This site is about having enough potential clients are able to sue Chase at some point in the future, whenever a class action lawsuit comes up - and heck, they even will have a customer list and a relationship with you from sending this "free" letter for you in the past.
Usually in those kinds of cases, the end recipient gets very little - perhaps some subscription to a ID protection service or a few bucks but the firm who runs the class action makes a lot.
On the one hand, maybe it helps keep them honest (they cite Wells Fargo) so its good to be able to. But clearly there is some vested interest here on the part of Radvocate.
We're excited to partner on this project partly because it is very "on brand" for us from that perspective — we can help people, get our name out there, and shine light on an issue that matters to us. We're a business, but we're also all in this business (instead of some other business) because we want to make the system fairer for consumers.
ETA: Also, to correct one misapprehension: we are not in the class action business. We actually help consumers pursue individual arbitrations. We think more people should know that even if their contract doesn't let them sue, they actually do have a way to assert their power through arbitration. If anything, we'll have more customers for our current business if no one opts out of their Chase clause.
Very clever marketing, good on you for managing this, and I hope you see a great return for your efforts.
Also, are baseless allegations OK here?
I have mentioned my Twitter in previous comments (https://twitter.com/peterkimfrank) and you'll see my submission history maps pretty well to my role at my company (https://dev.to/peter).
This was a weird comment thread to wake up to...
Astroturfing is big business and can be very profitable. An account itself isn't worth much, it's the overall execution that matters.
And an interesting business concept - to help consumers pursue individual arbitrations. That could be really cool especially against large corporations when they are abusive. What do you charge as people go through their individual arbitration process/ how does the profit model work?
I really have mixed feelings about the legal system - on
Also, Radvocate, wondering if you can address the PII concerns other's have raised, as that is a very big deal.
On the business model – we charge a commission currently set at 15% of whatever compensation you recover. Hopefully that's from a negotiated settlement with the company before a full arbitration process is necessary. (More details at bottom). We currently process against 20+ cable / ISP / wireless companies.
Re: PII, first I want to make clear that I can't speak with legal standing about the terms & conditions as written. That said, if someone checks the (optional) box giving us permission to do so, all we plan to store is an e-mail address (plus an anonymized token?). We at Radvocate don't have current plans to use that e-mail address, but it is true that it likely would be most useful for the purpose of putting together a future class action against Chase. We'd only partner on that with firms we trust and who will make respectful use of the information.
We think this could be of interest and beneficial to someone opting out of arbitration. To repeat a point on this thread, it's another way to take action against Chase. Additionally, while we all have experience with a class action of being mailed a gift card three years later, if someone does make direct contact with a lawyer on the lawsuit, that may put them in a different position (though I'm not a lawyer).
More on our process: The way arbitration works is you usually have to send the company a notice letter (which we automate) 30-60 days before filing. When you do that a lot of companies suddenly want to negotiate, instead of ignoring your dispute, and we provide data and process guidance to help you negotiate most effectively. If negotiation fails then we automate escalating your claim to arbitration by filing with the American Arbitration Association, and we continue to provide guidance as the case moves through their system, including preparation for the hearing (which will typically happen by phone).
Surely you're aware of massive and prevalent data breaches. You're collecting sensitive information to help people, but not providing any convincing bonafides on information security, let alone an actual plan for how sensitive information goes in your web form, then (many technical/logistical steps later) ends up in Chase's P.O. box, without leaking out to some unintended party.
I don't think anyone should feel comfortable with "all we plan to store is an e-mail address"
1 - https://haveibeenpwned.com/
Would you help us go after them? I'd sign up in a heartbeat for that. When I moved from Connecticut where we have a relatively benign ISP (Cablevision) who doesn't have data caps, to California where we only have Comcast/Xfinity, my monthly price for Internet doubled and I have less than half the bandwidth available to me.
For credit cards at least, you aren't giving any more information to them than you would any random website where you make a purchase.
Less, even, as there's no expiration date or CVV.
I know many here consider this to be ideological heresy but it's possible to have a transaction where both parties come out ahead and this seems like one of those win-wins to me. They do a little work for you in exchange for putting your name on a list of people they can use in a class action, you might even get $5 or something out of it if they win.
Putting your PII into a random website should be what raises red flags here. I hope they're not storing the account numbers, or at least not storing them with the associated personal details.
This suggests to me you feel that class action judgments do not adequately compensate claimants. This shouldn't dissuade us from fighting back against businesses who treat their customers unfairly.
The problem isn't the class action lawsuit or Radvocate. It goes much deeper. It's goes to the core of businesses (e.g, banks) who provide critical access to the financial system forcing you, the consumer, to resolve disputes through their shadow justice system in which they pay the arbiters, which have a history of siding more frequently with the corporation.
I don't have direct access to the fulfillment of this particular initiative, but in general we can take advantage of the efficiency of sending multiple legal notices in the same packet. So the cost per individual letter can be much less than one would assume.
...that sounds good to me! I certainly don't have the resources to take Chase to court myself, and who knows, maybe the existence of this class-action-in-waiting will keep Chase from being as shady.
"We’re a group of like-minded companies who like building things that help people. "
They're just doing this out of the goodness of their hearts!!!