CHOICE has made a compelling case for readability of contract terms and conditions, having hired Sydney actor Laurence Rosier Staines to read the 73,198 words of the Amazon Kindle terms and conditions – aloud.
Laurence starts out with enthusiastic professionalism …
CHOICE head of media, Tom Godfrey, said, “Right now, the law protects us from unfair legal terms. But we think the practice of expecting a customer to spend hours of their lives reading a contract for a simple product is unfair. Companies need to do better and they should be explaining any conditions in a way that’s simple and easy to read.”
It’s not just a question of overly lengthy terms being unattractive for consumers to read. Unreadably long terms and conditions:
- are often based on an approach of throwing in everything the drafter can think of, without working through what’s applicable for your individual business and tailoring accordingly.
- can be less effective than clear, readable terms – for example, if disclaimers are not reasonably prominent, courts may decide that your terms are misleading or deceptive.
- can be inconsistent with the Australian Consumer Law if they purport to limit consumers’ rights in a way that is not permitted, for example if you exclude refund rights for faulty goods.
- can actually create more potential for complaints and disputes, if consumers have found them so difficult to read, they don’t end up understanding your product or service offering – wasting your time and money to resolve.
If you would like a review of your terms and conditions to check whether they work for your business and Australian law, contact us.