Sovern Co-Authors Op-Ed on The Hill and is Quoted in Fox Business News Story

Professor Jeff Sovern co-authored an op-ed, Consumer Contracts Should Not Be Secrets, for The Hill’s Congress Blog of the Capitol Hill newspaper with Theresa Amato, executive director of Citizen Works.  The op-ed describes the authors’ quest to determine credit card terms and calls for more transparency of credit card terms.  Sovern and Amato explain:

[W]hen the Illinois legislature considered a bill in 2012 that would require standard form contract terms to be available to consumers on the web, it ran into stiff opposition and the bill died.  The Illinois Retail Merchants Association argued that posting contracts would enable competitors to see them.  Of course, those same competitors should be able to obtain the contracts the way any consumer would now—by agreeing to them.

While many consumers may have little interest in reading contract terms, consumers who do want to know what they are agreeing to – and in many cases the rights they are giving away to their potential detriment — should have the ability to find out before accepting the terms.  Consumer contracts should not be secrets.  Nor should it take hours, much less lawyers, to find them. It should require a mouse click, not a quest.

Professor Sovern was also quoted in a Fox Business News article, Medical Card Pays for Endorsements.  The article notes that the CareCredit medical card, which pays for most endorsements of  its credit card and has been fined by regulators for deceptive marketing, is supported by over 100 professional health care groups, including the American Dental Association.  Professor Sovern commented that “[the paid endorsements are] troubling because medical professionals tend to build up trust.  Patients might trust their provider to steer them into the best deal, without knowing that a paid endorsement influenced the provider’s choice.”

jeff sovern

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