Startup general interest

Online T’s and C’s – shown to be pointless as 7,500 literally sell their souls

By April 19, 2010 7 Comments

In hilarious news from UK retailer GameStation updated its T’s and C’s on 1st April as an April fools joke adding an ‘immortal soul clause’ and since then 7,500 have accepted the following:

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. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorised minions.

and better still:

we reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire

The company made the change to illustrate the serious point that nobody reads online terms and conditions – something made clearer in this example by the fact that customers were given the option to opt out of the ‘immortal soul clause’ and instead receive a £5 voucher – something very few people did.  In fact, due to the number of people who took advantage of this offer GameStation estimates that 88% of people didn’t read the T’s and C’s.  Their Terms and Conditions are here, still containing the immortal soul provision.

My question, which I’ve raised before, is whether any court will enforce these documents, given that everybody knows nobody reads them?

For some reason I can’t find that old post now, but I recall that either Barry or Danvers from Bootlaw replied saying that the law is very clear in this area and that therefore site owners don’t have anything to worry about.  I’m still not so sure about that, particularly if someone suffers through misuse or leakage of their personal data in a way they didn’t expect and the court thinks is unreasonable.

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