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Do you read contracts?
Old 07-27-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Do you read contracts?

Simple question...
I just received a solicitation for a free computer program, that looked pretty good. As I read the description, to go further I'd have to agree to the terms, etc. I am too trusting, and usually just agree, and so far haven't been harmed in any way, but out of curiosity, I decided to read the terms. After a few minutes and no end in sight, I copied the "terms" and went to "word count".

The result was 59,658 characters, with an estimated "read time" of 47 minutes.

Life is too short for this nonsense, but it made me wonder if others took this seriously enough to read the terms. I did the same thing a year ago , to look at the terms for my internet provider, and found that the total of the contract and the linked subcontracts would require a 3 hour "read".

And so the question... Do you read contracts? And if not, have you ever been "bitten" because you missed something?
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:05 PM   #2
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No not those contracts, but I don't sign it either, and I cannot give away our first born.

Frankly it's more annoying when you buy something or a service in person, try reading the sales agreement.

Perhaps the solution would be to ask the salesperson to read out the entire contract aloud as the "print is too small for me". I wonder what they would do ?
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:53 PM   #3
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No, and I've never had a problem either.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:59 PM   #4
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Not those type of contracts; as you say, life is too short.

(And I am a lawyer and can read pretty fast--but life is still too short.)
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
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No, and never had any problems either on-line (click-wrap) or physical paper work "except" for violations of the subject matter usage policy on this forum.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:41 PM   #6
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Depends.

Regulated or low value consumer contracts, usually not. High value items (cars, health insurance) or less regulated, yes. Reading said contracts once saved me 5k: Person torched my car and was broke, so couldn't pay up when they caught him.

My car insurance however explicitly stated that the insurer would reimburse me up to 5k in that case, which they conveniently did not mention to me. I remembered though, and held them to it.

Corporate contracts, almost always including the general terms and conditions.

Gotchas include not being able to cancel the contract easily, unfair indexation or price increases, payment terms I don't like etc ..

I don't know about the US, but out here big buried clauses in consumer contracts are basically unenforceable. When it gets to the judge dirty tricks are almost always tossed out, regardless what the contract says.

Big exception are investments: if you don't read the prospectus or the annual reports, that's on you.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:35 PM   #7
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I assume that the OP means "boilerplate" contracts that we all get and just click ok. Corporate contracts and others (like when we bought our condo) I always read... even if the lawyers have already read them.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:41 PM   #8
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I typically don't read EULAs but I read real estate and other contracts pretty closely.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:41 PM   #9
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This is an older story, but still funny.

http://m.slashdot.org/story/54858


Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:57 AM   #10
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I read any agreement up to two pages worth.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:32 AM   #11
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Instead of renewing my Delte Amex card and paying the $95 fee, I told we'll transfer the miles to her card and cancel mine.

Long story short, it was going to cost $170 to do this. I didn't realize I had 14,000 miles.
$30 processing fee, $10/1000 points, didn't read the fine print. Fees were the same if I donated them, so I'm stuck right now.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:36 AM   #12
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If its a shrink-wrap license or one of these contracts that is needed by me, but un-negotiable, probably not. Other contracts that may contain onerous terms and that I could pass on, yes, I do read them and depending on what the contract states, I do try to negotiate terms.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:40 AM   #13
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I don't read EULA's and most retail contracts but I do read contracts for houses, rentals, insurance, and even credit cards. As to whether I (or you) have been "bitten" by those EULAs - depends on what you mean. No one has come and demanded money from me or stolen my identity. But my assumption is that many of them got my approval for them to use data they collected from me or will collect from me as I use their application. If I was a privacy fanatic I would never click on a EULA I hadn't read. But I am not and I give it up every day in ways I never see.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:59 AM   #14
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I usually don't but some. I read most of the paperwork when I closed on my house, the title company folks were shocked and appalled - they were not planning on me being there for hours...
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I usually don't but some. I read most of the paperwork when I closed on my house, the title company folks were shocked and appalled - they were not planning on me being there for hours...
I have done the same....I make it a point to make sure the title company KNOWS I'm reading it all...so I tell them to build that into the schedule.

A couple of weeks ago, I acted as a POA for an out of state friend who was selling a house. The buyers signed everything without reading anything...they just listened to the very, very short explanation given by the closing attorney and that was good enough for them. The only question they asked was 'how do we know there are no liens?'...they had no idea about title searches or insurance.

Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:58 PM   #16
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One of the things that I learned during Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning, GA a long time ago was to never sign for something that you do not fully understand or agree with. It's one of the few things that I recall learning @ OCS that is still applicable to me.

Online "agreements" that do not include my CC# or SS# may or may not be included in the above these days.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2017ish View Post
Not those type of contracts; as you say, life is too short.

(And I am a lawyer and can read pretty fast--but life is still too short.)
Yup. That's me too. I do try to read contracts at work though! I figure most of the long boiler plate contracts out there are adhesion contracts anyway so I could probably get out of it if something crazy happened.

Also, even with law school and over 20 years as a lawyer I can't understand some of mumbo-jumbo without really focusing on it.
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