Friday, April 16, 2010

Who Owns Your Soul?

No, this isn't going to be a post on religion, heaven, hell, etc. It seems that the British video game retailer Gamestation played an interesting April Fool's Trick on its buyers. According to this article they slipped an "Immortal Soul Clause" in their Terms and Agreements form. Buyers could opt out by clicking a button (and would have received a discount, should they have done so) but only 12% chose to do so. Gamestation says that they did this to illustrate how people to do read the Terms and Conditions that they agree to--they simply click "I agree" and go onward.

My first reaction to this: "Awesome prank!" My second reaction: "Oh man, they're right..." I'm just as guilty as the next person of this. Reading the legal mumbo jumbo on some of these things is a cure for insomnia. On a good day, I skim through the legalese, although I don't know if I would have caught the selling of my soul or not.

So, how do companies protect themselves legally, but get customer readership of the document up? Good question for all of us who have to use them in our businesses. Other than getting Pixar to animate a "Terms and Agreement" short film, how do you see a solution to this? Any ideas out there?

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