Thorough People Reveal The Most Surprising Things They've Uncovered In Terms and Conditions Contracts

I agreed to WHAT, now?!

A terms and conditions page is basically a contract. When you hit 'agree,' you are more or less signing a contract. Do you really know what you're agreeing to?

Redditor Titanor asked:

Redditors who always read the Terms and Conditions in their entirety, what's a shady thing you've caught a business try to slip past its customers?

Here are some of the shocking answers.

Shady Dentist

Actually just happened today.

I was at a dentist office, and they gave me a form to sign that indicating I read and agreed with their privacy practices.

In the form it read: "I agree to everything on this form and accompanying notice of privacy practice."

But there was no other form. I asked the front desk worker and she couldn't even find a pdf. I didn't sign it.

Extra For Asking

Like a decade ago in the Sprint store there was some random extra $5 monthly fee. I asked the guy "What is this?" His response was "That's something I'm only supposed to take off if you see it and ask about it. I'll take it off"

No Liability

Dog company recently updated its terms and conditions for doggy day care. One of the terms was that if my dog died in their care, they bore no liability for it regardless of the cause.

Don't Sell My Info

A tiny checkbox on my garage's repair bill, which allowed me to opt-out of them selling my cell phone number to spammers.

It was really tiny. But I checked it.

Anybody Can Use This

MySpace may have gone the way of the Dodo bird, but it was a pretty big proto-social networ back in it's day. When News Corp. purchased MySpace back in '05 they changed the terms of service. The new ToS stated that uploading content onto the platform gave New Corp. permission to use said content. So if you had a band with a MySpace page back in the day you might find one of your songs used on a Fox News broadcast.

Final Payment

We have built multiple houses over the past 10 years, our first builder had a clause stating once you made final payment on the house, it meant you where 100% happy and had no come back to have things fixed.

Kicker was you had to pay your final payment before they did the final walk through of the house ( where you pick up things you want fixed or are not happy with ) Lets just say we ended up in court - but won

Health Info Compromised

Pharmacy... they started a "rewards" program where you could earn as much as a whopping $50 cash back... PER YEAR!!! WOW!!! And all you have to do is sign up for the program... ... ... and in doing so you waive your HIPA rights (Health Information Protection Act) which allows them to take all the medical information you provide them about yourself and sell it, trade it with their friends... look close, its is VERY VERY VERY small print...

End Of Time

Some friends of mine were extras in a movie in college. Apparently their contracts gave the studio permission to:

Use the undersigned's likeness throughout the universe until the end of time.

... or something to that effect.

Change Of Contract

That Terms and Conditions can be changed at any time in the future without notice

How Could You Even Do This?

You can't use iTunes for "the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons."

Don't Steal

Not something that I've caught, but Cracked once had an article about a Japanese visual novel game that had in its TOS that if you were using a pirated copy of the game, it'd take screenshots of your desktop and then post it to their company's website.

RIP dude who got caught reading erotic plant fiction while running a pirated copy of the game.

Fine Print Ain't Fine

The most common one is

"We reserve the right to change these Terms at our sole discretion. (Clause about how we must notify you)".

This generally won't stand up in court anywhere with even modest consumer protections. For example in Australia if you purchase a phone on a combined service & handset plan for 24 months, and there are material changes to the T&Cs that are detrimental to you, you can cancel the plan and keep the handset with no consequences.

The other really shady one is

"Any disputes under this contract will be handled in accordance with the law in (insert jurisdiction that is convenient for the company and not at all convenient for the customer, for example, the Isle of Gibraltar)."

The very, very worst one I've ever seen was for a scam not a legit product - one of those 'Work from home posting links to get money from Google' scams where you get a free trial of their "service" that automatically becomes a hard-to-cancel $95/month subscription. (You could opt out before that, but they set up their scam so that you wouldn't recieve your 'kit' until the first amount was billed).

This had a clause

"You agree not to issue a chargeback against us. If you issue a chargeback, you agree to pay USD 10000 compensation".

FARE Ain't Fair

FARE (a food allergy charity) tried to run a short film contest a year or two ago with the mission of raising awareness about food allergies. That's a good idea in theory and they had a celebrity sponsor.

The fine print stated that all entrants signed their copyright over to FARE. So whether or not you won anything, you couldn't reenter in any other contest. You couldn't even upload your own film to YouTube because it was no longer your property.

The contest fell apart IIRC when the celebrity sponsor withdrew.

This is one of several reasons a lot of people in the food allergy community have mixed feelings about that organization.

Thieves

EA ran a contest for aspiring game creators. They offered prizes and exposure for the winners and buried in the fine print was the clause that they owned the Ip once you put it in the contest. For good. They were called out on it and claimed it was a mistake and so rewrote the thing and somehow left the clause in. Basically they hosted a competition to steal potentially profitable Ideas and Ipso from new people looking to get into the industry.

Again, Read

I enter a lot of sweepstakes and usually read the rules, as there are certain things that determine whether or not I even bother to enter.

There is a flooring company that runs sweeps regularly and the prize is usually a $5,000 gift card to their company.

They put in the rules something along the lines of "by entering you agree that we can install flooring of our choosing in the rooms we choose when we feel like it and you will pay for it." They don't use that exact terminology, but that is basically what it says and you can't enter without agreeing to the rules.

I never enter that one.

Any Prize

You ever see those cars inside of malls that you can fill out a little form with your info and try to win? I read the fine print on the little entry form and there's a disclaimer that if you win, the vehicle is not the guaranteed prize. Neither is any vehicle. They can give you any prize they want. Oh, and by filling it out you consent to having your address, phone number, and email all sold to other parties.

Don't Try Me

The contract i signed with my employer states all intellectual products i produce while employed are the property of the company. Wouldnt hold up for a second in court, but theoretically if i wrote and published a book in my spare time it would be the company's property.

Collateral

A lot of shady moving companies will add in a clause saying that 'additional charges may apply" in the middle of the contract. This covers them for when they hold your items hostage to pay extra unwarranted charges. They can say you signed the contract and then refused to pay. Therefore.....they get your stuff.

Satanic CD

A long time ago, I got a CD for this home design thing, like a tool where you could put in dimensions and move couches around and stuff, and their terms of service prohibited using it for obscene or Satanic purposes.

It's like that thing where you're not supposed to be Q-Tips in your ears.

Shady

That the iPhone's safe distance for RF radiation is about .5" from your skin, meaning they recommend you hold the phone off your skin while talking, and to put a thick case on it to avoid permanent harm. And everybody just accepts this and thinks it is totally safe.

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