Let's be honest, most of us don't read the Terms and Conditions before we click that little "I Agree" button. Most of you probably aren't even going to read this intro.
A huge chunk of you are going to open this article and immediately scroll to "the meat" because we're all about getting to the good stuff. But that rush can sometimes mean missing out on some seriously important tidbits of info.
For me, not reading the terms and conditions before signing up for an image site meant I wasn't aware my images could just end up anywhere... and that's how a whole group of people in Nigeria think I'm in the illuminati and was punished by God.
It's a long story, and I'm not going to go into it again in this article, but if you're interested I promise it's not hard to find with a little Google-fu.
For others, not reading the terms and conditions ends up as the mother of all cautionary tales played out in the courts.
One Reddit user asked:
Some responses were horrifying in a way. Not catching these could have had some pretty ugly repercussions.
The Catch Was...Giphy
I financed some furniture when I was young and getting established in my first professional job. It was interest-free financing for the first 12 months.
The catch was that if you paid late, they would charge you a fee, back-interest from the beginning of the loan period, and you would lose the interest free status for the rest of the loan. The APR was 29.9%, compounded monthly!
I couldn't imagine getting to the 11th payment and having something go wrong so a payment is late, then pay basically double what I had financed on the furniture.
I paid it off in 6 months, and I never did in-store financing again.
This is most interest free gimmicks. Educate your friends. Usually the young ones fall victim to this.
I sold furniture and we had financing like this and I made sure to always tells my customers this so they couldn't come at me later on down the road. Others didn't and it just seemed so shady and f*cked up to me.
Get It From The Next Owner
I almost signed a contract that granted 50% of profits to the previous owner of the business for 3 years. It was a restaurant that used a conventional microwave instead of an actual oven.
This was back in the early 2000's and this place had a wonderful 50's vibe. From the bar, to the stools to booths - but it was empty because the food was SO bad and there was fast food up the road.
We were going to get a pizza oven in there and turn it into a Pizza/Shake place with soup in the winter.
When the law STUDENT we paid $500 to look over everything (DO THIS!) asked the seller about it for us, they said that they had sunk so much money into the business, the only way to make the money back was to get it from the next owner somehow.
Good luck with that.
We could not get them to remove that clause, the owner was hellbent on making the next person be the one to make the business successful and pay them.
So I never pulled the trigger and didn't really bother looking into other restaurants. I'm not sure I'd do it now, honestly. With the capital and the same opportunity...that's still a tough sale. My life is very different. I didn't have children.
I had never started a business, so I didn't know how much work it is. I also learned SO much more about food since then. Food was NEVER my dream though.
I was going to be in charge though, this time without corporate crap.
I just don't know.
Still what a dream SPOT! I didn't do it justice, there were 4 video games in a room and a balcony up top. There was a lot next to it and it's freeway adjacent I mean COME ON!
The only problem was the crappy food. Someone, no joke, built a 50's style restaurant next to a highway, forgot to equip it with an oven, and just did nothing about it for years.
You give me that same contract today without the clause and the backing I had...
50/50 shot on me dropping everything for it still.
If I got rich one day I promise to check up on it. If it's in bad hands at all I'll buy it and make it better. Name it after my grandpa who was a restaurant owner.
A realtor once gave me a contract that said she would be the only person allowed to represent the property for 18 months.
That means that they were the only person that could try to sell the house. For a year and a half. We could not work with a different agent if we felt that this one wasn't doing enough, not responding, if we weren't happy, etc.
If we did, this agent would still get commission from the sale that that other agent actually made.
Nope. No way was I going to agree to being attached to someone for a year and a half like that. We found a different realtor with a 3 month term (which is much closer to standard), told the first one that her terms were ridiculous, and was under contract within 10 days.
Canadian Idol auditions when the first show was announced. Read the contract to the very end after signing it.
"you agree to being filmed 24/7. We can enter your room at any time and record personal phone calls and interactions with anyone."
That received a hard no for me. Ripped up the contract and never looked back. Thank god I read that before submitting it.
Fine want to record me 24/7? Congrats, I have IBS.
To be able to link my phone's outlook reader to my university account, I would had to give the IT-department permission to wipe my phone clean "if needed."
No thanks, I'll just use browser instead.
I advised my friend to make a company-provided phone part of her contract.
The Good Ol' US of ASeason 3 America GIF by Broad CityGiphy
Any health and safety terms and conditions in USA.
I was working on adapting a US one for a charity event in the UK run by the same people and oh boy you cannot get away with that here. One line said if an employee harmed you in any way (even intentionally), you could not sue...
Free ceiling insulation.
The catch? You allowed a company to install temperature sensors around the inside of your house, and they can do that at any time. And you have to allow access for them to check the sensors and get readings, adjust things, and remove the sensors. Everything belongs to the company.
This means letting randos into your house potentially over and over to get their readings from the electrical crap they put in your house.
Nah I'm good, keep your insulation.
Was going to post this as a response on another thread, but I want people to actually see it.
When you book a flight, in the terms and conditions (especially for basic and econo fares) you agree that in the event of your flight getting canceled due to an act outside of the airlines control they don't have to refund you unless they offer you a travel credit.
