General Mills, maker of Cheerios, Yoplait and Pillsbury food products, is asking customers for forgiveness, but any appeasement may not come as quickly as the company might hope for.
The public apology came in a company blog post published on Saturday and penned by spokeswoman Kirstie Foster, after a New York Times article on April 16 reported updated legal terms on General Mills’ website meant consumers would give up their right to sue the company and that they would instead have to resort to arbitration and other means if they download coupons, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or like its brand on Facebook.
“We’ve listened, and we are changing our legal terms back,” General Mills GIS said in the post on Saturday. “Those terms – and our intentions – were widely misread, causing concern among consumers. We never imagined this reaction. Similar terms are common in all sorts of consumer contracts and arbitration clauses don’t cause anyone to waive a valid legal claim. At no time was anyone ever precluded from suing us by purchasing one of our products at a store or liking one of our Facebook pages. That was either a mischaracterization – or just very misunderstood.