Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Excellent Reason To Hate Cheerios, Betty Crocker And Nature Valley

Whatever you do, don't say on Facebook or Twitter that you like Cheerios or any other product made by General Mills.  
With parent company General Mills
new "arbitration" agreement, Cheerios
suddenly taste like crap to me.  

Don't download or obtain any of their coupons. Pretend they don't exist. At least on line.  Don't do anything that has to do with Betty Crocker. She's now a scary whore, her owner/pimp is General Mills.

Nature Valley? Well, the parent company is a valley all right.

Why am I going off on these products so badly?

In the latest scumbag corporate move, General Mills says if you have any interaction with them like I've just described, you can't sue them for any reason, says the New York Times. 

You'd instead have to go to arbitration sessions set up by General Mills, and the deck will be so stacked against you, you probably won't win.

True, it's unlikely General Mills will do anything that will make you want or need to sue them.

But what if glass shards somehow end up in your bowl of Cheerios? What if you have a raging peanut allergy, and the General Mills box says there are no peanuts in the ingredients, but yet there are?

Well, you're screwed. And not just health wise. If you previously "liked" Cheerios on Facebook, General Mills will tell you to go pound sand if you get very sick or die from using eating their products.

Yeah, General Mills, in typical Big Corporate Speak, says they're doing you a favor because if something goes wrong you won't have to go through the pain and trouble of hiring a lawyer.

Actually, no. They're just trying not to get sued, to save their bottom line.

So much for the goodwill General Mills generated with their multi-racial family commercials.

(UPDATE: Amid the swirl of bad publicity over this Thursday night, General Mills said merely liking them on Facebook or Twitter won't stop you from suing. But as the New York Times pointed out Friday, the policy is muddled and can be interpreted as a ban on suing the company. )

Now back to our regularly scheduled rant:

You could boycott General Mills, but other companies might be doing this too, although the New York Times said this is the first major food company to pull this stunt.

These "you can't sue because you interacted with us" clauses are buried in a lot of credit card and on line companies' terms of agreement verbiage.

You've seen those terms of agreement. Pages and pages of legalese that nobody has the time or wherewithal to read. So you just sign up.

These companies know it's not humanly possible to wade through these long legal tracts. They could make them simple and easy to read. But that would defeat the purpose. The terms of agreement are not designed to lay out what you can and cannot buy.

They're designed to be daunting so you don't read them. Like I said, corporate scumbags trying to squeeze every penny out of you, and preventing you from getting relief if their product injures you or screws up your life.

Some states don't really let these clauses hold much water and you still might be able to sue, but some "pro business" states say they're fine. Because corporations NEVER do anything wrong and people who get injured by companies are just lazy losers trying to get a quick buck.

Yes, there is such a thing as a frivolous lawsuit, but there's also such a thing as a legit one.

But the deck is getting more and more stacked against you. A Whataburger joint in Texas even put up a notice that you can't sue, you have to go to faux arbitration if you just step into the place, says Mother Jones. 

If a company injures you through neglect or malfeasance, you're on your own, pal.

I'm sure as hell NOT going to have Cheerios for breakfast tomorrow. And probably not ever.


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