That includes a world spanning virus.
Don't be cheap, get travelers insurance or pay for the higher fare that has a refund clause.
Sad Story Time:
Wednesday afternoon, a handicapped woman with crutches, let's call her Sara, boards our plane for Kansas City. It's the midst of a Hurricane Down South. We taxi out, and get held there.
We sat on the tarmac 2.5 hours. We go back to the gate, and we are pressured to not let anyone off, but eventually some people do.
We then taxi back out to the runway and the hurricane is like directly over us, with lightning all 360 around our aircraft. It was pitch black at like 4 in the afternoon with roaring thunder and lightning. Sara is getting nervous and starts to panic and wants to get off the plane now.
Problem is, there are planes in front of us, and planes behind us, and we can't move. I explain the only way is if she goes out on a Rescue truck. So we sit there almost 3 hours, and the Pilots time out.
So by then the planes have spaced out enough that we can turn around and go back to the gate. This lady is super stressed out.
Anyway, the flight gets cancelled due to the weather - all flights are cancelled.
The next flight on our airline is Sunday, 4 days from now. Plus it's 'next available' which means that if there is 70 people on this flight and 60 on the Sunday flight, only 10 more of this flight are going to get on, and if they paid for First Class, they probably won't get first class on the next available.
At this point, the poor lady is devastated. She is not allowed to sleep in the airport. All the hotels in NYC are booked solid with stranded crew members, and NO airlines offer free hotels when it's weather related.
She probably could get a hotel for $1,000/night but all the lesser expensive ones are sold out by the 1,000 crew stranded in New York from all the airlines.
This poor lady was stranded with no money, no help, and nowhere she could go. I felt awful for her. She couldn't stay at the airport as passengers are not allowed to be at the airport from 12:01 am to 4:00 am. Luckily, you can go to one of the nearby hotels and rest until your next flight... unless it's booked solid because of a hurricane.
I don't know if she would have been more prepared had she read the terms, but she was definitely NOT prepared for us to tell her what her contract stated in the event of a flight canceled due to weather.
I worked for a meat pie company that moved over from Australia that made me sign a contract that I would never work for another meat pie company or open an establishment that sells similar food. I didn't read the fine print.
They also sold a few other things ... like crepes. Sure enough, I wanted to open a food truck and my partner had her sights on crepes as she made them in her previous food truck and it just happened a truck we were buying was set up to make similar things.
I gave 1 month notice because they were busy and I didn't want to leave them stranded in high season. I told the owner we were working on a food truck we bought, it was a dream coming true, and that it happens we are doing crepes as my partner is French and had done them before.
Even though he barely sold any crepes, he was super pissed. The owner was a d!ck. He reminded me of the contract and made me feel like he would sue me if I did this.
I ended up tape recording him yelling at an employee like he does every morning, he would yell at the stoner/maybe slightly special needs dishwasher for little things. My last paycheck was "in the mail" for several weeks until I went in one day and said I wouldn't leave without it.
He cut the cheque when I showed him the video. We didn't end up doing crepes anyways. Looking back I probably lost my desire and momentum with the negativity, but ya.
F*ck that. For minimum wage giving up your ability to do a thing of your own? Crazy.
I sort of wished I let the video public as he was all about face and looking good, but I felt for his kids and wife. They do make good meat pies those Australians.
But others just seemed kind of ... "interesting."
Like, did you know Amazon has zombie apocalypse procedure written into their terms and conditions? Should we be concerned?
Citibanks contract might make you a murderer.
and some companies are willing to pay you just to read the terms, but you won't know that unless you read the terms.
It's bananas out there in contract land.
This Sparks JoyGiphy
I'm pretty sure I gave google the rights to all of my Spotify data when they gave me a free google home.
On one hand, RIP privacy.
On the other hand, knowing some poor algorithm has to figure out some possible way to advertise things to me based on listening to Knock On Wood 57 times in a row and the soundtrack to Starship Troopers on repeat gives me great joy.
Back when the internet really started being a thing, some company/website put something in their terms and conditions about the first person who reads it, can contact them to claim a $100 prize.
Took five years for somebody to claim the prize.
Amazon ... Should We Be Worried?
Not really an example of the worst thing, but you're not allowed to use Amazon's game engine (Lumberyard) for military/nuclear applications normally, but that restriction is suspended specifically if there's a zombie apocalypse
https://aws.amazon.com/service-terms/ Clause 47.10: "this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization
I recall a major airline in the pioneer days won an award for most ridiculous TOS to simply look up a flight arrival time on their web site.
If I recall, it was a 22,000 word document that an analysis said was written at a post graduate reading level. It states that you would, in perpetuity, never use that computer to connect to any other airline's website.
What were they planning on doing about it if you broke the contract? Send a hitman after you or something?
Citibank Is Serious Business
When I started work for Citibank, they asked me to sign two documents;
- promising I would never use encryption for any purpose other than Citibank's for as long as I live.
- promising to obey the laws of all 196 countries on earth that Citibank operates in.
So obviously I looked at my cubicle mate and stoned her to death for exposing her wrists, and I can no longer use HTTPS.
