Not even many lawyers will read, much less inwardly digest, the terms and conditions (Ts & Cs) that come with the online services we all use: everyone just clicks ‘I accept’ and moves on. Not surprisingly: PayPal’s Ts & Cs, together with related policies on privacy, acceptable use, shipping and billing, clock in at over 36,000 words; as a recent article in Which? (a UK consumer magazine) points out, this is longer than Hamlet. It’s also much less memorable.
All of which raises the obvious question of enforceability, as in Spreadex Ltd v Cochrane,  EWHC 1290 (Comm) (reported in the BLG Monthly Update, July 2012), where an online spread betting platform couldn’t rely on its 49-page Ts & Cs because it had not brought onerous terms to the attention of the consumer, or drafted its documentation in good faith and plain language. So where does that leave you, caught between the rock of protecting your client (the online provider, we assume) and the hard place of contract interpretation in the consumer context?