People Who Read The Terms And Conditions Reveal The Sneaky Things They’ve Found
How many user agreements have you agreed to without reading a single line? We’re going to guess it’s one for every time you’ve ever downloaded an app or signed a phone contract. You know the jist: You’re responsible for blah-blah, you can’t do abc, you agree to xyz, and so on. You’ve likely signed off on thousands of pages of unread legal jargon, and guess what? You may have signed your life away—just ask these people. Here are the sneaky things people have found in their terms and conditions.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Free Chocolate
Thank you customer for actually reading our terms and conditions. Send us an E-mail with the following content and we will send you a free box of chocolates. They did indeed send chocolate.
#2 Money Is Theirs
If you make money on Tik Tok, the owners can rightfully take the money.
#3 April Fools
Gamestation once made an “Immortal Soul Clause” on April Fool’s day, to prove that no one actually reads the terms and conditions. It read: ” 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. “
#4 No More Books
On Amazon: Any time they want, they can take away the books that I’ve bought on the Kindle store.
#5 This is Whack
I read the entire lease for my first apartment and apparently, I couldn’t get out of my lease even if I died.
#6 Alien Attacks
I was at an activity center one time I saw that if I yelled out “I love dogs!” my time and anything I buy is half price. I immediately did so. That was awesome. Also, the contract to a job I had working in the desert warned about the frequency of alien attacks. I was disappointed to go a year and a half without any, though.
#7 Free Vacation!
In the hiring contract for the last company I worked for, there was a line buried on page 22 that said if you email a certain email address on your first day saying you saw the line, you’d get a bonus day of PTO for the year.
#8 Update Your Software
Sony can sue you for literally not updating your console software if you’re connected to the internet.
#9 Work From Home
In 2011, there was a scam service called “Work From Home” that was widely advertised all over Facebook and other places, promising enormous paycheques and a free trial. It was an opt-out subscription service as you might expect. Curious as to how the scam worked, I looked at their T&Cs.
There was a clause in there requiring you to pay $10,000 in compensation to the company if you filed a chargeback against their fees. Whilst that would never stand up in court, dealing with debt collectors who might conveniently offer to settle for ‘a mere three thousand’ would be all sorts of heck.
If you want to take Huawei to court you have to take them to court in China. What they don’t tell you is that it’s near impossible for a foreigner to win a court case in China.
#11 Lucky Score
Someone had signed up for Amazon Prime trial in the UAE. Towards the end of the month, they got the email that their free trial would end, and after that, Amazon will charge his account 12 AED for a year (rather than 12 AED every month for a year). He contacted Amazon and they agreed to honor it.
#12 This is Real?
Amazon’s AWS Service Terms contain a clause pertaining to a zombie apocalypse. No, really:
“However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.”
#13 Toto’s Africa
I downloaded a mobile game some years ago and decided to read the terms and conditions. It was like 20 pages and mostly had to do with privacy and microtransaction stuff. In the back half of a paragraph was the lyrics to Toto’s Africa.
#14 Don’t Do It
iTunes forbids you to use their software to design anything nuclear.
#15 What Now?
#16 Comcast Not Responsible
I know at some point Comcast was not responsible if you passed away because of the program. I haven’t looked at it in years though (I used to work for them so you get to learn the terms pretty quickly).
#17 Big Win
I read on Reader’s Digest that a woman was reading the fine print for a company and about halfway through, it read: “It pays to read” with directions to an email. She won $10,000.
#18 Canadian Math Requirement
I had a Victoria’s Secret coupon that said Canadians are required to pass a math question or test in order to be eligible for the discount. I think I still have it at my desk. My job in part is writing terms and conditions, agreements, and disclosures for the bank I work at so I actually do read a lot of T&Cs in homage to the amount of time my colleagues in the field put into writing 18 pages of stuff no one but examiners read. The Canadian math requirement is the strangest I’ve ever seen.
#19 Makes Sense
Gym membership contract: one of the reasons that will not allow waving your resignation fee is “in case of a nuclear reactor core melting”.