So look, I'm not going to be a judgy mcjudgerson about you not reading the terms and conditions. This isn't even the first "weird contract stuff" article I've written, I've already dealt with the consequences of not reading these things and Oops now my face is everywhere, and I still don't fully read them!
I'll be completely honest - they're written in a way that discourages it. Studies have shown that in order to even understand most terms and conditions, you'd need a post graduate education ... and that's IF you had the nearly-endless hours it would take to actually read them.
In short, you know you're not reading them. I know you're not reading them. Companies know you're not reading them... and it's that last part that gets us all in trouble. If they know you're not reading, they know they can put in pretty much anything they want.
People Who Actually Read Terms And Conditions Share The Most Troublesome Things Hidden In The Fine Print
I always read the fine print and terms and conditions. It's one of those things about me that really annoys other people since it takes forever, but I always tell them they can take it up with Tyra Banks.
Younger me was very into America's Next Top Model for a hot minute and in one episode of season four, the girls get hoodwinked into signing a contract without really reading it.
Tyra Banks explaining to the girls that they had just signed away any rights to their rights "in perpetuity" (and then explaining perpetuity) and the girl's melodramatic responses will be burned into my mind forever. Also, the "told you so" face of the one girl who had tried to read it before signing.
One Reddit user asked:
... and it's like Tyra taught us nothing.
Basically, if their product or service harms you in any way, you can't sue and have to settle it with an arbitrator who has much more motivation to side with the company rather than you so they can get hired more often.
Also important to note that the clauses often include that the arbiter be from a firm of their choice aka a firm they have on retainer.
This shouldn't be legal without an option to opt out
Your Soul Is Minemortal kombat pointing GIFGiphy
The game-station.co.uk prank! I think Gamestop might have done it in the US as well. They changed the fine print on their online purchases to read:
"By placing an order via this web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul".
"Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions. We reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act. If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction."
(The link led to a site that explained it was an April Fool's prank and granted a £5 voucher on the purchase)
They also later send out E-Mails to everyone that agreed to inform them they would be immediately nullifying any claim they had on their customers' souls.
Who "Owns" The Art
An online songwriting class where they essentially claimed ownership of everything you turned it. The way it was written, the student technically "owned" the song, but university had the right to do anything they wanted with it, including sublicense it and profit off of it without your permission.
Most sites that allow you to submit content have a clause like this. YouTube or DeviantArt basically own whatever you upload to them, they can profit off it, reproduce it without your permission, all that fun stuff.
How Powerful Is iTunes?
There's a line in the iTunes terms and conditions:
You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture, or production of nuclear, missile, or chemical or biological weapons.
Apple has it in their movie prop contracts that the bad guy can never use their items. If you start to suspect someone in a movie, and see them use an iPad, iphone, ect., Spoiler alert...
Free Stock Photos
I don't remember the exact details but, when you enter one of costco photography contests you are giving the right to what they want with your photo even if you don't win the contest.
So, basically, the contest are a way to get high quality (because you don't send bad pictures to a contest) stock photos for free.
As a Canadian Photographer, I only submit to Canadian contests or publishers, as in our copyright law, the ownership always falls back to the artist, and its cannot be signed away. Companies still try it in Canada, and just hope people don't try to fight the fine print even though they have full legal right.
"We may collect some extremely sensitive data, like your device's camera feed"
We may. No words on when they do, which immediately makes me think they're doing it as often as possible.
Are those the only partners? Are they just examples of a list? Where's the full list then? Who knows.
Even worse when it just stops at "partners."
DNAspace dna GIF by NASAGiphy
Ancestry and 23andme have a clause that says they own your dna sequence and can do whatever they want with it.
There's been reasonable cases so far where murders have been solved because the killer left DNA traces at the murder site, the killer's second cousin had done a DNA test, and this was enough of a match to call the second cousin in for questioning, ascertain their family tree and boom, you now have 52 suspects to investigate and a high degree of confidence that one of them is the killer.
This, however, can very easily be misused.
Imagine the Hong Kong police getting DNA samples after an anti-regime protest and asking for matches, or the US military doing so to track down a whistleblower like Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning.
A Hidden Contract
This is an old one, but if you bought Windows 7 (Builder's License, reduced price version) and installed it on only your personal computer, you are technically breaking the law. The way the contract is worded basically means that the moment you install Windows, you certify that you are, in fact, a COMMERCIAL PC builder, and that you are building computers for a living, and for financial gain.
And if you don't follow these rules? Microsoft has the right to sue you for violating your contract.
Only problem was that the only COPY of that agreement was INSIDE of the packaging, and placed secretly in a spot behind the placard that tells you your product key.
It's hidden in the papers in the little tab in the jewel case, in case anyone wants to know.
So, in other words, you automatically agreed to a contract that you might even never know about.
Oh, and Microsoft can tell how many times you have used that product key. And they sued people for not using it for it's intended use. Google it.
We Don't Own What We Own
Technology these days - we basically don't own anything that we... Well, own. Nintendo and PlayStation own the rights to revoke your license of your digital Games. It's a small reason why I way prefer physical copies. I don't have any reason to believe they will revoke my license, but I hate that they have the ability to.
