FairShake (formerly Radvocate) taps automation and human review to help companies settle consumer disputes. It can deliver legal notices to companies and, if necessary, bring the claims to consumer arbitration. And three years after FairShake’s founding, investors are warming up to the idea.
Today FairShake announced that it has secured $3 million in a seed round. Coinciding with the infusion, the company launched a rebuilt product and an expanded list of services reflecting its mission to empower people in the U.S. to better understand and assert their consumer rights, according to CEO Teel Lidow.
“Everyone has a customer service horror story,” said Lidow. “I heard and experienced enough of those stories that I set out to create a real solution. American consumers want to stand up to big companies and be treated like human beings, and we’re using technology to give them that power.”
FairShake doesn’t charge for its service upfront, but it asks for a commission percentage if it’s successful in securing a settlement — 20%, in most cases, with claims taking four to eight weeks for FairShake’s hundreds of monthly customers.
Users fill out a form through a web app, specifying the company they want to claim against and describing their issue and desired resolution. FairShake prints out and mails the completed form, instructing the complainant to offer a settlement within a certain amount of time. If the time elapses, FairShake generates filing documents and files an arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (and in some cases covers the $200 filing fee), defaulting to a “documents-only” arbitration that doesn’t require an in-person or telephone hearing. After the American Arbitration Association appoints someone to manage the administrative matters, FairShake facilitates a pre-arbitration call to discuss the terms of arbitration.
FairShake’s redesigned experience walks users through the filing process on the web or via SMS. On the backend, a new AI research tool helps support agents find documentation for a range of industries, including financial services, home security, fitness, ride-sharing and more.
FairShake says it has helped over 5,000 people recover over $1 million in compensation collectively from companies including AT&T, Comcast, and DirecTV. On average, 80% of claims get a response from the company causing the issue and more than 65% result in settlement.
FairShake, it’s worth pointing out, is just one of several startups offering commercial consumer dispute services. Service acts as a mediator between customers and businesses, with a focus on the travel industry. As for AirHelp, it attempts to secure compensation for flight delays and cancellations. According to Grand View Research, the global concierge services market was worth an estimated $537.6 million, and it’s anticipated to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.3% from 2019 to 2025.
First Round Capital led FairShake’s seed round, with participation from Founder Collective, BoxGroup, and the founders of Warby Parker, Allbirds, Harry’s, and LegalZoom.