How To Commence an Arbitration

How to commence an arbitration under Cricket's current arbitration provision

Cricket Wireless LLC ("Cricket") is committed to customer satisfaction. Part of that commitment is ensuring that any dispute a customer may have is resolved in a fair, effective, and efficient manner. Most of the time that you might have a concern about a bill or our service, that concern can be resolved quickly and to your satisfaction by calling our customer service department at 800-274-2538. If you are still not satisfied, you may have your dispute resolved through binding arbitration before the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"). Alternatively, you may file an action in small claims court.

A copy of Cricket's arbitration provision is available here. This document provides additional information on how you may use those procedures.


What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a more informal method of binding dispute resolution than a lawsuit in court. Arbitration uses a neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury, has more limited discovery than in court, and is subject to very limited review by courts. Arbitration hearings are typically brief. For claims of $10,000 or less, you may choose whether the hearing takes place in person, by telephone, or solely on the basis of documents submitted to the arbitrator. (If you choose an in-person hearing, it will take place in the county (or parish) of your billing address.) You may retain an attorney to represent you in arbitration if you choose. Arbitration under Cricket's arbitration provision will take place on an individual basis. The arbitrator cannot consolidate the claims of more than one person or proceed on a class-wide basis. But arbitration does not affect the substance of your legal claims; arbitrators can award the same damages and relief that a court can award.

Arbitrations under Cricket's arbitration provision will be administered by the AAA, a leading non-profit arbitration provider. The arbitration will be conducted using the AAA's Commercial Dispute Resolution Procedures and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes as modified by Cricket's arbitration provision to make arbitration less expensive and more convenient for our customers. Because the AAA may update those rules from time to time, and because the applicable rules for any particular arbitration will be the ones in force at the time, please check the AAA's website to see the latest version.

For any non-frivolous claim that does not exceed $75,000, Cricket will pay all costs of arbitration, no matter who wins. Moreover, in arbitration you are entitled to recover attorneys' fees from Cricket to at least the same extent as you would be in court. In addition, under certain circumstances explained below, Cricket will pay you more than the amount of the arbitrator's award and will pay your attorney (if any) twice his or her reasonable attorneys' fees if the arbitrator awards you an amount that is greater than what Cricket has offered you to settle the dispute.

If you have retained an attorney, he or she may help you answer any further questions you might have about arbitration.

How Do I Arbitrate A Claim?

You can arbitrate a claim against Cricket by taking the following steps:

1.    Mail A Notice Of Dispute to Cricket's Legal Department.

Before beginning an arbitration against Cricket, you must first notify us of your dispute and allow us an opportunity to resolve it without the need for arbitration. Please write us a letter briefly explaining the dispute and identifying the specific relief that you would like. Please provide as much information as you think would be helpful, including dates and specific amounts of money, if possible. Please also include the account holder's name, the account number, the mobile telephone number, and an alternate telephone number at which you may be reached during business hours. For your convenience, you may download a Notice of Dispute form from our website (Download a copy of a Notice Form or an Arbitration Initiation Form). Once you have written the letter or filled out the Notice, please send it to us by certified mail at Office of Dispute Resolution, Cricket Wireless LLC, 1025 Lenox Park Blvd., 5th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30319. Please be sure to keep a copy of the letter or Notice for your records.

2.    Wait 30 Days To See Whether The Dispute Can Be Resolved Without Arbitration.

If we have not been able to resolve your dispute to your satisfaction within 30 days from when we received your Notice of Dispute, you may start arbitration proceedings. Please be sure to retain a copy of any written settlement offers that we make, but note that the amount of any settlement offer that you or we make must not be shown to the arbitrator until after the arbitrator has resolved the merits of your claim.

3.    Complete A Demand For Arbitration.

You can begin the arbitration by submitting a Demand for Arbitration, which is a statement containing basic information about the dispute: (a) the names, addresses and phone numbers of the parties involved (you and Cricket, in most cases); (b) a description of the dispute; (c) and a short statement of the relief you are seeking. The AAA provides a form Demand for Arbitration on its website. (There is a separate form for California residents, also available on the AAA's website. As an alternative, you may download a form Demand that Cricket has created for its customers' use from our website (at Download a copy of a Notice Form or an Arbitration Initiation Form). You don't have to use this form, but it includes spaces for all the necessary information.

4.    Send Us A Copy of Your Demand for Arbitration.

Complete the Demand for Arbitration and make at least four (4) copies. Keep one copy for your records. Send one copy to us at Office of Dispute Resolution, Cricket Wireless LLC, 1025 Lenox Park Blvd., 5th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30319.

