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1000s of Online Shoppers Sold their Souls to Sneaky Store

We have preached for years that you have to read the fine print in advertising, on product labels, and in contracts or you could get snookered.

Well, some 7,500 online shoppers earlier this month didn’t heed that advice and unwittingly sold their souls to a British computer game seller. How could that happen? The company buried this new clause in their terms and conditions:


“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 gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.”

But, being the consumer-conscious company that they are, Game Station provided a convenient opt-out provision:


“If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction.”

How many people opted out? A mere 12%. Pretty sad commentary on the number of people who actually read the fine print on websites.

The company, incidentally, is returning all the souls to their rightful owners, since this was an April Fool’s joke.

Thanks to Randy C. for submitting this story idea. You can read more about it here.

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5 thoughts on “1000s of Online Shoppers Sold their Souls to Sneaky Store”

  1. So funny! Wasn’t there a study/prank of some kind where people ended up clicking on a banner ad that offered to download a virus to their computer for free? This story reminded me of that.

  2. The legal agreement for the iTunes app store on my iPod was 96 pages long – who is going to read all that?

  3. alba; I’d read it. Most of it can be skimmed, of course. It’s only select sections one needs to pay really close attention to.

  4. 12% is a massive opt-out rate. I’m not sure why you consider it pathetic, almost everybody just clicks through those things.

  5. If the legal agreement for ITunes is 96 pages, why would you want to use ITunes? Why do you use ITunes anyways? Stupid/careless people get what they deserve.

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