If you purchase a product or service, you are required to read the terms of service thoroughly, in order to understand what you are getting into. However, most people just click on Agree without even a quick scan of the documents, and this could cause a lot of complications in the long run. Uk Wi-Fi provider Purple decided to test people on whether they read their terms of service recently. This resulted in quite a hilarious experience, and hours of community service, as it revealed that a lot of people just agree to anything without reading it.
Purple inserted a clause mandating some hours of community service for its subscribers into its terms and conditions. It read:
“ The user may be required, at Purple’s discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service.”
This community service involved clearing animal waste from local parks, providing hugs to stray cats and dogs, and, worst of all, clearing sewer blockages by hand. Also, users would be required to clean portable lavatories at local festivals and events, painting snail shells to brighten up their existence, and scraping chewing gum off the streets. Well at least the snail-painting sounds like fun.
Purple says that 22,000 people agreed to these terms. Purple CEO Gavin Wheedon pointed out that it is all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair. However, there’s an important question here. How many people actually noticed the community service clause and objected to it? According to a Purple spokeswoman, just one person noticed.
The purpose of this experiment was to point out that Purple was compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force next year. The new regulation’s insistence on unambiguous consent before personal information can be used for marketing purposes should be implemented immediately, according to the company. However, this does not guarantee that people won’t just give their consent randomly without knowing what they are signing up for, as Purple have proved with this community service clause.
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