Not Without A Treaty
A common one:
"This contract is governed by the law of (insert nation or smaller jurisdiction HERE) and any disputes arising under this contract must be filed in (jurisdiction)."
This clause flat out doesn't matter in Australia. It's invalid and the contract applies as though it wasn't written - but it does apply in some countries without stronger consumer protection laws.
It puts you at a huge disadvantage if you need to sue the company, as you need a solicitor in California or Nevada or Turkmenistan or wherever it might be.
I review contracts for the government occasionally.
I always find it funny when we have to tell a company that we can't agree to put our nation under the Jurisdiction of another nation without a treaty, and that we don't plan on asking for a treaty to buy some off-the-shelf software from one of many resellers.
More Than A Little Uncomfortable
Last spring I took the AP exams digitally, and there was a clause buried deep in the terms and conditions that said they could record you taking the test using your computer mic and webcam without notifying you (it would override the request to use your cam/mic and your webcam light) and that they could use the footage however they wanted.
I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me more than a little uncomfortable.
All Your Devicesalison brie everything GIFGiphy
At least twice, I've run into a clause that stated that if you used the software, you agreed that the company could send people to inspect all of your devices, and not just the one where the software was installed. This was on software for PC/MAC.
One was a third-party renderer for SketchUp, I forgot what the other one was.
A Year Of Email Reminders
If you sign up to use the Instagram API they send you a contract to sign. The contract has you agree to hand over your books and all server logs to Facebook any time they ask so they can check you're not violating the API terms (it said nothing about them needing a reason to ask).
Also if you choose to not sign, they will email you every 3 days indefinitely, reminding you to sign the contract, with no way to unsubscribe. I've been getting the emails for a year now lol.
A Care Worker
The missus' work contract says that if she invents or creates anything (intellectual properties or inventions), that the company she works for automatically own the rights to it.
She's a care worker. So if she invents a new device or creates a new treatment to help people, the company owns it and can charge/profit however they want.
There are kind of two sides to this. Yes, some of the terms in contracts are disturbing, wrong etc. but by putting it in contract or as a clear warning label on a product/service the business protects itself from problems.
Like Winnebago now have to specifically declare that cruise control is not autopilot, because someone assumed it was, crashed their RV whilst making a drink in the kitchen thinking that the RV was self-driving, and was injured.
Know Your Company Policy
Not really terms and conditions, but similar. I worked in HR for several years. I am amazed at how many people do not even skim over company policy or compliance.
I read - in depth - both of them at every company I work for.
Some companies will try their best not to even provide a copy to you, much less direct you to what you are looking for. If you email HR they will give you general "Oh you can find it here on the company portal."
Not only have I saved a few friends jobs by doing this, but also my own. Having at least a vague familiarity with company policy and compliance could one day save you.
Example: Worked for a company where the manager started dating an employees ex. Over night, the employee (also someone I consider a good friend) became the managers enemy.
The environment was getting pretty hostile, and then layoffs came. Guess who was first on managers list to let go? Yep, friend.
I was the supervisor at the time, so he called me and the friend into his office (without any HR rep present; strike one) and told my friend that he was going to have to let him go.
Me, being the overly paranoid type and having read the company policy, was able to dive right in on this @rsehole. I let him know that:
1. In the event of a firing or layoff, a person from HR/Compliance had to be present.
2. In the event of a layoff, (which is what this was) company policy stated that student workers followed by part time associates would be laid off before full time were laid off. I hadn't been in any layoff meetings with either of our two student workers or our one part time worker.
My manager was floored. I advised my friend to go to HR.
Ultimately, the manager was on his last leg anyway and ended up being let go for, you guessed it, none other than violation of company policy.
I would like to say the story had a super happy ending and I got promoted, but this isn't the movies, so I did not. I ended up leaving the company 8 months later for another opportunity.
When we purchase the latest hi-tech gadgets, we tend to toss aside the accompanying reading materials like the terms and conditions.
Or when it comes to signing a new lease for an apartment, some of us immediately scroll to the dotted line to leave our John Hancock without reading all of the fine print.
Whether they're contracts or literature that come with purchased products, do we ever really bother to read the detailed policies?
In an era of instant gratification, who has the time? But what we really should be asking is, what are we missing out on?
For those who do practice their due diligence, they may find some fascinating information – and in some cases, are rewarded for it.
Curious about what others have found while perusing through the nitty gritty, Redditor Dunnaghlasman asked:
"PPG (paint company) does not allow their paint to be used on terrorist, biohazard or nuclear facilities."
Sign First, Discuss Later
"I was asked to sign a petition for something that I generally was in agreement with, until I read the last part of it, that read something like, 'the chairman of the committee reserves the right to change the wording of this petition.'"
"So it was like, 'sign here, and we'll figure out what you signed later.'"
"You cannot use the Java programming language to control a nuclear reactor."
"I read the terms and conditions for either Windows 95 or the Windows 98 upgrade. Somewhere buried deep in the middle was a warning that the operating system should not be used to operate a nuclear power plant. I'm assuming it was a joke because it was an individually licensed product rather than a corporate license, and if they were serious about it, I would think that warning would be at the top!"
