Nobody Actually Reads Terms Of Service

Let’s be honest.

That’s Illegal! [Graph Jam]


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  1. GC says:

    I didn’t read the privacy policy either.

  2. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    Perhaps like the credit card companies, some simplification of these terms needs to be enforced. Although if people actually read the terms and didn’t like what they were, would it really effect their choice to purchase or not?

    • do-it-myself says:

      I scan it…feel like I have no choice to not do anything but click “I Accept” and move on with my life. Everybody has one. I read it and understand it….and look for easter eggs, but to no avail. I purchase/sign-up because it’s the same as everyone elses and if something fishy happens, this is the one reason why I shouldn’t hate credit cards…..CHARGEBACK!

    • LandruBek says:

      Maybe for a few. I was on the verge of joining Facebook until I read their terms of service.

  3. Rachacha says:

    Yeah, I agree, Best Buy Sucks! Wait What?! You mean this isn’t the article about no one reading the article? Sorry. Carry On.

    Seriously though. I recall a story form about 10 years ago where a small software company placed a line in their EULA/TOS that told the reader to call a special number and they would receive monetary compensation. It took years before someone actually called them, so yeah, this is not surprising.

  4. Mortimer Changworth says:

    Ben Popken didn’t read the memo on what constitutes an article on Consumerist and what constitutes sharing a funny picture he found on the Internet. Let’s be honest.

  5. Rocket says:

    I forget which company, but game company (on April Fools Day, I think) put in their EULA, that if you agree, they own your soul.

  6. zekebullseye says:

    The last terms of service I “read” and “understood” was 55 pages long. Yeah right I read it.

  7. Robofish says:

    Eulas need to be shorter. That’s probably why no one reads them. I just don’t have time to read through one before using the product.

    • Rachacha says:

      TOS/EULAS Could be shortened to this:
      1) You are using software/website that [Company] developed. While we would like to say that it is error free, we are human, and mistakes happen. If you find a mistake, let us know and we will fix it. Even if you find a mistake, you can’t sue us, because the mistake was not intentional. If for some reason you decide that you have to sue us, and you actually win, we will not pay you more than what you paid for the software.
      2) You agree not to use this software or website in a life/mission critical situation. Should you use this software in this manner and someone dies as a result, don’t say we didn’t tell you, and oh yeah, don’t sue us because you agreed not to use it in this way. Assuming our lawyers are full of it and you actually can sue us for this, our liability is limited to what you paid for the software.
      3) You further agree to hug your kids today. If you don’t have kids, you agree to try to make a kid today. If you hate kids, you agree not to strangle a kid today (c’mon man, you can do it for just one day). This has absolutely nothing to do with this software, but our lawyers said it had to be longer (they are in withdrawl), so we decided to add this just to try to make the world a better place.
      4) You should not use this software in a way it was not intended. So don’t come crying to us when you poke your eye out because you decided to use the CD as a screwdriver and it snapped in half and a CD shard poked you in the eye.
      5) Don’t steal this software. You use it every day to help run your business and you stand to make a lot of money using it, so just pay us the $75 so we can keep making cool software that you want to use.

      _____ Agreee _____ I do not agree to these terms and the software will not be installed.

    • graylits says:

      Creative Commons licenses are a good example of how licenses should be done. A standardized basic license with additional optional riders that apply. If only there was a public standardized commercial license. The EULA would just refer to standardized license and include a link to it and all options that apply. Then they could put their individual requirements after, for example:

      This product uses Standardized Single-Household Commercial License V3. Additional standardized clauses of subscription-TOS and No-Resale apply.
      Additional clauses:
      1. No publishing of benchmarks.
      2. License does not apply to household pets.

      The problem with traditional EULA is that it’s 95% same fluff you see everywhere but they can sneak their gotcha clause in anywhere. If all of the standard fluff was separated out and referenced, then the amendments can stand out. Also if a version of the standardized contract has problems, it will get publicized and the individual can know to not use products with that version.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Those are stupid for a single reason (there are more, but in my mind this supercedes most)

    If I purchase software, take it home, open it, and begin the installation process, I am prompted with the terms of service agreement. If I read it, refuse to the conditions, what then? Retailers refuse to allow for returns on CDs, DVDs, video games, and really any digital media. So, now I’m stuck with software I can’t return but don’t agree to the company’s one-sided service agreement.

    • hypochondriac says:

      You return it to the company that made it. Be prepared for a fight though

    • Gaz says:

      This is funny primarily because it demonstrates that you haven’t actually read a ToS/EULA. They nearly always include a section giving instructions on what needs to be done to obtain a refund if you do not agree to the terms of service.

      For example the provision in the EULA for Adobe Acrobat Pro is in the very first paragraph:

  9. MustardTiger says:

    (when it denotes something as “free”) I usually try to do a search for keywords like “fee” “price”, etc. and if I don’t find anything like that in the terms, I agree. But no way do I read the whole thing.

  10. Marlin says:

    Was it not consumerist that had a story about the evil things in the sites agreement then found to have th same thign in theirs? ;-)

  11. HalOfBorg says:

    There did this in the Foxtrot cartoon once. Jason didn’t read the EULA before he opened some software.
    In the next frame he was washing Bill Gates’ car.

  12. DrStarkweather says:

    I wonder if you could challenge the EULA in court based on the fact that its unreasonable to expect people to read them? Maybe print out the EULA and read it to the judge. After the first 15-25 minutes he/she might cut you off and dismiss the case.

