HOW CRITICAL SHOULD YOU TAKE TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

The only thing most always want to do is to scroll down and tick the I agree box or sign beneath the terms and condition, and then move on. Few glance through the document, very few take time to read. There is always haste.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

5/17/2022 3 min read

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HOW CRITICAL SHOULD YOU TAKE TERMS AND CONDITIONS?

Almost every day, on an average, people come across terms and conditions, probably while opening a social media account, undergoing some virtual courses, striking a business deal or anything online or offline in which terms and conditions have to be set. The only thing most always want to do is to scroll down and tick the “I agree” box or sign beneath the terms and condition, and then move on. Few glance through the document, very few take time to read. There is always haste. This explains why people still find it difficult when it comes to contractual deals, they would not get little or total understanding of the terms and conditions they assent to. In business, employment and other like-contracts, terms and conditions are a major source of causes of action. Then, something avoidable will then be a main issue which leads to loss of property or immaterial resources, collateral of any form and valuables.

“Otherwise, all claims arising out of or relating to these terms or the services will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of Santa Clara County, California, USA, and you and Google consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts.”

Google is a well-used brand in the world and it can be safe to say almost everyone get to use their services daily. The above quoted paragraph is the last in their terms of service. Many will not have the knowledge of the fact that they cannot institute actions against Google with any law other than the Laws of California. That is to the extent the culture of reading terms and conditions have rotten. For the sake of what might come, there is need to consciously read terms and condition. Most specifically, to law students who most likely, sooner or later will make money from people who are negligent enough not to read terms and conditions adequately.

Terms and conditions (also identified as terms of service, terms of use, TOS, ToS, ToU, T&C as the case may be) has been defined by Black’s Law dictionary as “special and general arrangement, rule, requirements, standards etc. forming integral parts of a contract or agreement”. For someone who has done the Law of Contract, Law of Commercial Transactions or other alike bodies of law, terms and conditions should not be something new or strange. It comes in various forms. It can come in form of oral or parole, contract of employment, virtual channels… etc. Terms and conditions identify the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Apparently, a person who does no’t read terms and conditions loses the knowledge of his rights and responsibilities. Such person may not benefit fully his rights. He won'’t be fully aware of his responsibilities and he can be sued for defaulting. Failure to meet the terms and conditions expose someone to legally enforceable liabilities against even one's personal assets.

What is people'’s problem with terms and conditions? A Euro-meter survey found that 67% of the people who did not fully read privacy statements found them long and 38% found them unclear or difficult to understand, claiming they are full of legal terms. Apple has proven to be particularly wordy, there are about 20, 000 words to agree to before using the iTunes store, like, really? People just scroll and click “I agree”. Even though, Facebook breaks down its terms and conditions in multiple pages- the total words are close to 15,000. Reading both terms will take a great deal of time.

Then, no option but to click I agree”, then find something else to do. However, that still does not undermine the essence of reading terms and conditions. There are many others not even close to that at all and people don’t care to read. It is noteworthy that not reading different terms and conditions has different consequences. Not reading this might not impose any liability but not reading that can lead to immeasurable liability. The consciousness of the importance of terms and conditions has to be there at all times. It is imperative that while buying products online, patronising that service or engaging any contractual deed, one endeavour to read the terms and conditions carefully before agreeing or signing, most especially legal-minded persons. It is something individuals should train their minds to do notwithstanding the stress, time or sacrifice that is involved. Not reading that small print can mean big problems.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080