeing to forced arbitration to resolve any potential disputes between you and Goldman Sachs. In other words, you're waiving the right to individually sue the bank or be part of a class action lawsuit against the company.

The key passage in the Apple Card terms and conditions is as follows:
By accepting this Agreement or using your Account, unless you reject arbitration as provided below, you acknowledge that you are giving up the right to litigate claims (as defined below) and the right to initiate or participate in a class action. You hereby knowingly and voluntarily waive the right to be heard in court or have a jury trial on all Claims subject to this Agreement.
The good news is that there are several ways you can request to opt out of arbitration. Customers in the U.S. can call Apple on 877-255-5923, or they can send a letter to Lockbox 6112, P.O. Box 7247, Philadelphia, PA 19170-6112. However, the easiest method is to use the Messages feature in the iOS Wallet app. The following steps show you how.
  1. Launch the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your Apple Card.
  3. Tap the black ellipsis button (the three encircled dots) in the top-right corner of the screen.
  4. Tap Message.
  5. Send a message stating that you'd like to opt out of Apple Card arbitration. You'll be connected to a Goldman Sachs assistant who will process your request within a few minutes.
At the time of writing, Apple doesn't seem to be providing confirmation when you opt out of arbitration via the Message route, so the best advice for now is to take screenshots of your conversation for safekeeping, just in case.

Article Link: How to Opt Out of Arbitration When Signing Up for Apple Card
 

tothemoonsands

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2018
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I used this as an opportunity to try out message support, and WOW, this is the future of all support. Seriously, it is extremely exciting to see such an improvement in customer service. It is down right revolutionary. Gone are the days of waiting on hold via telephone or waiting days for an email response. This is near instant support, presumably aided by some level of automation/AI but still with the human touch as well. Brilliant. And this is why Apple Card is already my favorite credit card.
 

Saturnine

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Oct 23, 2005
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I can’t speak for the US but such a contractual term wouldn’t fly in the UK.

I’d still be surprised if this is legally enforceable in the US. Most likely it’s just there to deter some customers from suing in future as they’d first have to show that the clause is void or unenforceable.
 

OPBD

macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2017
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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
 

HylianKnight

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2017
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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
Macrumors is simply reporting that the consumer has options and how to implement those options.
 

tothemoonsands

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2018
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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
You are reserving your right to sue but that doesn’t mean you can’t still go into arbitration. There’s really no reason not to opt out.
 

macfacts

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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
The arbitrator is hired by the company, not you. Do you not see the conflict of interest? The arbitrator is going to want to be hired again next time, so they will favor the company.
 

thisisnotmyname

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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
Generally you are. First, arbiters - although most have been judges themselves - are privately paid services that the company you have a disagreement selects (they literally get to review a bunch of bios, basically resumes, and pick the one they want) and pays for. Often the same arbiter will get repeat business with an organization; although no organization would go so far as to say "you'll rule in our favor if you want more engagements" there's likely some pressure felt by arbiters that want to continue booking to make the organization that picked them this time feel it's a good choice to come back. Second, forced arbitration also often limits your ability to form a class for legal action. You probably aren't going to hire a lawyer and pursue a lengthy case over say $100 worth of incorrect fees (you probably wouldn't go to arbitration for that either) but if there is a pattern of overcharging many customers you can all form a class and find representation on a contingency basis to take up the suit. If you weren't able to be certified as a class because you had all agreed to arbitration that option would not be available to you.

Looking at the other perspective for a moment, most organizations aren't looking at arbitration clauses thinking "alright, we have an arbiter in our back pocket and we can start cheating our customers now!" Companies are constantly being hit with nuisance lawsuits, classes are formed at the drop of a hat and they end facing expensive litigation even when they win. Juries can be a gamble and some make outrageous awards on the flimsiest of pretext. Forcing customers to arbitration reduces those risks as it prevents some of the less reputable among the legal profession from abusing the system.
 

ke-iron

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2014
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You are reserving your right to sue but that doesn’t mean you can’t still go into arbitration. There’s really no reason not to opt out.
You will be at a disadvantage if you go into arbitration, the company hired by Goldman will be working for their interests not yours.
 

heov

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Aug 16, 2002
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I used this as an opportunity to try out message support, and WOW, this is the future of all support. Seriously, it is extremely exciting to see such an improvement in customer service. It is down right revolutionary. Gone are the days of waiting on hold via telephone or waiting days for an email response. This is near instant support, presumably aided by some level of automation/AI but still with the human touch as well. Brilliant. And this is why Apple Card is already my favorite credit card.
Rofl. It's 2019 and this was your first live chat support experience?
 
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konqerror

macrumors 6502a
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So Macrumors is suggesting that the consumer is better off fighting issues with a lawyer than going through arbitration, correct? You don’t think Goldman Sachs will have a high-powered lawyer when they are getting sued? Would love to know whose opinion this is that arbitration is bad for the consumer? Other than a lawyer
The main thing is that arbitration prevents class-action lawsuits. Arbitration rules require that each case be heard individually and without precedent. The thing is that opting out of arbitration isn't going to do anything to change this realistically: if, say, 98% of cardholders don't bother to opt out, then lawyers can only bring a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 2%, way too little to make it worth their time and money.

Class action lawsuits do serve a purpose, although there are plenty of crappy settlements which are an issue (lawyers get $20M, you get a coupon). If a company overcharges you by a few bucks, nobody is going to pursue that claim individually, even if the company has tens of millions of customers, making the total amount significant.
 
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Coconut Bean

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Jul 21, 2011
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I used this as an opportunity to try out message support, and WOW, this is the future of all support. Seriously, it is extremely exciting to see such an improvement in customer service. It is down right revolutionary. Gone are the days of waiting on hold via telephone or waiting days for an email response. This is near instant support, presumably aided by some level of automation/AI but still with the human touch as well. Brilliant. And this is why Apple Card is already my favorite credit card.
It is cute when 3 years old fintech finally hits the US.
 
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pubjoe

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Aug 14, 2007
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No doubt Apple’s implementation works great and is well funded but...
WOW, this is the future of all support...extremely exciting...down right revolutionary...And this is why Apple Card is already my favorite credit card.
I honestly thought I should be reading this with sarcasm. Mocking the stereotypical Apple fanboy. Something that’s been ordinary for the last fifteen years is suddenly revolutionary when Apple does it.