“I have read and agree with the terms of service.”
That’s the biggest lie of the century, right after “No honey, I wasn't watching porn, it was a pop-up!”
Terms and Conditions are important to website owners. Businesses have to protect themselves from liability, even during online transactions. These days, especially in litigious countries like the United States, there are many law firms that specialize in drafting detailed T&Cs for websites.
But does anybody read the things? No, they don’t.
From the perspective of the average user, these legal pages don’t really mean anything. They’re impenetrable walls of text, to use the old adage. I don’t personally know anyone who actually goes through them. Do you?
We recently noticed a great T&C page on the website of one of our suppliers, DigitalOcean. Check them out and click “Terms of Service” at the bottom of the page.
DigitalOcean provides cloud hosting, a mission-critical service for many online businesses. The company has gone above and beyond in ensuring their T&Cs can be understood by the average user, not just lawyers, by providing a plain English translation alongside the “legalese”.
More websites should take inspiration from DigitalOcean and decode their terms and conditions. And by the way, if you’re in the market for cloud services, we use DigitalOcean ourselves and recommend them highly.