10 Sleazy Moves by Everyday Companies
Can you read me now?
When you download software or upgrade a program, do you really read the terms of service before clicking "accept"? Probably not.
But when entering into a multiyear contract for your cell phone or smartphone, with a lot of cash on the table, the odds of you poring over a contract are greatly increased.
So what's a company to do if it's trying to sneak in some unfavorable terms? If you are AT&T (T) you bury the offending legalese in a massive 8,000-word, 2,500-page "guidebook" outlining its terms and conditions. (That's more than twice the number of pages in the average Bible.)That 2008 tome quickly drew fire from state regulators and consumer watchdogs who said the format made it nearly impossible for consumers to fully grasp and easily reference the pertinent details of their service agreement. Only available online, accessibility was another concern. AT&T is in the midst of another contract controversy. This week, the Supreme Court validated the company's contention that a clause in its contract offering dispute arbitration can legally strip consumers of the option to enter into a class-action lawsuit. Lesson learned: Fine print is not your friend.
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