Fine Print: Not Reading It Could Cost You Your Soul. No, Really.

If  you’re like nearly anyone else out there in Internetland,  chances are you’ve signed up for a membership with some sort of site or another. There are thousands of sites that require a registration or some sort of verification process to make sure that you’re you (as opposed to a ‘bot or spammer): Hotmail, Craigslist, Youtube and Ebay to name a few.

If you’re like most people, chances are that when you sign up for these sites and services you skip over the fine print or at most, give it a skim and then click the “I Accept” button at the bottom.

If you’re like most people, you can’t be bothered to take the time to sort through the (usually deliberately obfuscating) legal jargon to find out what you’re really giving away when you do ( I know I do!), because….  well, frankly, in my case, I can’t stand overly complex language; reading it is a chore akin to trying to walk though a muddy bog with too big, thigh-high boots; it doesn’t sound like fun to begin with, and you can’t help but feel like taking a shower when you’re done.

So in what is, in my opinion, the ultimate April Fool’s prank, UK game retailer Gamestation slipped a clause in their TOS which granted them ownership of 7500 people’s souls, or 88% of their customers that day.

Check the clause yourself.

“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 or one of its duly authorised minions.”

GameStation’s form also points out that “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.”

Everyone who was paying attention (or simply not lazy) and clicked on the opt out button also received a £5 voucher for their purchase.

These guys are great. I know who I’m going to be inviting to my next house party.

Incidentally, the company is issuing a nullification notification of the contract, in case someone didn’t get the joke.

Nice one, guys.

One thought on “Fine Print: Not Reading It Could Cost You Your Soul. No, Really.

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