Beware of Hacks
"For no reason at all I read them for a PlayStation Network update. About the 7th page in, it stated that I would be 'relinquishing my wallet and all funds within.' I didn't update but just assumed it was fancy legal talk(mind you I was in my late teens) so I didn't report it. 3 days later I found out that the update was a hack and thousands had their information stole of their PlayStation accounts."
"My daycare's release form had a clause saying that by signing, I was giving them permission to take my kids to Canada. Canada is a day's drive away and there is absolutely no reason they would ever need to take my kids there. I crossed it off before signing."
"My mortgage documents included a clause that says that, if I ever get sued, they have the right to accelerate the loan and demand payment of the entire remaining balance. It doesn't matter if the law suit is meritorious. Just getting sued can lead to acceleration."
Property of Elon Musk
"You never own the Tesla you pay for."
The Tesla Ownership Explained
"Tesla, (and to various extents, other anti-right-to-repair companies like Mercedes, Apple, John Deere, etc.) hold that their products are intellectual property and cannot be owned by customers, instead claiming that they are effectively leased to buyers."
"Tesla has on on multiple occasions (illegally) disabled features of cars being sold used because of this."
"On my apartment rent agreement, there was one part that basically said: If you (the renter) dies then your family is responsible for paying the rest of the rent left on your contract."
"Accordingly to Photoshop ToS, you can't use Photoshop as a verb and must say 'edited with Photoshop' or similar instead of 'Photoshopped.' In Spanish it's common to use it as a verb, 'photoshoppear.'"
The Canadian Obstacle
"I'm an auto mechanic, I regularly purchase tools from tool trucks. Sometimes there's little giveaways if you spend x amount you get this scratch off ticket that could win you something blah blah."
"One time I was reading the fine print at the bottom, usual legalese stuff then the last line cracked me up - said something like 'residents of Canada will be required to complete a series of mathematical questions in order to claim their prize.'"
"What the hell did Canada do to require being punished to win a prize?"
Reading Has Rewards
"The terms and conditions for the rewards card at the grocery store i worked had 'if you've actually taken the time to read this, please email (email) with this code and the pin for your card for $500 in rewards points.'"
"And it actually did, then I started getting a new card every other month or so. Then they changed who the rewards program was with."k
"The company I work for has emergency store closure procedures for in case of a zombie outbreak."
"When I discovered it I laughed and asked my boss why they put this joke in with all these serious guidelines. She was dead serious when she explained that this was a real procedure and you honestly never know. I thought she was messing with me. Apparently I never noticed it printed in out backroom. It's required to be printed and posted in the backroom of all the company's stores."
The Gym Contract
"I read the terms and conditions before joining a gym. It said the only reason you could cancel your membership is if you moved out of the area or got injured and had a note from a doctor. Otherwise you had to give 30 days notice and pay 3 additional months worth of fees. I did not join."
Canada's Got Talent ... and All Eyes On You
"I considered auditioning for the first season of Canada's Got Talent. I got the contract for auditions and read the fine print."
"'You will pay your own room, board and travel. You agree to being on camera 24/7. We can listen to your private phone calls. We can enter your room at any time to check on you and record it.'"
"I noped out of that audition fast."
"I read the warranty for my motherboard once. It said it does not cover damage from bodily fluids including urine and vomit."
In Case of an Apocalypse
"One of my old jobs said that if there was ever a contagion that resulted in people losing their minds and acting like violent, mindless, swarming animals (i.e. zombies or infected) then we would be expected to hide in bunkers, rescue our clients and not kill anyone."
Spybot S&D asks that you send the devs beer money.
Also, I'm on mobile and too lazy to Google. I got more of this thread to read first and I'll probably forget about this before I'm done.
You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons.
This is from the Terms and Conditions for Apple's iTunes.
To the Cinema
Ts and Cs for a cinema in the UK. After purchasing a ticket and choosing your seat/seats the cinema doesn't guarantee you the seats you have chosen will be available and you are encouraged to find a different seat if the one on your ticket is taken.
Alls not Wells
You can always trust Wells Fargo to serve up some real bull crap. This article shows where they screwed some people in their mortgage terms and conditions, and also briefly mentions their debit card scam.
Well this is getting some attention so I'll just leave this old gem here as well:
READ FIRSTpaid pay day GIFGiphy
So I know a few years back there was a report of a dude who read through the whole thing and actually earned a cash prize for reading it in the fine print.
I don't know the exact details. not even sure if its true or not but maybe someone has evidence.
WordWeb free version may be used indefinitely only by people who take at most two commercial flights (not more than one return flight) in any 12 month period. People who fly more than this need to purchase the Pro version if they wish to continue to use it after a 30-day trial period. que_pedo_wey
It's probably best to actually read them, but I really like using this site where they essentially provide you a TL;DR of terms & conditions from popular websites. They also grade sites on how shady their terms may be.
There was a Windows update about 15-20 years ago that had a clause buried in the EULA that you agree not to release any benchmarking figures. What really sticks in my mind though is that I used to submit a lot of stories to Slashdot at the time, and for some reason they wouldn't report that. Weird.
