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I am trying to log in to my Chase accounts online, and am presented with a checkbox for “I have read and agree to…” the updated blah blah. The first document is ONE HUNDRED TWENTY SEVEN PAGES.
This is abuse. I signed up for a service under the terms at the time. While I understand that there’s probably a clause in there about updating terms from time to time, this is beyond the pale. One potential solution would be to offer a 90-day transition period. This is what a grown-up organization, or one that values its customers, would do. Granted, I’m not a big fish, so it’s not as though I’ll withdraw my billions and make them take note. Still, the rule of law is supposed to ensure that good faith is enough, that one need not be a billionaire to be treated other than a dog, and that one need not wear body armor and carry grenades in order to not be assaulted.
This “agree or screw off” approach with absolutely zero haggling is I believe referred to as a contract of adhesion, and is supposed to be difficult to enforce as compared to a normal contract in which two parties sit down and sign. The problem is that in our modern technocracy, enforcement is not required — mere power is sufficient to consummate the relationship. The contract enforces itself, which is both elegant and chilling, as I had no input into the terms of the contract. They already have my money, after all, and going to court to get it out is also a loss.
A better design would have offered some chance to review the contract before accepting, while still conducting business for a limited time under the old terms — the terms I already agreed to. Another better design would have been to offer a summary of changes, along with a reminder of key points carried over, preferably with liunks or refs to relevant sections. But better designs are not required, and are probably seen as a loss by any entity that can dictate terms.
Yes, I can refuse to agree to the new terms, and pursue some offline method of getting out. Or I can also clear off a chunk of time and dedicate it to reading that contract RIGHT NOW instead of getting on with managing my stuff. What I cannot do is use this afternoon the way I wanted to and still retain the service I signed up for, and for which I pay. Therefore, the loss is mine either way.
And that’s the way it goes. Sit boy, sit. Good dog.Published in