This article helps build the empirical foundation necessary for an informed debate regarding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts by providing preliminary insight into how businesses' use of these clauses affects consumers' ability to pursue their legal rights. To this end, the article reports the results of a study investigating, in a wide variety of consumer purchases, the frequency with which the average consumer encounters arbitration clauses, the key provisions of these clauses, and the implications of these clauses for consumers who subsequently have disputes with businesses they patronize.

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