When a major company overbills you, doesn't honor a sales promise or wrongly damages your credit, it can be difficult and discouraging to seek out ways to make a consumer claim. The online platform FairShake -- formerly known as Radvocate -- relaunched on Tuesday with a rebuilt product that aims to help people take on big companies such as Verizon, Wells Fargo and Equinox and win compensation.
FairShake automates the claims process of legal research, document creation and delivery to help customers negotiate a resolution to their claim against a company. Any disputes that aren't resolved in negotiation can be escalated to the private consumer arbitration court system, and the platform will automate the process of filing with the American Arbitration Association.
Around 80 million people per year in the US have some sort of unresolved dispute with a company, mostly in big industries like telecom, banking and online services, Teel Lidow, CEO of FairShake, told CNET. As such, FairShake has expanded from focusing on the telecom industry to others including financial services, home security, fitness and ride-hailing services.
"People are all trying to get their voices heard and their problems fixed, but they wind up trapped in endless customer service phone trees," Lidow said. "There's a legal system that's supposed to force companies to take these disputes seriously, but very few people know it exists and, even when they do, it's too complex and time-consuming to use. We make that system easy to access and use, and help those consumers get meaningful and empowering resolutions to their problems."
More than 5,000 customers have used the platform under its Radvocate branding since it was founded in 2018, according to a press release. Customer claims are typically resolved within two months, even for people who have spent months trying to resolve claims on their own, the release noted. About 80% of claims get a response from the company that caused the issue, and more than 65% result in a settlement. A typical settlement is around $700.
FairShake takes a 20% commission of any refunds or other cash payments that customers receive in their disputes, and 10% of any adjustments to their debt or account balances, along with a $20 minimum for any successfully resolved claim. If you don't get paid, FairShake doesn't either, Lidow said. The company also offers discounted or free help to low-income customers, he added.