Here — read for yourself: “When Liking a Brand Online Voids Your Rights to Sue.”
Might downloading a 50-cent coupon for Cheerios cost you legal rights?
General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, “join” it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.
Instead, anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site.
When asked what a consumer should do, Richard Daynard, Northeastern Distinguished Professor of Law, responded that they should definitely not “like” any General Mills brands on Facebook and perhaps take it further than that. “A smart consumer would actually not buy General Mills products,” he says.
In other words: It just became nearly impossible to get a deal on a General Mills product without forfeiting your rights to sue the company. Even if your kid with a peanut allergy eats a Fiber One bar with trace amounts of peanuts and gets sick.
It reminds me of the increasingly bizarre language we’re seeing on coupons, just taken to the next level.