To be clear, or not to be...
Created on Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:31
We regularly bang on about lengthy terms and conditions, in the hope that they’ll eventually disappear. But instead, they seem to be getting longer and more and more absurd.
Amazon is the latest culprit. Their Kindle terms and conditions are 73,198 words long. Were you to want to read them, it would take you about 9 hours – but why would you, or anyone, bother?
And that’s the point – Amazon know you don’t want to. They also know that, to save time and to retain the will to live, you'll skip them, and click ‘Accept’ and move on.
All well and good, but Amazon should be motivated to make their terms and conditions much shorter, or provide a usable summary, or both. As things stand, their customers are agreeing to any number of things they can’t possibly be expected to learn, after ploughing through dry and dense jargon-ridden rubbish.
Why would you read 73,198 badly-written and boring words instead of both Hamlet and Macbeth, which you could read instead in slightly less time?
Consumer group Choice, who did the word count so we didn't have to, were understandably scathing about what Amazon are up to.
"Companies such as Amazon know that consumers want to make a purchase as quickly as possible, and they use this desire as cover to offload some worrying terms and conditions," said Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey.
We know such behaviour will continue, despite the pressure we and many others put on sneaky, shameless companies. With the Government recently clamping down on ‘Subscription traps’ you might think they’d also be keen on taking on horribly-long, horribly-written terms and conditions. Or will they allow the firms who bore their customers into submission to continue to get away with clear bad practice?