Omri Ben-Shahar on the "No Contract" Assurance
Omri Ben-Shahar, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and Kearney Director of the University of Chicago Institute for Law and Economics, discusses the place of “No Contract” assurances in the broader context of consumer protection and his ongoing work on the failings and promises of consumer law.
“No Contract” is a popular type of consumer transaction through which businesses lure consumers with the “no contract” assurance—a promise that the consumer can walk away any time, without any commitment. This scheme is increasingly common in cable and phone services, health clubs, security services, and other transactions that used to require minimum duration.
Ben-Shahar answers the questions:
- What is a “No Contract” contract?
- What does the misnomer “No Contract” intend to signal to consumers?
- What effects does the “No Contract” arrangement have on other elements of the transaction?
- What do consumers have to give up in order to enjoy the “No Contract” guarantee?
- Is it overall good for consumers?