Frequently Asked Questions

What is PeopleClaim?

PeopleClaim.com is a user-supported online dispute resolution system designed to settle most common disputes quickly and efficiently—without mediation, arbitration, or litigation. We provide a secure, confidential negotiation channel where both sides can review facts, communicate with each other, propose terms, make counteroffers, and reach resolution. Both parties control their side of the process and avoid the uncertain outcome and costs of legal action. PeopleClaim.com is a facilitating channel: we take neither side in disputes and do not involve ourselves in any aspect of negotiation between parties. Claim filing is free. Our income is from fees for optional services, rather than sponsorship or advertising.

How does PeopleClaim work?

There are four steps to the PeopleClaim system: 1) stating your complaint; 2) making a claim; 3) negotiating terms; 4) settlement. We help you at every step of the process, providing smart features that make your case understandable and actionable. A clear statement of your complaint allows the other party to identify you and your problem, and respond in an appropriate and timely way. Transforming your complaint into a claim means establishing terms of settlement that can be acted on by the other party. We help you organize and present your terms to encourage response and action. PeopleClaim’s secure online channel lets you and the other party communicate and negotiate in confidence. Our automated email system tracks progress, advising both sides of changes in terms, revised offers, and any other claim-related activity. This helps the negotiation proceed smoothly with minimum time slippage. Settlement occurs when either side accepts an offer. Generally speaking, when executed by both sides, the PeopleClaim online Agreement is considered a legally binding contract.
Remember, we provide a channel and structure but we stay out of your business. The substance and outcome of your claim is entirely up to you and the other party.

What kinds of claims can I file on PeopleClaim?

There are many possibilities. We designed PeopleClaim to be affordable enough to be used for common consumer complaints, but powerful enough to handle larger disputes. Disagreements with retailers, problems with products, and poor service of all kinds are common claim types. But you could also use PeopleClaim to deal with disputes between individuals, or to register a complaint in a public advocacy cause. The mechanism of stating a complaint and filing a claim applies to a wide variety of situations, and we expect claimants will continue to be inventive in their use of the system. Naturally, in complex and large-stakes matters, or if you’re looking to establish legal precedent, there is no substitute for professional counsel. If you think your problem may be too big or too difficult to resolve via one-to-one online negotiation, or have any doubts about PeopleClaim’s applicability, you should ask a lawyer.

Is a claim filed through PeopleClaim a true legal claim?

While the claims themselves carry no legal weight (they are similar to pre-litigation statements of claim or demand notices), any settlement that results from the PeopleClaim resolution process amounts to a contractual obligation. Generally speaking, our Settlement Agreement, which both parties endorse when a claim is resolved, can be considered a legally binding document.
Many people don’t realize that going to court is unnecessary in a large share of civil disputes. As a matter of fact it should be considered a last resort, available when other channels prove inadequate. PeopleClaim provides a convenient “first resort” for most kinds of resolution and recovery.

Should I use Peopleclaim’s free or premium service? What’s the difference?

Our goal is to help you resolve your complaint with the least time and money spent. When you use the Peopleclaim system for any complaint you'll get the benefits of producing a high-quality, well organized, and professionally presented claim--and a convenient channel for communicating and negotiating with the other party. All of this is available free of charge, up to three claims per month.
PeopleClaim's low-priced optional services can strengthen your claim. You can choose to have your claim delivered in hard copy by mail; have it sent to key regulators and watchdog groups; and have it post publicly on the Internet if it isn't resolved.
The Public Posting option is one of the big differences between PeopleClaim and other forms of dispute resolution because it invites search engine users to find, review, and comment on your situation. (Your name and contact information are kept private.) Viewers having problems with the same party can easily file their own claims. Public posting creates a powerful and ongoing incentive for resolution, while notifying both the public and the offender about potential problems in their business dealings. The option also lets you set a deadline for resolution, which can help expedite the process.
If your claim is still unresolved after 90 days of posting we'll refund your filing fee with no questions asked. Note: we reserve the right to unpost your claim after issuing your refund.

What happens when a claim is posted for public review and comment?

