Reading The Fine Print: Due Diligence

Posted by Neville on January 18, 2012 under Reviews, Training | Read the First Comment

Reading The Fine Print:

Reading the fine printIt is a common practice for membership sites to expect potential members to agree to the Terms and Conditions that have been prepared for that site.

Usually that means that you simply have to tick a box to say that you agree to the Terms, even if you have not read or understood them. It has been a common piece of advice to never sign a contract until you have read the fine print. The same should apply when signing up for anything that you join online, but I assume that many do not even give the Terms even a brief look.

Some promotions use urgency as a means to get you to quickly make the decision to join. This encourages the new member to skip over or simply click the I agree box without reading the terms. This has the potential to produce undesirable consequences later.

Encouraging new members to skip over the terms or to ignore them completely could also be used to mask some undesirable elements in the Terms.

I continue to highlight the example of the previous post, with quotes from that “opportunity” and its Terms and Conditions.

Something To Hide?

If an “opportunity” is legal, legitimate and above board, why should it be necessary to include the following conditions?

6. I affirm that I am not an employee or official of any government agency, nor am I acting on behalf of or collecting information for or on behalf of any government agency.

7. I affirm that I am not an employee, by contract or otherwise, of any media or research company, and I am not reading any of the [name deleted] pages in order to collect information for someone else.

New members are asked to state that they are NOT employed by a government agency, media or research company. Surely this not simply to discrimination against these people, but an attempt to make sure that the “opportunity” is not put under any independent scrutiny that may identify problems, shortcomings or even legal issues that may result from the way it operates.

Some sites have incredibly long and difficult to understand Terms, and unless you are totally confident that there is nothing to concern you, it may be a valuable exercise to read and understand the Terms and Conditions.

Possible Consequences.

Loss of account (and any income made).

By not knowing what the  Conditions contain you may be putting your account in jeopardy by unwittingly breeching one of the conditions. How many people have lost income they have built up in AdSense by not knowing that sites displaying their ads can not be shown on some sites?

 Legal Issues:

All readers of these pages are emphatically advised to obey all laws to the letter. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES FEATURED HERE ARE VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LOCAL LAWS. Participants in any activity related to [name deleted], participate at their own risk.

In the quote above, it looks pretty obvious that if there are any issues raised by participation in places where local laws prohibit it, the company involved is NOT going to come to your aid. I wonder how many people in that particular “opportunity” have investigated any legal implications from their participation.

A Final Word (or four).

Read The Fine Print




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  • Cheryl Baumgartner said,

    There’s an old saying “The bold print giveth and the fine print taketh away.”

    Joining an opportunity is not just joining an opportunity, you are entering into a legally binding contract.