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May 11, 2020

Bored at Home? Reading “Terms of Service” Agreements Will Fill Your Days!

Filed under: Business,Humor,Internet — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:53 am

Most of us usually don’t have the time or patience to read a website’s “terms of service” (TOS) agreement. We simply click “agree” if we are even asked in the first place to consent to their various conditions. But now that we are all cooped up at home, we actually have the time to review those contracts. I know, you’d rather clean your kitchen counter one more time and wipe down all your groceries instead.

Some of those policies are ridiculously long. The Microsoft TOS agreement, for example, runs over 15,000 words — just slightly shorter than Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

So, to help you visualize what a daunting task it would actually be to read the TOS agreements from 14 of America’s leading companies and websites, the Visual Capitalist created this infographic. It depicts the comparative length of each company’s policy and how long each would take to read.


Terms of Service

Scroll down the chart OR Click to enlarge.

These companies rely on the laziness of their customers who rarely take time to read the fine print of what they are agreeing to. And most times, the terms benefit the company more than you.

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  1. Thank you, this is priceless.

    Edgar replies: And worth every penny you paid!

    Comment by Shawn — May 11, 2020 @ 11:55 am
  2. Edgar, this alone is worthy of another donation. Too bad it can’t fit in a decent sized frame and still be readable, but that is, after all, the purpose behind the companies’ “dare ’em to realize what we are doing to our cherished customers” strategy.

    I do not agree, however, with describing the readers (non-readers, actually) who do not go for the whole enchilada as “lazy.” I think they just have a life to get on with and realize that no matter what the TOS says they are going to use the product and anything untoward that might happen would fall into the “It can’t happen to me” category.

    Good to read you every Monday. Be well.

    Comment by BobF — May 11, 2020 @ 1:20 pm
  3. Well according to the chart (I only frequent 2 of those sites), it would take me 28 minutes to read the TOS’s, so that’s not so bad.

    Comment by Gert — May 11, 2020 @ 3:21 pm
  4. We need a court case to come along and invalidate the concept of agreeing to things via clicks. Contracts are supposed to be a meeting of the minds, not one party giving up all rights to another.

    The TOS from the big players is one thing, but smaller companies will take advantage. I had web hosting service where a promise to not raise the price was built into the TOS. Then after they were sold, my credit card was billed for a higher rate without telling me. When I complained, it was pointed out that the part about the never raising rates was gone from the TOS while the clause about being able to change the TOS at will without notification was still there.

    Comment by MarcK1024 — May 11, 2020 @ 10:08 pm
  5. The problem isn’t the length of the agreement, but the fact that the agreement serves as a “take it or leave it” offer with no opportunity for the “meeting of the minds” as MarcK1024 mentions.

    Comment by Joe — May 12, 2020 @ 11:29 pm

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