We’ve seen our fair share of crappy fine print over the years working in the telecom industry. It’s part of the reason we started Karma in the first place—we wanted to make a product so straightforward to use, it doesn’t need a ton of fine print. Cell phone and cable companies are infamous for their liberal use of asterisks, double asterisks, and even this thing (†), for when there’s so much fine print, asterisks just won’t cut it.
What really grinds our gears is how carriers employ a flexible use of the word “unlimited”. You know, your data is unlimited until you hit a certain GB cap, then we throttle your speeds. Sometimes a service will come with so much fine print in such a tiny font that you don’t even bother reading it. If you have to hide what your product or service actually does in an unreadable block of text, you’re probably doing it wrong.
In the spirit of ditching the fine print, we’ve collected a few of our favorite examples to share with you. Happy #FinePrintFriday.
Sure, you get unlimited data, but only with speeds up to 4G (what does that even mean?) and only on your first GB, and only on certain phones, and only on those certain phones purchased at a MetroPCS store. K.
4. Restrictions apply.
Oh Comcast, you had us at $39.99 per month. But then you threw in the loathsome restrictions, of which there are many. Our favorite is "actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed."
3. You might have to wait a little while.
Not to pick on Comcast, but this is too good. After a $500 installation fee, you may have to wait 6-8 weeks for installation. Hope you didn't need to use your internet in the next two months.
2. I just wanted to work out.
This gym contract has too many gems to choose from, but our favorites are probably, "Fitstop Gym is entitled to relocate the Centre at its sole and absolute discretion." Yup, they can move it anywhere else—another state, another country—and you still can't cancel. Or how about, "It is the member's responsibility to cancel this contract 30 days before the expiration of the membership," otherwise they continue to charge you. So...the membership doesn't actually expire. Ever.
1. Dollar store technicality
Ok, so it's not a contract, it's not a carrier. But we couldn't resist. This $1.25 store is masquerading as true a Dollar Store, and we won't stand for it.
Feel free to share the worst fine print you've ever encountered. Sadly, nothing would surprise us too much at this point.