Published on March 3, 2020 by Teel Lidow & Max Kornblith
We started FairShake because almost everyone we know has a customer service horror story with a bad ending. Whether it’s a phone bill that’s way higher than it should be, a bunch of hidden fees on a bank statement, a gym that won’t let you cancel, or unwanted insurance added to your rental car bill, everyone seems to have some story about feeling ripped off, taken advantage of, or otherwise mistreated by a giant corporation without any real way of fighting back.
It doesn’t matter who you are – millennial or senior citizen, rich or poor, conservative or liberal – we all know the feeling of powerlessness that comes with trying to get a big company to fix a wrong.
For decades, Americans have been trained to think this is how the world works. Big companies can get away with more or less anything under the protection of endless hold times on elaborate phone-trees, delay tactics, complexity, legalese and deep pockets. Buyer beware.
When companies take advantage of you – when they lie to you, overcharge you, fail to deliver, or cause you harm – there should be an easy way for you to call those companies out, be heard, get your problem solved, and get fairly compensated for what happened to you. That’s what FairShake provides.
Here’s the legal context for the problem we’re solving: When you buy a product or service, the seller usually makes you sign away your right to sue them in the public court system. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line for your cable subscription or clicked through the terms of service in a rideshare app, you’ve submitted to a private dispute resolution system called arbitration for any harm you may suffer from the corporation – whether that’s a bogus $5 fee or a wrongful death. You’ve also signed away your right to join together with similarly harmed consumers in a class action.
This probably comes as a surprise to you – most consumers are completely unaware that they’ve waived their right to sue companies, and most think that they’re still protected by class actions. Because no one knows about this new system, no one uses it. If you do happen to find out that it exists, and want to use it, you’ll be faced with a system that’s designed to be obscure, confusing, and hard to access.
We level the playing field by automating away hurdles that deter consumers from pursuing justice through consumer arbitration. And we provide a helping hand to guide you through the process.
Instead of 10+ hours of legal research, document creation, mailing, filing and calendar management, FairShake reduces the legal claim process down to a simple online form that can be filled out in minutes. As your claim proceeds to a negotiated settlement or a legal hearing, a human FairShake resolutions specialist checks in throughout the process, arming you with data, AI-generated legal research, and a listening ear from someone who’s seen the process before.
FairShake does not provide legal representation. Nor are we simply paperwork generators. We are committed to arming our users with the full suite of documents, background knowledge, and data to win their claims. (And we only get paid when a claim is successful). We view the interaction with our resolution specialists – the human experience – to be a core product of ours just as our online platform is.
Legal technology to date has been used to consolidate power for the big guys. Legal procedures, though, are – at their core – API’s. What we aim to provide is the layer of empathetic automation to make them accessible to non-experts.
And we see it working. FairShake (previously Radvocate) has already helped more than 5,000 people take on big businesses. Nearly 80% of our claims get a response from the company, with 65% of claims resulting in a settlement. A typical settlement being upwards of $700 and resolution typically in 4-8 weeks – even for consumers who have spent months trying to resolve claims on their own.
FairShake aims to be the go-to resource for American consumer disputes. With our expanded list of industries, we now process claims against telecoms, banks, lenders, gyms, home security companies, rideshare companies, and more.
We believe that, as we help consumers access and navigate the arbitration system, it can live up to what big corporations promised it would be – affordable, accessible, fair and efficient.
We’re not the only ones who believe in this powerful future for American consumers – we’re proud to announce a $3M seed investment led by First Round Capital with participation from Founder Collective, BoxGroup and the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, AllBirds and LegalZoom.
As we celebrate these key milestones of relaunch, funding and expansion to several new industries, we owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who’s helped along the way. This includes our team members, investors, mentors, family, and friends. Thanks also to everyone who is working day in and day out to expand access to justice. And thanks especially to our users, the individuals who have trusted us to guide them through daunting situations and to help them turn the pain of a bad customer experience into relief, knowledge, and power.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of the Best. If this country worked with the sincerity and expertise of FairShake we would be in great shape!Allie, real FairShake customer
They got more done in a few weeks than I did in over two years.John, real FairShake customer
I can’t say enough good about this company! They are really a light for us in a very hard time.Mark, real FairShake customer
Thank you FairShake for representing the little people screwed over by corporations.Amanda, real FairShake customer
I was having problems with the company for months. That you could make it resolved in a few days is wonderful.Marisol, real FairShake customer
It's not right what Big Business can get away with if we let them. People need to know someone is out there to help!Virgil, real FairShake customer