The cardinal rule of marketing is – The Customer is Always Right.
Think again because the reality couldn’t be further than the truth. That’s what Amanda, Meredith’s sister would discover during dinner at one of the local restaurants. Finding herself in a very unpleasant situation, Amanda discussed the issue with Meredith, an expert in finance management working with a leading company in New York. When she started to dig around, Meredith found that tons of people face similar situations in their everyday lives.
Meredith decided it was time to take action. She decided to get proactive and fight for the rights of customers who are at the receiving end of the unfair practices and regulations of companies. And the best way to do that was to educate herself in the relevant federal, state, and local laws that would help defend her sister and countless other consumers like her.
Meredith Middleton became an expert attorney in consumer law dealing mainly in consumer rights cases. She now practices out of her hometown, Cheshire in Connecticut. A divorced mother of 3 sons and 2 daughters, she is devoted to her family and extremely close to her 3 sisters.
Creation of The Customer Collective Concept
Established in 2008, the Customer Collective website is the result of Meredith’s efforts to raise awareness for her consumer rights initiative. Through this portal, she hoped to unite customers in uncomfortable situations so they can help each other defend their rights and stand up for common interests.
What We Do
The Customer Collective invites customers from all over the country who have found themselves at the wrong end of the ridiculous and misleading policies laid down by companies. Consumers only need to write about their experiences and share them with Meredith and other like-minded people. They can talk about their concerns and air out their feelings. Often times, people are unaware of the rights that the law entitles them to and by discussing their experiences, they can understand the steps they can take to get their rightful dues.
For expert legal advice, they only need to put down a few lines and send them off to Meredith. She is happy to offer her professional opinion about the legal rights that every consumer should be aware of and the further action they can take to address the situations they find themselves in. Also, being an expert in financial management, Meredith helps customers understand the intricacies of the financing system in simple terms without the confusing sales jargon.
Assisting Immigrants and People Speaking Foreign Languages
The Customer Collective has been especially helpful to consumers who are unfortunately, not well-versed in the English language. State civil laws indicate that the terms and conditions of the sales agreements of products and services should be clearly stated in easy to understand terms. For instance, the California Civil Code 1632 supports the most common languages in the state namely, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish and requires agreements to be in the specific language that consumers can understand properly. Immigrants are often the victims of unfair deals since they don’t have the credit history to get by in their new homes. And, Meredith at The Customer Collective can help.
Assisting Victims of the “Forced Arbitration Clause”
Most customers are completely ignorant of the “Forced Arbitration” clause that is a part of almost every contract that they enter into. Whether purchasing a credit card or mobile phone, or getting a PayPal account or even an employment contract, this clause is present and could place them in an awkward position. By signing a contract with this clause, customers waive their right to sue in a court of law. They agree to the condition that in case there is a dispute, it will be settled by both parties by way of arbitration only. Companies use this strategy because they are fully aware that no one ever reads contract language in detail.
The Customer Collective helps customers by informing them that even after signing such contracts, they still have the right to raise the issue in a court of law.
The more people know, the more information they have, the better empowered they are. Through The Customer Collective, Meredith aims at empowering people by giving them all the tools they need to protect their rights as consumers.