Consumer Issues

July 11, 2008

The Fine Print

Filed under: consumers,Random posts — Tomi @ 10:58 pm
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Buying something new, most of the time, the average consumer rarely bothers with the fine prints and that is exactly what the manufacturers, service providers and all those who put the fine prints there are counting on. 

What is “the fine print”? It in those small parts of your agreements and contracts written in such small prints you’ll need to use both a glasses and a magnifying glass together to read it.  While most times  consumers avoid reading the fine print, it is indeed essential especially in signing a contract that we take the time to read it.

Why do we need to read “the fine print”?  Let’s put it this way, the one who is providing the service is putting the fine print there as a means of protecting themselves in case a problem arises and in case of litigation the main reason why it is written in such small prints is that if you had the chance to read it most times, you’d actually think twice about going ahead with the contract since you as the consumer are not covered in case a problem arises. The provider on the other hand is well protected.

I do feel a lot of problems in the housing market, could have been prevented if most lenders were more forthcoming with information instead of putting the pertinent information in “the fine print”. A lot of good people signed mortgages without adequately understanding the details of their agreements.

These days you buy a new computer or phone, sign up for a service, almost everything even radio and TV advertisements has fine prints.  I listened to a radio Ad the other day and the offer was extremely tempting but at the end of the jingle, a man reeled off these words and sentences that left me so amazed. I first thought it was a part of the offer until I finally caught a few phrases and realized the fast speech I was hearing the fine print of the ad. I couldn’t understand his speech for the most parts, but the I did deduce at the end  that I was better off not taking on the offer being advertised.  

Does this mean we should avoid purchasing new products or taking on new contracts.  Not at all I’m simply saying that a lot problems have arisen from people not having enough information about what they are taking on and as such my advice is that everyone takes time to read the fine print so that they would be full aware of the risks involved in whatever contract or agreement they are signing thus if they do go ahead to sign the contract they would be full prepared in case a problem arises.

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