Buy a lawyer a drink or three, and when he gets a philosophical bent, he’ll tell you his profession views justice as a service. After all, it’s something they are trained to secure for their clients. But in the era of big data and the cloud, Justice as a Service (JaaS) is really a thing.
There is a notion in some computing circles that anything can be a service. We have Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), even Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The idea is that fast computers and powerful software applications can turn a massive amount of digital information into a bite-sized, easily accessible utility, something like electricity at the flip of a switch or fresh water from a faucet.
Why can’t we do that for the countless instances where we’re mistreated and disrespected in our daily affairs? Whether it’s a defective product or bad contractual service or some other ripoff, there ought to be a way to file a claim and make the business pay.
Entrepreneur Henrik Zillmer thinks so, too. In a brilliant analysis of the reasons we don’t sue for consumer rights more often, Zillmer notes that we generally don’t know our rights, or how to file claims when they are violated. We’re usually just trying to get through the day when we’re ripped off, so we don’t have time to stop and fight. And even if we did, success on our own would be unlikely.
Zillmer says Justice as a Service (JaaS)
is an on-demand service, powered by tech, that challenges private and public companies by representing the consumer in their fight for justice/compensation based on laws, consumers’ rights, and contract of carriage.
Although the concept is relatively new, there are many examples of JaaS.
- AirHelp helps consumers file claims with airlines for delayed or cancelled flights.
- Veeto helps consumers reverse purchases that don’t meet their expectations.
- Paribus monitors your online purchases and files price adjustment claims when prices drop.
- CellBreaker helps consumers break their cellphone contracts and avoid termination fees when they find and take better deals.
- RentRef stands between you and your landlord to ensure timely repairs and the return of security deposits.
- Pixsy helps creatives file claims against those who use their images without permission.
- Consumer Fraud Legal Services aggregates consumers into lawsuits against banks, cable companies and cellular service providers.
- BillFixers negotiates settlements with cable, phone and utility providers to lower your monthly bills.
- Fixed fights your speeding, red light and stop-sign tickets.
- 71lbs audits shipping charges for companies and gets refunds from the carriers for late deliveries.
…and many others.
Each of these applications takes a specific type of claim and makes it easier for consumers to find justice. The diversity of issues raised by these JaaS providers means we’ll see many more applications in the future. Legaltech is on the rise, and that’s a very good thing.
We all need to envision the use of cloud computing and big data to simplify litigation and other justice matters. That’s part of what we do with Case Manager.
Have you used any JaaS applications? Have an idea for one? Share in the comments below.