Arbitration is where you don't get to go to court and have your case decided by a judge. Instead, you pay a fee to an arbitration company and they hire arbitrators (some of whom are retired judges) to decide your case instead. Here's the catch, the contract you have to sign in order to get phone services, a credit card, etc. usually specifies a particular company, AND, the business pays the larger portion of the arbitration fee (but you still have to pay some). So guess who the arbitrator is more likely to find in favor of?
Be sure to look for arbitration clauses in all of the contracts you sign (or click) and find out how to opt-out.