When site users choose the Public Posting option they establish a period of time for negotiating a settlement. This can be 10 days, three weeks, four weeks, or more; but not less than 10 days. A posting date is established that reflects the time allowed. Claims unresolved by this date are automatically posted in the PeopleClaim Registry, a database of unsettled claims that is available to Google and other search engines, as well as PeopleClaim’s search engine. (Claimant names and personal information are kept private, but the circumstances and terms of the claim are published in detail.) Claims remain posted until settled or removed by the claimant. While posted in the Registry, claims may be viewed by PeopleClaim members and users, or by anyone whose Web search results include the claim. Public exposure provides ongoing incentive for the other party to resolve the issue. It also offers the possibility of volunteered advice or help from third parties who take an interest in the case. Longer term, our hope is that this will contribute to greater transparency and accountability in commercial and other transactions. Public posting is an optional paid service, but many claimants recognize the value of the deadline and the public exposure and make use of this option. It’s one of our most popular features.

What is the PeopleClaim Registry and how do I use it?

The Registry is an online database of unresolved claims that have posted automatically after resolution deadlines established by claimants have expired. (It may also include claims filed without a delivery address, which post immediately in summary form, and in full after 10 days.) This unique information resource can be used by anyone seeking guidance choosing vendors or professional services. For example, it is useful to know if a doctor you’re considering has a record of malpractice claims. Besides the number of claims, a prospective patient can read claim details, which may reveal important qualitative considerations, such as attitude, cooperation, and professionalism. The Registry grows in usefulness over time as claims are added. It is a resource that will reward repeat visits and usage, and is likely to become a valuable Step One in almost any evaluation of product and service providers.

What can the PeopleClaim search engine do for me?

PeopleClaim’s search engine performs two functions: it assists with the filing process, and it gives access to the Registry of unresolved claims. During filing it helps by automatically presenting possibilities as you enter information to identify the party you are filing against. The more information you enter, the narrower the search results become. If you see the correct party in the search display, selecting it will autofill the rest of the required information.
The primary value of PeopleClaim’s search engine, however, is in permitting examination and analysis of unresolved claims. Consumers making purchase decisions gain knowledge of an important performance dimension when they look at prospective vendors according to unresolved claims. Registry data is particularly valuable because it has all been collected according to one classification system, so users see comparable information when searching by claim type, industry, or location, for example. (Other search engines may present random, unstructured data from a variety of sources, which can present a misleading or minimally useful picture.)

What prevents people from making false or malicious assertions in their claims?

We’ve taken precautions to protect both sides of any claim. To file a claim all claimants must accept a user agreement that confirms the validity and truth of the information they provide and requires them to take full responsibility for it. (In addition, claimants using optional paid services pay with a credit card, which lowers the likelihood of trivial or nuisance claims, or multiple filings for the same offense.) Counterparties to a claim have the opportunity to respond to claimant assertions, disagree with any or all statements made, and refute anything they believe to be false or misleading. (Of course, they also have rights at law if they believe they have been victims of libel.)

How can I get help from other PeopleClaim users?

PeopleClaim users are a growing network where claimants can find others with similar complaints, or who may have dealt with the same organization you’re filing against. When you file your claim you can choose to receive input from other users. (This is done in the Strengthen My Claim section.) Such input can be valuable in negotiation. If, for example, you find other people have had problems with the same product defect, you know yours is not an isolated case but an important issue the manufacturer must deal with. Even after a claim has posted publicly on the PeopleClaim Registry you may receive helpful suggestions for renegotiating—from anyone who sees your claim and offers comments.

Can a claim be withdrawn after it has been filed?

Yes. You may withdraw a claim at any time by going to My Account. If you decide to withdraw your claim, we will notify the other party immediately. If it has already posted, it will be removed from the Registry. Also, you can make changes to a claim from the Response page, where you go to communicate and negotiate with the other party.

What is included in your money back guarantee?

We offer a money back guarantee for the optional public posting fee. It is simple and involves no hassle. If after 90 days your posted claim remains unresolved we will refund your fee on request. You have until 180 days after posting to request your refund. Additional services such as physical delivery options and copying claims to regulators are non-refundable.