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39th Annual Austin Scott Lecture Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System delivered by Professor Amy J. Schmitz

Professor Amy J. Schmitz will discuss research and policy issues at the core of her article, Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System. The article explores the familiar concept of the "squeaky wheel" who "gets the grease" in a new light; it uncovers how this concept, which she calls the "Squeaky Wheel System" in business-to-consumer contexts, allows merchants to reserve purchase remedies and other contract benefits for only the relatively few "squeaky wheel" consumers who have the requisite information and resources to persistently seek assistance. Professor Schmitz will provide empirical insights that suggest how this system fosters contractual discrimination, impedes proper market regulation, and hinders consumers' awareness and access with respect to contract remedies. She also will build on some of her more recent work exploring online dispute resolution (ODR), and offer ideas for using the Internet to expand means for consumers of all economic and status levels to efficiently obtain remedies with respect to their purchase complaints.

The basis for the lecture and Professor Schmitz's work has captured the attention of popular media, and was the basis for How to Complain: Squeaky Wheel Still Gets the Grease, Herb Weisbaum, TODAY show contributor, NBC (March 11, 2013); Unhappy with a Purchase? Try this!, CONSUMER REPORTS SHOPSMART MAG., Jan. 2013; Speak Up to Resolve Complaints, CONSUMER REPORTS MONEY ADVISOR, March 2013; Microwave Mystery: When do Wayward Ovens Warrant a Recall? CONSUMER REPORTS, March 2013; Personal Finance: Learn to Be a 'Squeaky Wheel', SACRAMENTO BEE, April 28, 2013; Got a Consumer Complaint? Be Polite, Persistent and Assertive, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, May 3, 2013.

Background Material: Access to Consumer Remedies in the Squeaky Wheel System, Professor Amy J. Schmitz

About the Lecture:
The Austin W. Scott Jr. Lecture Series was established in 1973 by Dean Don W. Sears in memory of Professor Scott, who had been a faculty member of the University of Colorado School of Law for 20 years. Each year, the dean of the law school selects a member of the faculty who has been involved in a significant scholarly project to lecture on his or her research.

Event Details

Sponsored By CU Law
Speakers Professor Amy Schmitz