Amazon has everything. That’s their entire appeal. If you want books, batteries or baking trays, Amazon is where you go. It’s easy enough to make an account and just easily click ‘yes’ to the terms and conditions. But do you know what you’re agreeing to?
Australian consumer advocacy group Choice think not. That’s why they’ve sat down and read the long terms and conditions that you sometimes blindly click agree to before buying an e-book on Kindle. It took them nine hours.
The terms and conditions themselves are 73,198 words long. It takes nine hours to read the equivalent of a book. Choice hired an actor to read out the terms and conditions in a series on Youtube.
Tom Godfrey, Choice’s Head of Media has said in a statement that they would like to see more transparent business contracts within Australia.
“We would like to see the federal government make sure that companies don’t compel consumers to enter into these contracts. Even if you do take the eight hours and 59 minutes to read a document like this, for the average person it’s very hard to understand,” said Mr Godfrey.
Reading through the contract also found that consumers agreeing to Amazon’s terms and conditions would be compelled to follow the arbitration process in the US and “expressively waive any other jurisdiction for a dispute”.
“A clause supposedly forcing you into overseas arbitration is likely to leave consumers confused about their legal rights,” Mr Godfrey has said.
Mr Godfrey has again expressed concerns about the long winded legal jargon within the terms and conditions and how it could impact Australian consumers while they’re buying goods online.
“While overly long contracts may not raise concerns by themselves, contract terms that are not transparent, hidden in fine print, written in complex technical language or not presented clearly and expressed in reasonably plain language may raise concerns under the Australian consumer law,” said Mr Godfrey.
Choice have recommended using EULAlyzer, which is an application that can be downloaded onto your computer and sort out all of the key words within the terms and conditions that you need to look out for.