« Alex Jones's Bankruptcy | Main | The Financial Inclusion Trilemma »

Karens for Hire

posted by Adam Levitin

The Washington Post has an article about a new business, "Karens for Hire," that is basically a way to hire a customer service advocate. Having spent way too much time with customer service of late, the article really hit a nerve. It gets at the central problem of consumer law, namely that the dollar amounts at issue in almost every dispute are way too small to litigate. Instead, consumers have to work through customer service and hope that they receive some sort of resolution, but that's a process that imposes substantial transaction costs (wait times, e.g.) and in which the consumer has no guaranty of a positive resolution, even if the consumer is in the right. 

There's some level of reputational discipline on companies with bad customers service, but it's pretty weak and indirect: when was the last time you investigated a company's customer service reputation before making a purchase? 

There are a few attempts to regulate customer service of which I am aware—TILA/EFTA error resolution procedures and RESPA loss mitigation procedures—but there's no general system of public regulation. Figuring out exactly what, if anything, would work as a more general solution to ensuring fair and efficient resolution of customer service calls remains one of consumer law's great challenges. 

Comments

Excellent analysis Adam.
I once had a case involving a man that sexually molested his nieces (both under age 10). He went to prison for those crimes. The nieces obtained a default civil judgment against him. When uncle filed bankruptcy and the nieces sued, asserting that his conduct was "willful and malicious", he answered that he never intended to harm them thus no malice. He attempted to compel the girls to testify in bankruptcy court about the assaults.

Adam, Oops. I was attempting to post my comment in connection with your piece on Alex Jones, not your Karens for Hire piece.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Contributors

Current Guests

Follow Us On Twitter

Like Us on Facebook

  • Like Us on Facebook

    By "Liking" us on Facebook, you will receive excerpts of our posts in your Facebook news feed. (If you change your mind, you can undo it later.) Note that this is different than "Liking" our Facebook page, although a "Like" in either place will get you Credit Slips post on your Facebook news feed.

Categories

Bankr-L

  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

OTHER STUFF