Listen to Aesop
This isn't quite the same, but when I was a kid I had a really cool, creepy picture book that was a satire of Aesop's fables called Squids Will Be Squids, with morals like "if someone calls and asks where your mother is, don't tell them she is out getting her moustache bleached" etc etc. Anyway, one day I was reading the small print publication stuff you get in the front of every book and there's a note from the author's in it about why nobody ever reads that page, with the moral that "you should always read the small print." Which of course I now do (for books at least), although tbf there has yet to be a payoff as good as that one.
Steamed....morning steam GIFGiphy
Technically Steam owns any and all games that you "purchase" from them. What you purchase is basically a copy of one of their games, and they reserve the right to access your library and do whatever.
because they can
Discord's Terms of Service are worded in such a way that they can literally say whatever they want is a breach of contract on a whim.
Discord can decide you have broken the Term's of Service however they so choose. You can have an entire server dedicated to something harmless, say, puppy photos, and they have the capacity to do whatever it is their punishments and sanctions propose because they can.
Save the fur babies....
I have dog shampoo that says "this product not tested on animals." But why not? How do you know it works?? Purposely putting cosmetics in an animal's eyes, or forcing them to ingest it or whatever is cruel and unnecessary. But how are you supposed to know that this dog shampoo is a safe and effective way to clean a dog if you've never tested it by using it to wash a dog??
Not really a TOS, but the old Doom II for DOS had this screen saying that if you pirated the game, you would go to hell. It would show up after you exit the game. The first Doom also had a similar screen, lol
I think in my country there is a general law that terms and conditions must be "reasonable" so that conditions like "giving away your first born" does not apply anyway.
Trouble is, reasonable means whatever you can convince a jury and or judge is reasonable. So it comes down to who has better lawyers i.e more money.
Buried Deepglow treasure chest GIF by gfaughtGiphy
I was searching for a web host for my website and found a discount code buried in the content policy. It was pretty neat, even if they were the kind of place that has at least 3 discounts available at a time.
Not exactly weird but when I was buying my car insurance they asked if I had been in any previous accidents (I was) and if I was at fault (I was not). Said rates would only go up if the accident was my fault. Okay cool. So at the end when I'm looking everything over, I notice in the fine print that it says any accidents are automatically considered the driver's fault unless proven otherwise... so I send them an email and ask.
Basically they said I'd have to purchase the policy, THEN contact them with the proof that I wasn't at fault for the accident. So I bought the policy, went to my state's DMV website to get the accident report, and email it to the insurance company- one week later I get "refunded" about 1/5 of the policy cost credited to my account. I wonder how many people they've ripped off.
Once I installed an App, I think it was a game, asked me to edit, add, delete or format everything from my google drive.
The same app had other horrible terms with other apps, like with Facebook, or Instagram (basically buy your personal info from Mark).
G-suite and everything.
It was when I was setting up android work profile (The high school I'm attending rn issued us emails that route the emails through their servers) for online school. G-suite and everything. I couldn't rlly avoid the work profile thing cuz android wanted me to set it up.
Enough with context here.
I downloaded google device policy to set this up and I saw, and I quote.
"Administrators on this domain can have access to any and all data on your phone."
I was like, Hell no! They do random phone searches of the students already why give them full access!?
I then decided to do the online class stuff on my computer and do it web-based instead of giving them full access to my phone.
Lunar TermsBeopen Aeropex GIF by AfterShokzGiphy
Apple's terms and conditions have plenty of jokes in them. They even made one about faking the moon landing.
Having a ToS
The school app for a district I worked in had a ToS that essentially said that I agreed to their accessing anything on my phone or deleting what they choose, as well as using anything they find on my phone as evidence against me if they so choose to.access any other apps, documents, downloads, photos, etc... Co-workers said I was being paranoid, but the ToS for the same app in a different district had no such notation, so I don't know.
These are a few paraphrased versions of what I had to sign in order to live on campus at my university:
I give my school permission to charge me legal fees that have nothing to do with me. They also say everyone I know has given up the right to sue the school. They can kick me out at anytime with little warning, and if I do not leave with in a few days I have to pay a +$100 fee. They are not responsible for working amenities such as water. I am aware the school does not own there own dorms, even though the office that handles room and board claims otherwise.
Don't remember the exact wording, but some League-of-Legends-type game included this whole paragraph about how, by installing this software, you authorize us to monitor every process on your computer, including but not limited to keystrokes, active programs, some of their memory, browser tabs, open files and potentially their contents, and send that info back, at all times, even if the game wasn't running.
Safe to assume I did not click agree, and managed to live life having never played that game.
I found out our five year contract for argon gas automatically renews if we don't cancel 365 days before the end date. A salesman was fired from the company and told me I should read the very fine print. One year in and we sent our our cancellation form for 2024.
take the spirit....wes craven ral GIFGiphy
Gamestation (an old video game store in the UK) had an immortal soul clause. They own thousands of peoples souls!
On the Menu
I read ingredients at back of the container (shampoo,creams,food etc) because I don't have anything better to do. But I know how they scam people. Read the ingredients people.
Sign Off Please
You agree by signing this contract to have your personal information including but not limited to, photographs, public information, address and email to be shared with third parties that may not be disclosed to you.
