Make Time for the Small Print: A Cautionary Tale

On April Fools’ Day, UK online video game retailer GameStation added a cheeky clause to their website’s terms and conditions.

An “Immortal Soul Clause.”

And yes, it’s exactly what you’d imagine.  If anyone purchasing items online actually read the terms and conditions they were agreeing to, they’d find:

“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.”

Oh man, that’s harsh.  On the upside, GameStation did provide an opt out tick box for those unwilling to cut that deal.  And twelve percent of shoppers did just that, which quite frankly, I find astonishing.  Given the mind-numbing legal minutiae that clogs those notices, I’d never be among that crowd.  If I happened to want a copy of “Call of Duty” at that time, I would have definitely signed away my rights and my soul would have been heaped on the pile with the other 7,500 unfortunates.

Happily, the site has announced they will not exercise this option.  Instead, they emailed customers nullifying any claim on their soul and reminding them that it’s always a good idea to read T&C’s.

A hell of a good idea.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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