Read the Fine Print

Say you want to sue your cell phone provider. You could file a lawsuit ... or could you? If you read the fine print of your contract, there's a good chance you've signed away your day in court. Many consumer contracts these days, from cellphones to hotel rooms to car repairs, say you must take complaints to an arbitrator instead of a judge. Arbitrators are private individuals who settle disputes. They aren't necessarily lawyers, and some arbitration firms aren't playing by the rules.