#20 Why Would Anyone Do That?
Don’t make nuclear or biological weapons with Windows. Don’t use Java to make biological or nuclear weapons.
#21 No Credit
There was a story contest from a theme park where your story could be published, but any story submitted would automatically be owned by the company and could not be used by you or others.
So they could:
– Throw your story in the trash and you still wouldn’t legally own it anymore and can’t publish it somewhere else.
– They own your story so they can make money out of it without paying you a dime.
– They were not obligated to credit you as the writer other than mentioning it somewhere in the first publishing and after that it was fair game.
– They were allowed to alter your story as they saw fit without consulting you.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed, it was soon pointed out on social media. There wasn’t really a backlash, but I didn’t submit a story.
#22 Watch Out for Apps
Faceapp, the app that makes you look older that a lot of people have been using lately, basically says they can access everything on your phone and share it with whoever they want. I also used to use this popular tuning app that had similar T&Cs when I was learning how to play an instrument.
#23 Full Control
I remember reading the Samsung terms and the conditions. They basically have full control over your phone and they can limit anything on your phone. You do not own it when you have a Samsung account on your Samsung phone. It was one of the ways they pushed out the Note 7, by disabling the battery from charging up to 100 percent they kinda forced you to get a new one.
#24 Bank’s Fault
I remember a story from years ago. This guy applied for a loan from his bank but asked to take the documents home, read them over, and send them back a signed copy. He added clauses in the T&Cs that if the bank wanted out of the contract, they had to pay him a huge exit fee. They signed the amended contract and sent it back to them. They agreed to it without reading the contract. Not sure how true it is though.
#25 Free Access
Rakuten’s T&Cs gives them free access to all your emails.
#26 Laundry Detergent
When we registered our Samsung front-loading washing machine online, the terms and conditions stipulated something along these lines of: “Use of detergents not recommended by the manufacturer may cause malfunctions not covered under warranty.” But there was no specific list of recommended detergents given, other than stating they had to be “High-efficiency (HE) laundry detergent.”
#27 Messages to Fans
Back in the day when people legally acquired new music by buying CDs, one of the bands I listened to would hide nice little messages to fans in the copyright and legal fine print in the booklet that came with the CD. Sometimes, there would be a small link to a hidden part of their website that had extra content.
#28 Trains in Russia
While buying a train ticket in Russia: “If the train breaks down, don’t think of this as a way to get compensation. Consider it a part of the Russian experience.”
The team of the videogame Factorio is explicitly not responsible if you stay awake all night long playing Factorio and can’t go to school and work in the morning.
#30 Taking Info
WhatsApp, when it went full-Facebook fours years after purchase, sent out an Android update. The update said it was just adding the ability to give group chats a sub-heading. What it was actually doing was giving Facebook permission to take information. This option was enabled by default (of course it was) and you had only three months to notice this had happened before the option to opt-out was disabled.
I was late noticing this, but when I read the terms and conditions, the last line said something along the lines of, “Even if you opt out, Facebook and the Facebook family of companies will still take the data for training purposes.” I deleted my account. They probably had my info by that point I didn’t care.
#31 That’s Not Right
A job schedule app my company uses requires you to login using the company email. To set this up on your phone, you have to give your company the rights to erase the contents of your phone remotely, probably in case you become a threat to the company. No thanks.
#32 Selling Your Soul
Pretty sure anyone who ever played the original Diablo also agreed sold their soul to the devil in the terms and conditions.
#33 Panda Bears Named John
I found this quite a few years ago on chive. They have since changed it, but this is what it said:
“Anyone submitting photos to Us also agrees to name their firstborn son, or daughter, Leo and second-born child, John. If you stop reproducing after the first child, you must agree to acquire a Panda Bear from China and name it John.
