Omri Ben-Shahar, "No Contract"
A popular type of consumer transaction is called "No Contract." Businesses lure consumers with the "no contract" assurance - a promise that consumer can walk away anytime, 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. 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? In this talk, recorded for the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series on March 27, 2012, Professor Ben-Shahar discussed the place of “No Contracts” in broader context of consumer protection, and his ongoing work on the failings – and the promise – of consumer law.