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Your Roku TV will be unusable if you don't agree to the company's new terms

Technically there is a hidden way to opt out of Roku's new dispute resolution terms but it's not a simple process.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer

If you turned on your Roku TV over the past few days, you were probably greeted by a popup that mentioned a new user agreement. While that's not uncommon, what's unusual is that there was no way to close it out or disregard it.

"We've Updated our Dispute Resolution Terms," it reads. "Select 'Agree' to agree with these updated terms and to continue enjoying our products and services."

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There's no way to close the box, no option to disagree. The only available option is to agree. Pressing the back or home buttons do nothing to make the popup go away; if you turn off the TV, it's there again when you power back on. Several users reported that they couldn't even use HDMI inputs while the warning was in place. 

So what's going on?

The new agreement specifically relates to dispute resolution with Roku, or how problems severe enough to involve the legal system are handled. By agreeing to these new terms, two changes are made. First, any legal complaints will be handled through arbitration instead of involving the court system. Second, complaints must be handled through a phone call or in person with Roku legal representation before even reaching arbitration.

In short, you can't sue Roku or take part in a class action suit against Roku if you have a problem.

The popup appeared on Roku TVs as well as Roku streaming devices like the Streaming Stick 4K.

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While online forums were quickly filled with people questioning the new terms, it's worth pointing out that plenty of major companies have a similar policy about legal action. You agreed to the same thing if you use Facebook or Reddit, for example. It's also not new for terms to be updated after a product is purchased, as virtually every smart home product updates theirs from time to time.

The issue for many simply seems to be that there's no way to opt out. It's either agree or stop using your TV. 

There is a way to opt out of the new agreement via a method hidden deep in the terms, but it involves writing down your name, address, phone number, email address used for your Roku account, device model number, a receipt if you have it, and mailing Roku's general counsel in California -- and doing do within 30 days.

There's no word as to how doing so makes the box go away though, or how long that takes.

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