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October 13, 2014

What Would You Give Up in Exchange for Free Wi-Fi?

Filed under: Internet — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:30 am

 When you are offered free Wi-Fi in a public area, you usually have to agree to some terms and conditions statement. Most people don’t read them, and simply scroll past the fine print to the “ok” or “I agree” button.

Some folks in London a few months ago were subjected to a little experiment where an unusual requirement was tucked into the fine print.


β€˜in return for free wi-fi access the recipient agrees to assign their first born child to us for the duration of eternity.’

Did anyone fall for it? Yep. Half a dozen people clicked the “I agree” button.

The Finnish company that organized the research said it will be returning the children to their rightful parents.

For more details, here is the experimenters’ report summary and full report.

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  1. But maybe some people did want to give up their brats….

    Comment by Max — October 13, 2014 @ 9:26 am
  2. I don’t always read the fine print for long winded terms of service agreements so I admit that I would have likely agreed to these terms.

    For the most part I just assume that anything like signing my child over to the company would be considered unenforceable and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

    I’ve heard about terms of service experiments like this in the past, and I find it interesting. I wonder what the difference would be if they put the serious terms in larger bolder font.

    Comment by Wayne R — October 13, 2014 @ 10:21 am
  3. A very lighthearted report for a change! Thank you.

    Comment by Frankie — October 13, 2014 @ 2:20 pm
  4. AFAIK, these types of click-wrap agreements have never been tested in court. Contracts are supposed to be a “meeting of the minds”. I think the first time an agreement like this lands in court, it will lose. I actually think “I didn’t read it” will be a great argument and studies like this will serve to aid the consumer.

    Comment by Marc K — October 16, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

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