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BizReport : Ecommerce : April 20, 2010

The devil is in the details, finds online game seller

British online computer game seller, Gamestation, found just 12% of buyers on their website read the terms and conditions of sale thanks to an April Fool's prank that went unnoticed by many.

by Helen Leggatt

On the 1st of April this year around 8,500 people bought a product from Gamestation's website but only 12% actually bothered to read the terms and conditions.

How do they know? Because hidden in the terms and conditions that day was a new clause which, in essence, gave Gamestation claim to that purchaser's "immortal soul".

The new condition read, "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". After a few more tongue-in-cheek embellishments the bogus condition ended with a way to nullify the clause - by clicking on a link.

If a purchaser had been so vigilant as to read through the terms and conditions and click on the link they would have been rewarded with a money-off voucher to the tune of around $7.50. Alas, just 12% did so.

To ensure your customers read through your terms and conditions, or at least skim through them, try formatting them so they are more reader-friendly. Text-heavy legalese can put many off so use everyday language that's easy to understand.

Not only will easily accessible and understandable terms and conditions be more likely to be read, this in turn will lead to less misunderstandings and customer service situations.

Tags: consumer behavior, terms and conditions

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