Look At The Fine Print: You Just Sold Your Soul!

In the latest stunt to show that Web users don't read the fine print, the U.K. company Gamestation inserted the following language in its terms of service: "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 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."

Gamestation also provided an opt-out link and provided those who did opt out a voucher for around $8, according to news:lite. Around 12% of people reportedly opted out, while around 7,500 purchasers acquiesced to the clause.

Sure, some visitors to the site probably thought the selling-soul conceit was so clearly a joke that it wasn't worth the time it would take to opt out.

But it also seems likely that a great many people simply didn't read the terms of use.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time. It wouldn't even be the first time that consumers have apparently failed to notice unusual clauses buried in terms of service.

Several years ago, in the era when adware companies were insisting that they adequately disclosed the nature of their pop-up serving software in license agreements, PC Pitstop pulled a stunt similar to Gamestation's.

PC Pitstop promised money to any users who sent a message to an email address contained in its user agreement, the company reported in 2005. It took more than four months, but one person claimed a reward -- which turned out to be $1,000 -- by sending an email to the address provided.

2 comments about "Look At The Fine Print: You Just Sold Your Soul!".
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  1. Stephen Chappell, April 19, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.

    Even better ... if you're in the UK, click on the link that says 'click here to nullify your soul transfer' and you get to an April Fool's page with a £5 coupon (if you spend at least £35). Not shabby.

    Must read these things more often ...

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 19, 2010 at 8:22 p.m.

    What is the targeted age demographic? Did they hit the target?

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