We’ve often been warned about the perils of signing up for things without going through the often excruciatingly long “Terms and Conditions” (T&Cs) page.
Over 22,000 people agreed to clean toilets just because they opted to forego the dreaded reminder.
They unwittingly signed up for 1,000 hours of community service in the UK, in exchange for free Wi-Fi, Mashable reports.
In an effort to demonstrate the public’s “lack of consumer awareness,” local public Wi-Fi provider Purple decided to add the spoof “community service clause” on its T&Cs.
The clause, which was deviously situated near the end of the agreement, read:
“The user may be be required, at Purple’s discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service. This may include the following. Cleansing local parks of animal waste. Providing hugs to stray cats and dogs. Manually relieving sewer blockages. Cleaning portable lavatories at local festivals and events. Painting snail shells to brighten up their existence. Scraping chewing gum off the streets.”
The elicit prank went on for two weeks—with only one person spotting the “manual labor” term.
“”Wi-Fi users need to read terms when they sign up to access a network. What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what license are they giving to providers?” said Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple.
“Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair,” he added.
Meanwhile, Purple officials said the prank was simply made to raise awareness and that the company had no intention to force anyone to conduct the physical labor. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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