This was to allow a company I engaged with to send me regular products for testing and giving feedback on prior to going on the open market.
The ReadMe File
Not quite Terms & Conditions, but an old-school PC space simulator game from 1995 called Tachyon: The Fringe had a unique ReadMe file. At the bottom of the ReadMe file is a few words of congratulations, and a set of coordinates for a fat stack of space cash for the late game.
Set in Stonethat's all folks GIFGiphy
That even if you haven't read the terms and conditions you still agree to them. This is pretty common for websites where they are buried in the site, but by going to the homepage you've automatically agreed to them.
WHILE REDDIT ATTEMPTS TO MAKE YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF OUR SERVICES SAFE, WE DO NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT OUR SERVICES OR SERVERS ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
It's not weird in a way that it shouldn't be there, just unexpected.
Also not reddit afaik, but a lot of ToS tell they have the right to give certain of your information to companies and Google is ALWAYS there.
Oh and if anyone uses one of those Do Not Track signals, companies don't give a crap about that and say that in other words in their privacy policies.
Left Without Power
I'm taking a cyberlaw and ethics course and this has been a focal point of the class. Terms and conditions leave you basically Powerless and unable to hold companies liable. There were terms and conditions on a site that literally said by accepting the terms, you would give them your first born child. Granted I believe it was a joke or experiment to see how long they could leave it in there unnoticed.
Amazon still sucks.
Not me, but when my sister was applying for a warehouse job at Amazon, she spotted a section that stated that Amazon owned all the rights for all intellectual property and products created by the employee for an indefinite amount of time even after leaving the job. In another section, there was something saying that you couldn't say anything bad about the company online or in private, again, for an indefinite amount of time even after leaving the job. Amazon still sucks.
Want my blood too....
We were interested in purchasing a house, and sent the Contract of Sale to our conveyancer as a final 'rubber stamp' before signing.
They quickly got back to us, pointing out a clause buried in the Contract. It said that we agree to forfeiting our cooling off period and all 'subject to building/pest/structural inspection' rights, and that we agreed we must proceed with the purchase no matter what. Even if the house was rotted with termites, or the vendor had blatantly hid some structural fault, they could legally 'force' us to proceed with the purchase.
The conveyancer said that the vendor's legal firm had a reputation of putting these hidden nasties in their Contracts, so she knew to scrutinize every word as soon as she saw their name on it.
Needless to say, we didn't proceed with the purchase.
A lot of chrome extensions give the developer access to your drive. This is an issue for many education extensions during remote learning. I successfully stopped my school from using one platform over another due to this issue as well.
You're Still a Feastfail april fools day GIF by CheezburgerGiphy
I read the waiver at an indoor paintball place one time. It covered everything you'd think it would cover, but that wasn't all. Insect bites and stings. Attacks from wild animals "such as bears, etc" (yes, it specified bears), and dangers such as guides incorrectly navigating rapids.
All of these things were covered.
The experience did not live up to what the waiver implied.
Is Thou Art?
In this app called PopJam in the TOS it says that the developers can freely use any art you post on the app. Kinda screwed me up for a while but I saw some user's art on the appstore banners (with the users in question credited) so it probably just means that they can "show it off" without per but still-
Let's be real- have any of you ACTUALLY read the terms and conditions that come with a contract? It's pretty important to read before you sign, but it's just like, a lot of words. You know what I mean.
But this can come back and bite you in the butt, and that's when you realize exactly what you've agreed to. Here are a few stories of sneaky terms and conditions that went unnoticed.
u/sevencargarage asked: What are some sneaky "terms and conditions" that people commonly unknowing accept?
In Germany we have a large online shop that sells mostly fandom stuff (for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc). In their Terms and Conditions you agree to be a good person, hold the door open for others, etc.
Good to know.Giphy
Your gps shuts down at speeds above 500km (or something similar).
This way it can't be used to guide a missile/nuke.
Is that how it works?
"Terms and conditions may change without notice to you"
I used to make and sell beats online, I saw that on a few websites.
Hey, that's us!
From the Reddit ToS:
When Your Content is created with or submitted to the Services, you grant us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable, and sublicensable license to use, copy, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display Your Content and any name, username, voice, or likeness provided in connection with Your Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed.
This license includes the right for us to make Your Content available for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication by other companies, organizations, or individuals who partner with Reddit. You also agree that we may remove metadata associated with Your Content, and you irrevocably waive any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to Your Content.
This is a very lawyer way of saying "I'll repost your meme".
That doesn't seem fair.Giphy
Cemeteries can have sneaky "terms and conditions."
One cemetery's fine print tells plot-holders that they and their descendants can be charged a "special assessment" for landscaping and paving/drainage repairs required by the cemetery.
This special assessment possibility remains an obligation for plot-holders until all graves in individual plots have been used.
That's one reason to not have kids.
I remember agreeing to one where the person who made the terms and conditions would be betrothed to my second daughter. Luckily I have no children lmao.
Be a shame if you had only boys.
That doesn't seem fair.