  13. SkokieGuy says:

    Most terms include language that they reserve the right change anything at anytime, without providing notice, other than updating the language on their website. So essentially reading them is a waste of time, since most companies will not be honor the terms under which they sold the product, if they’ve changed them since your purchase.

    [Exactly same problem with credit card companies. They agree to offer a specific interest, you make a purchase, based on the interest rate, and prior to credit card reform, they had the right to change the interest rate, without cause, effectively a retro-active change to what you agreed to at the time of purchase]

    • Squeaks says:

      Why does this remind me of Apple?

      • BridgetPentheus says:

        b/c of the 55 pages of reading when Itunes store updates and I click agree even though I disagree with the terms since they contradict themselves all the time (i.e you are not allowed to even use apps/music purchased outside the country you are in but AT&T wanted me to pay an extra $200 + a month to continue our iphone plan overseas and told us everything would be fine (guess they don’t read each others terms of service) Now our total phone bill doesn’t exceed $40 a month for the same thing (and more) we paid to AT&T for 2 iphone lines

  14. 6T9 says:

    This is hot off the “No Shiat” presses

  15. CBenji says:

    Most of it is all CYA. Like if you go to the hospital the doctors, nurses, all the way down to the surgical techs have you sign a paper to cover their collective arse. Unless they do something ridiculous it is much harder to sue them now. Saying this I am not a sue happy person, but if you get MRSA or something you should be able to especially if it is because of their screw up. Not because they had you sign your sign life away while you can’t go to work for weeks.

  16. Jasen says:

    I neither read them or give a shit about following them.

  17. AnonymousCoward says:

    The latest iPhone app store terms of service was 56 pages long. It was longer than the sales contract when I bought my house.

    Hell no, I didn’t read it.

    • apple420 says:

      Yeah iTunes is ridiculous…56 pages and they update it every 3 weeks. They also give no indication about what has changed since the previous one.

  18. Mackinstyle1 says:

    Every EULA and other agreements for software absolutely should have a small column down the right with bullet points for each paragraph listing off the general points of that paragraph. I have no clue why they don’t do this always (I’ve seen some)

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Because this way, they can’t hide in the EULA terms such as “we will own your first born child” and “upon your death, 100% of all assets in your estate will be forwarded to us, irregardless of any claims against said estate.” Why do you think these EULAs are 50+ pages long? %]

  19. Big Mama Pain says:

    Doesn’t the term of agreement basically end with “and we can change any of these terms at any time without telling/notifying/warning you, too bad”? What’s the point? It’s there to protect the company, not me.

  20. sonneillon says:

    Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t. Generally if I plan on breaking them anyways I don’t.

    • Donkey Hoti says:

      Entertaining, honest, and succinct. I give it an 8.5/10!

      • sonneillon says:

        The Soviet judges give it a 7.25.

        • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

          And the French judge gave it 6.0 across the board. Wait, she’s been disqualified, because she was coerced to vote in a certain way.

          Oh, sorry, this isn’t about figure skating. Should have RTFA. %]

  21. Kitten Mittens says:

    Where are all the privacy rights gurus telling us that by not reading the EULA/Terms of Service that we’re giving up our rights and headed toward utter socialism?

  22. Juhgail says:

    True. I have neer once read a terms of service,

  23. Donkey Hoti says:

    I think the government should solve this problem for me. I’m too busy (or lazy) to trouble myself, so let’s pass a law.

  24. Minj says:

    There’s no point. Most of them say that the terms are subject to change at any time without your consent. They could be all roses today when you read it, and then change to be pure evil tomorrow. I’ll deal with any issues that arise as they arise. Reading the TOS won’t help.

  25. RayanneGraff says:

    TL… DR.

  26. lawnmowerdeth says:

    If it’s a video game, yes, the chart is correct. If it’s a credit card or some other significant contract, I’ll read it.

  27. ecwis says:

    Aren’t EULAs usually unenforceable in court?

  28. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I love GraphJam. Most of the graphs and charts are very funny.

  29. MedicallyNeedy says:

    Whats the worst that can happen?

  30. Anonymously says:

    Now we need a chart that shows the percentage “self-righteous Consumerist posters that belittle those who don’t read the document” that actually read the document.

  31. tooluser says:

    The End User License Agreement is contained in the words of this song:

  32. runswithscissors says:

    I thought that the regular OP blamers on here had long ago declared that if anyone fails to completely read and understand each and every EULA, agreement, license, etc that they encounter, then forever after anything and everything bad that happens to said person is them “getting what they deserve” for not reading it all.


    Install software, don’t read 57 page legalese EULA.

    5 weeks later, get in a car accident.

    “OP’s fault for not reading and understanding the EULA! I have no sympathy at all!”

  33. baristabrawl says:

    Wouldn’t this be a good cause to exploit the “reasonable person standard?”

  34. purebyu says:

    Okay, you read the terms of service and don’t agree with it tho this is the only Company in the area where you can receive the service offered. What do you do at that point?

  35. kc-guy says:

    Before they were bought out, a company here in Utah had a “Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball” provision, and “FURTHERMORE, YOU AGREE TO USE THE SOFTWARE OR SERVICE EXCLUSIVELY FOR GOOD AND FOR AWESOME.”

  36. Plasmafox says:

    “I think your terms are utterly ridiculous, vindictive and anti-consumer but I need to get things done so I have no feasible recourse whatsoever.”