Resignation Media not only owns the rights to any photos you upload, but also owns the rights to your mom. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your mom, and any claims you or your family may have on her, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from Resignation Media. In the event your dad or your mom’s parent(s) intervene and claim joint-ownership of your mom, Resignation Media reserves the right to bitch slap them and give all parties Justin Bieber haircuts. If, upon receiving your mom, she attempts to leave theCHIVE’s kitchen, where she belongs, she too will be given a Justin Bieber haircut.”
#34 Taking Away Games
A friend of mine claims he actually read the whole Steam’s terms and conditions. Apparently, they can take away games from your library whenever they want regardless of how much you paid. Correct me if I’m wrong but the games are essentially rented digital copies without a defined return date.
#35 Owning Your DNA
AncestryDNA owns your DNA forever and can do what it likes with it. I foresee Jurassic park coming, but with people.
#36 Don’t Reproduce Us
Ani Difranco CDs and cassettes had a disclaimer that said, “Unauthorised reproduction, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing. “
#37 iPhone Shocks
It wasn’t actually me, it was the manager I was interning with. He told me about how it was important to read everything, even the terms and conditions. When you go to an iPhone’s license page (or something like that, I don’t remember), it says that they won’t take any responsibility to any shock you received from the phone if it were 5 mm away from you, unless you had something blocking it from your skin, like clothes, or a pocket protector.
#38 No Means Yes
I didn’t read this on the terms and conditions but learned about it. Amazon apparently asked it’s users: “Do you want your voice data to be used for improving our future services?” You’d think replying “no” would stop the transfer of voice data? No. It would only not be used for improving future services. They’d still be able to do with it whatever they were doing till date.
#39 Shady Company
I wanted to sign my kid up for cheerleading. I sat there and read the terms and agreements. It said something along the lines of: “We are not responsible for any accidents that occur in the transportation of your child.” My husband lost his brother in a school transportation accident and they initially tried to avoid the blame. So naturally, that line gave us the heebie-jeebies and we just left. Turns out, they were just a shady company all around. She now does cheer through her school.
#40 Too Good to Be True
I was buying my first car at a dealership too close to a Naval base. I had never bought a car before. I had no idea what to do. The monthly payment was $250 and I thought that sounded sensible. I sat down and read the contract much to the chagrin of the sales guy. The interest rate was 18 percent. I knew enough to walk away.
#41 VIP Clothes
Something that I wish I read was on Fabletics online store. Apparently, if you make any purchase they automatically sign you up to their VIP program which is a $50 per month subscription for “VIP clothes.” I made one purchase on their site, checked out like any other online store, and got my clothes a week later. Eight months went by and I noticed $50 had been taken out of my bank from Fabletics over the last eight months. I still should leave an online review about it because after looking up “Fabletics scam” it seems to happen to a lot of people.
#42 Uncheck the Boxes
If you’re downloading some shady software, scroll through the entire T&Cs and find any checkboxes, then uncheck them. That’s how various programs and malware will end up being downloaded without you understanding how, which is what will usually happen with people who are especially young or especially old.
There will be something written in there like, “You agree that you would like to install MegaSuperSaverSearchPlus to your PC and set it as your default search engine” with a pre-checked box next to it, leading to a lot of easily avoided problems. So yeah, scroll through and uncheck boxes when you’re downloading something weird.
#43 Fragile Packages
I don’t know if they changed it, but when you used to choose the “fragile” option in a mail system like FedEx, they never mentioned that they would take special care of your parcel. Instead, the T&Cs said if any packages marked as “fragile” were broken, it would not be the mail system’s fault because you admitted that the package was fragile, leaving you unable to sue them for breaking your package or to ask any reimbursement.
#44 Lucky Guy
I don’t have a story myself, but I found this article about a man who won a $1,000 giveaway that was hidden in the EULA of an app. The 3,000 people who installed the program before him didn’t bother to read it.
#45 Not Your Property
I can’t remember the app as it was many moons ago I saw this, but it was geared towards aspiring photographers and giving them exposure. Essentially, the T&Cs said that anything you post is their property and that they can use posts for whatever they want, including making money off of them.