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Why Roku is disabling TVs, and how to opt out of its terms of service

Why Roku is disabling TVs, and how to opt out of its terms of service
Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 13, 2024

If you recently found yourself settling in to watch a show with your Roku device, only to get an unfamiliar — and unskippable — notification, you’re not alone.

About 80 million Roku users have been socked with a new message that asks users to consent to Roku’s dispute resolution terms, according to Consumer Reports.

If users do not consent to this change, their Roku streaming device won’t work. They can’t quit out of the message or postpone a decision until later. You either accept the change in terms or you don’t use your Roku.

The situation is a bit tricky, but not inescapable. You can opt out of the rule change if you wish, but you’ve got to act quickly.

Roku home screen on a TV

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First, an explanation: The new rules you must agree to are part of Roku’s terms of service. When you use Roku or any of the many tech devices and services in your life, you agree to be bound by these rules, even if you don’t read them, and press “Agree” or “I accept,” anyway.

Roku’s new dispute resolution terms dictate users must engage in an arbitration process with the company to resolve a dispute. This basically means that you, or a group of users that you join, would not be able to bring a lawsuit against Roku.

If this is OK with you, you can just click “Agree” and move on with your day. But if you’re not entirely enthusiastic (and some users aren’t, as the arbitration agreement all but eliminates consumers’ ability to come together for a class-action lawsuit), there’s a workaround.

The process is explained on the “Dispute Resolution Terms” on your Roku device — as user AJCxZ0 posted in the Roku Community boards. First, go ahead and hit “Agree.”

Close-up of woman writing a letter by hand

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Next, you’ll send a letter (yup) through the mail (wow). Include your name, address, phone number, the email address on file with Roku, the name of the exact product or service you’re using, and copies of any pertinent receipts you may have.

Mail that to:

General Counsel, Roku, Inc.
1701 Junction Court, Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95112

This will, in theory, void your agreement to this latest change in terms. But the clock is ticking: According to Roku, you must get your written objection to the company “within 30 days of you first becoming subject to these Dispute Resolution Terms.” It’s a little unclear if that means the day the change went into effect, or the day you clicked “Agree.”

In any case, time is of the essence! Don’t forget to buy some stamps.

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