5.    Submit Two Copies Of Your Demand To The AAA.

Send the final two copies of the Demand for Arbitration to the AAA Case Management Center for the state in which your billing address is located. Please be sure to include (1) a copy of Cricket's arbitration provision (you may obtain a copy from our website) (What if I am not satisfied with the resolution Cricket offers me for a problem I am experiencing?)); and (2) the appropriate AAA filing fee. We will promptly reimburse you this amount when we receive a copy of your Demand for Arbitration, unless your claim is for greater than $75,000. The filing fee is currently $200, but the AAA may change the amount of the fee. You may obtain the amount of the fee by consulting the AAA's rules. Those rules may be obtained from the AAA's website, or by calling the AAA at 800-778-7879. If you are unable to pay the AAA's filing fee, please inform us by writing a letter to the above address and we will arrange to pay it directly if your claims are for less than $75,000. The current contact information for each of the AAA's Case Management Centers is as follows:

AAA's Case Management Centers
Centers Administers cases in...
Contact Information
Western Case Management
Center
AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, CO, WY Jeffrey Garcia
Vice President, Western - Case Management Center
6795 N. Palm Avenue, 2nd Floor
Fresno, CA 93704
Telephone: 877-528-0880
Fax: 559-490-1919
E-mail: GarciaJ@adr.org
Northeast Case Management
Center
ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, NY, CT, NJ, PA, DE, WV, MI Chris Fracassa
Vice President, Northeast - Case Management Center 950 Warren Avenue East Providence, RI 02914
Telephone: 866-293-4053
Fax: 401-435-6529 E-mail: FracassaC@adr.org
Central Case Management
Center
AR, IL, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, MO, NE, ND, OK, SD, TX, WI Molly Bargenquest
Vice President, Central - Case Management Center
1750 Two Galleria Tower
13455 Noel Road
Dallas, TX 75240-6636 Telephone: 972-702-8222
Fax: 972-490-9008
E-mail: BargenquestM@adr.org
Southeast Case Management
Center
AL, FL, GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, OH, SC, TN, VA, DC John Bishop
Vice President, Southeastern - Case Management Center 2200 Century Parkway, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30345-3203
Telephone: 404-325-0101
Fax: 404-325-8034 E-mail: BishopJ@adr.org

6.    The AAA may change this information;

please confirm it by calling the AAA at 800-778-7879 or visiting the AAA's website.

7.    Case Manager Assignment.

Once the AAA receives your Demand for Arbitration, the AAA will assign your case to a Case Manager. The Case Manager will then send us both a confirmation letter and give Cricket 10 days to respond to your Demand.

8.    Appointment Of Arbitrator.

If no claim in the arbitration exceeds $75,000, the AAA will appoint an arbitrator and notify us both of that arbitrator's name and qualifications. The AAA requires all arbitrators to check for any past or present relationships with the parties, potential witnesses, and the parties' attorneys. If the arbitrator has any such relationship, the AAA will tell both you and us. If either you or us objects to the AAA's choice of arbitrator, we will have 7 days to inform the AAA. Note that all arbitrators must swear an oath for each case promising to be impartial and to abide by the AAA's Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes. A copy of that Code may be obtained from the AAA's website).

9.    Choose The Kind Of Hearing You Would Like.

Unless you and we agree to have any arbitration hearings somewhere else, they will take place in the county (or parish) of your billing address. If your claim is for $10,000 or less, you may choose whether any hearings are conducted in person or by telephone. Alternatively, you may choose to proceed by a "desk" arbitration, which does not involve an interactive hearing. Instead, the arbitrator resolves the dispute solely on the basis of the documents that you and we submit. Once the AAA has commenced the arbitration, you have 10 days to inform the AAA of your choice of hearing. If you do not make a choice, the AAA will assume that you want a desk arbitration. If your claim exceeds $10,000, the right to a hearing will be determined by the AAA rules. Those rules currently provide for an in-person hearing if the consumer's claim exceeds $10,000, but you and we may agree whether that hearing is in person or by telephone, or whether to instead proceed with a desk arbitration.

10.    Arbitrator's Decision.

Within 14 days from the conclusion of the in-person or telephone hearing or from the submission of all written evidence to the arbitrator if you chose a desk arbitration, the arbitrator will render a written decision. That decision will include the essential findings and conclusions upon which the arbitrator based his or her award.

11.    The Alternative Payment.

If the arbitrator grants you relief that exceeds Cricket's last written settlement offer before the arbitrator is appointed, then Cricket will pay you the amount of the award, or $10,000, whichever is greater. If Cricket did not make a written offer to settle the dispute, you will be entitled to receive this alternative payment if the arbitrator awards you any relief at all on the merits.

12.    Your Attorney's Premium.

If you are entitled to the alternative payment, then Cricket will also pay your attorney, if any, twice the amount of attorneys' fees, and reimburse any expenses (including expert witness fees and costs) that your attorney reasonably accrued for investigating, preparing, and pursuing your claim in arbitration. Even if you are not entitled to this attorney premium, Cricket will reimburse you for your reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses if it is required to do so under applicable law. But you may not receive both the attorney premium and an award of attorneys' fees under a statute. Instead, you will receive the greater amount. Cricket will not attempt to collect from you the attorneys' fees it incurs in arbitration even when permitted to do so under applicable law.

13.    Arbitration Costs in Frivolous Cases.

If the arbitrator not only rules against you, but also rules that either the substance of your claim or the relief you requested in your Demand for Arbitration was either frivolous or brought for an improper purpose (as measured by the standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)), then responsibility for the costs of arbitration will be set by the AAA's rules. For frivolous cases in which your demand is $10,000 or less, your share of the costs is currently limited to $200, though the AAA may change that amount. If the arbitrator makes this determination, you may be required to reimburse Cricket for paying your share of the arbitration costs.

14.    Arbitration Costs for Claims Exceeding $75,000.

If you initiate an arbitration in which you seek more than $75,000 in damages, the payment of AAA filing, administration, and arbitrator fees will be governed by the AAA rules. Those rules may be downloaded from the AAA's website (at www.adr.org/arb_med). If Cricket initiates the arbitration, it will pay these costs regardless of the amount of its claim.