Many T&Cs have a clause that says they're allowed to change it without notice and you'll still be bound by any future versions of those T&Cs. Normally followed by an acknowledgement that we'll try and tell you if we're changing it but at the end of the day it's your responsibility to check back.
But if a tyrant CEO came to power in almost any company you could already have signed to... literally anything.
Well that's just great.Giphy
That you don't actually own the operating system in your iPhone or any other apple product, you are leasing it and it's contents from Apple. In other words, Apple can legally turn your phone into a paperweight if they choose to do so and you can't so a thing about it.
This is also true for the computers that run a large portion of cars and a whole slew of other products.
That could be a big problem.
That a landlord's "emergency" to enter a premise can be pretty loosely defined and should be EXTREMELY defined before lease is signed otherwise your house reeks of pot and your landlord thinks there's a fire.
Bethesda has the right to infect your computer with a virus if you hack any of their games.
Terms and conditions are generally just a scroll-through endeavor.
We know we are responsible for blah-de-blah and we can't do xyz and so on, those are pretty standard with all terms and conditions. But do you ever wonder if we're being taken advantage of or else made fun of in that text?
For the most part would our lives change if we actually read the terms and conditions? Probably not. But we might illuminate some things we never knew about that company before.
Here were some of those answers.
This Time For Africa
I was stoned and downloaded a mobile game some years ago and decided to read the terms and conditions. It was like 20 pages and mostly had to do with privacy and micro transaction stuff. In the back half a paragraph was the lyrics to ToTos Africa.
Must Love Dogs
At a gun range one time I saw that if I yelled out "I love dogs!" my time and anything I buy is half price. I immediately did so, startling my best friend. That was awesome.
The contract to a job I had working in the desert warned about the frequency of alien attacks. I was disappointed to go a year and a half without any, though.
Gamestation once made an "Immortal Soul Clause" on April Fool's day, to prove that no-one actually reads the terms and conditions. It read " By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. "
1 + 1 Equals Your Lingerie
I had a Victoria's Secret coupon that said Canadians are required to pass a math question or test in order to be eligible for the discount.
I think I still have it at my desk - my job in part is writing terms and conditions, agreements, and disclosures for the bank I work at so I actually do read a lot of T&Cs in homage to the amount of time my colleagues in the field put into writing 18 pages no one but examiners read. The Canadian math requirement is the strangest I've ever seen.
DeviantArt's ToS is basically a contract allowing them to print, reproduce, and profit from your art (if they so choose) without needing your permission or consent.
Usually this takes the form of ads or contests, where they'll be used in public displays. If you post works that show a high level of technical skill, then you need to either sign it or use a big ol' watermark.
Someone DID Write This
Thank you to customer for actually reading our terms and conditions. Send us an E-mail with the following content and we will send you a free box of chocolates.
They did indeed send chocolate.
Weird Flex But Ok
My boss told me about how it was important to read everything, even the terms and conditions.
When you go to an iPhone's license page (or something else, I don't remember), it says that they won't take any responsibility to any shock you received from the phone if it were 5 mm away from you, unless you had something blocking it from your skin, like clothes, or a pocket protector.
A while ago (~2011) there was a scam "Work from Home" service widely advertised all over Facebook and other places, promising enormous paycheques and a free trial. (It was an opt-out subscription service as you might expect).
Curious as to how the scam worked, I looked at their T&Cs.
There was a clause in there requiring you to pay $10000 in compensation to the company if you filed a chargeback against their fees.
Whilst that would never stand up in court, dealing with debt collectors who might conveniently offer to settle for 'a mere three thousand' would be all sorts of hell.
Protected From Myself
Would You Say That's Likely?
Amazon's AWS Service Terms contain a clause pertaining to a zombie apocalypse.
However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.
Past The Time Of Dying
Royal Caribbean has a clause in their Cruise Ticket Contract stating that that they are granted the exclusive rights to any videos, photographs, audio recordings, etc, taken of the guest during or in connection with the cruise "throughout the universe and in perpetuity". Well-played, RC. That's thinking ahead.
Some time ago, when Twitch was airing Mister Rogers Neighborhood, they were having a contest for streamers. They were giving away a sweet purple cardigan.
If you hosted the channel, you would get 1 point per minute, for each viewer watching it through your stream. Obviously the biggest streamers with thousands of viewers would win. Except, that wasn't the case. The streamers who read the T&Cs realized they had to do a few specific things, in order to qualify. I enjoy reading them, so when I found it, I told a friend/streamer about it. With his ~100 viewer average, he managed to get enough points to win one of the cardigans.
My son got a job as a camp counselor at an upscale NY summer camp. The contract stated that they were not responsible for any injury or his death. My lawyer wife crossed it all out and initialed it. There was no objection from the camp. Since then, I have crossed out many things in contracts and never had anyone bat an eye. Obviously, most don't read the contracts after they are signed.
The contract when you buy a game online at GameStation includes the legal right for them to claim your immortal soul.
"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions."
So yeah, thousands of people sold their soul to GameStation.
You Own Nothing, Jon Snow
In the original and probably current, chrome eula , google tried to claim that anything passing through their browser in either direction was their intellectual property.
Refuse to use chrome to this day because of that.
We wont even get into how their search engine is a giant spying program.