Why People Should Read Terms & Conditions

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According to a Fairer Finance survey, small print for some companies now runs to more than 30,000 words (average length of a short novel) and, unsurprisingly, 73% of people admit to not reading all the fine print. Of those who do, only 17% say they understand it.

While companies need to protect their interests, you should know when terms and conditions become more than standard operating procedure and turn into ransom notes. The consumer is forced to agree to the terms in order to proceed to the next step, whether it is to use a service or install software.

Many so-called free apps for your smartphone or tablet are supported by ads. Read through the terms—the app could be accessing your personal information, mainly to deliver targeted ads. Also, as mobile ads will be delivered whenever the app is active, it will add to your data usage at the end of the month. The same goes for shopping online or registering on forums and the list goes on, your email may be sold to third party companies to spam you with ads.

Terms and conditions were written by lawyers with years of advanced education with the purpose of writing large passages of unreadable text. The harder you try to understand fine print, the more confusing it becomes. Like staring into a labyrinth from afar, the sentences snap into meaningless patterns. They’re written in a style so dry that your eyeballs crack as your brain is oozing out of your ears.

Although everyone should read any contract that requires your signature, the reality of it is that not matter how hard you try. The majority of us will inevitably fall into old habits and click away, but not everyone has the luxury of having the time it takes to read T’c and C’s so it is a good habit to skim through and try to find key points of the agreement.


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