Arbitration and Class Action Waiver Provisions: Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.   What do the arbitration and class action waiver provisions in the Terms of Use Agreement mean?

You may still pursue Claims (as defined in the Terms of Use Agreement) against VII (as defined in the Terms of Use Agreement), but (with a few exceptions) you must pursue your Claims in a binding arbitration proceeding (and not in a court) and only on an individual (and not class action) basis.

2.  What is arbitration?  What is a class action?

Arbitration is a process to resolve legal claims outside of court.  Arbitrations are conducted by a neutral decision maker (such as a former judge) and will be administered, in this case, through the American Arbitration Association.  The procedures in arbitration are generally more informal and usually faster than lawsuits in court.  For example, in arbitration, there is no jury and there is limited opportunity for review or appeal of an arbitration decision.  Arbitrators can grant the same kinds of relief for meritorious Claims as courts can.  

A class action lawsuit is one in which one or more named plaintiffs sue as representatives of a defined class of similarly situated individuals so long as certain requirements are met. 

By agreeing to the Terms of Use Agreement, with a few exceptions, you agree not to bring or participate in a class action and agree that all Claims will be resolved in a binding arbitration proceeding.

3.   What does it mean to opt out of the arbitration and the class action waiver provisions?

If you would like to be able to pursue Claims against VII in court (rather than in an arbitration proceeding), or participate in a class action to pursue Claims (rather than bringing Claims on an individual basis), you must submit a valid request to opt out of the arbitration and class action waiver provisions.  See the “Right to Opt Out of Mandatory Arbitration and Class Action Waiver” subsection of the “Resolution of Disputes; Binding Arbitration; No Class or Representative Actions or Arbitrations” section of the Terms of Use Agreement for more information on how to submit a valid request to opt out (the Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice, as defined in the Terms of Use Agreement).  Note that a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice applies only to the individual identified in such notice as opting out.

4.  How much time do I have to opt out?

You have 45 days, but when that 45 day period starts depends on if you are a registered user or not and if you are a registered user before these provisions are first launched and effective.  If you register as a new user of a VII website, application or other interactive service on or after the date on which these provisions are first launched and effective, you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice within 45 days after the date you register as a new user, unless an earlier deadline applies.  If you are already a registered user before the date on which these provisions are first launched and effective, unless an earlier deadline applies, you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice within 45 days of the earlier of either (a) the date of your first login on or after the date on which these provisions are first launched and effective or (b) the date on which email notice, if any, of this Terms of Use Agreement was sent to the email address associated with your user registration.  If you are a user, but not a registered user, unless a longer period is required by applicable law, you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice within 45 days after you accept the Terms of Use Agreement for the first time on or after the date on which these provisions are first launched and effective, unless you are a user of an app or other interactive service, in which case the 45 day period may instead be deemed to start on December 31, 2016. 

If you are a user of more than one VII website, application or other interactive service, you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by the earliest deadline applicable to you for any VII website, application or other interactive service.

Examples of how much time you have to send a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice:

Here are some examples of opt out timing, if these provisions are first launched and effective on this VII website, application or other interactive service on August 1 and no advance email notice of this Terms of Use Agreement is sent:

     I am a longtime registered user of the site before August 1:  If you login on August 15, you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 29 (within 45 days after your first login after the date these provisions were launched).

     I registered as new registered user of the site on August 15:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 29 (within 45 days of your registration after the date these provisions were launched).

     I visit the site on August 1 but am not a registered user:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 15 (within 45 days of your first visit to the site once these provisions were launched).

     I downloaded the app for the first time on August 15 2016:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 29 (within 45 days of your download of the app after the date these provisions were launched), unless the Terms of Use Agreement provides that the 45 days starts on December 31, 2016, in which case you must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by February 14, 2017 (within 45 days after December 31, 2016).

     I downloaded the app for the first time on August 15 2017:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 29 (within 45 days of your download of the app after the date these provisions were launched), even though the Terms of Use Agreement provides that the 45 days starts on December 31, 2016, since you did not download the app until after December 31, 2016.

     I visit the site on August 1, but do not register as a registered user until August 15:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 15 (within 45 days of your first visit to the site once these provisions were launched), rather than September 29 (45 days after you first register).

     I am a longtime registered user of the site before August 1 who logs in on August 15, and I register as a new registered user on another VII website on September 1:  You must submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice by September 29 (45 days after your first login once these provisions were launched), rather than October 16 (45 days after you first register on the other VII website).

5.  If I want to opt out, do I need to do so for each VII website, application or other interactive service I use?

No, once you submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice, that opt out applies to all VII websites, applications or other interactive services. 

6.  If I want to opt out, do I have to do so each time I accept a new Terms of Use Agreement for any VII website, application or other interactive service?

No, once you submit a valid Arbitration/Class Action Waiver Opt-Out Notice, you do not need to opt out of the arbitration and class action waiver provisions again for any new Terms of Use Agreement for any VII website, application or other interactive service.