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Make sure you always read the fine print or you could end up signing away your soul. That’s the lesson thousands of online shoppers learned recently.

Gamestation, a company in Britain that sells computer games, announced that it now owns the souls of 7,500 customers who failed to read the company’s terms of agreement fully before making their purchase. According to Fox News, Gamestation inserted an “immortal soul clause,” which went unnoticed by these users.

The full clause reads: "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 or one of its duly authorised minions."

If your jaw just dropped at the company’s audacity, now is probably a good time to reveal that Gamestation actually did this as an April Fools’ Day prank. But the joke was intended to prove a serious point: Consumers are not nearly as diligent as they should be in reading contracts online and offline.

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Gamestation claims that nearly 90% of the shoppers on their site failed to read the contract fully. But those few that did were greeted with a pleasant surprise (beyond saving their souls.) The site gave £5 vouchers (about $7.50) to any user who chose to “opt out” of the contract.

It’s a clever gimmick. There aren’t many precedents, but several people have tried to sell their souls on eBay. The site now prohibits people from selling “intangible items.”

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