Why You Should Read Terms and Conditions When Shopping Online

Technology has advanced so much that it is now hard to find someone who has never bought an item online. However, not many of those online shoppers read the detailed documents, such as the sales agreement, which they agree with before making a purchase. Clicking the "buy now" button without reading the fine print can expose you to a number of problems. This article discusses some of the problems that can result when you shop online without reading the sales documents provided.

Inability to Sue

Many online sellers often include a condition that arbitration should be the only method of dispute resolution in case you are unhappy with your purchase. They then proceed to stipulate who the arbiter will be. Chances are high that they will select an arbiter who will be more sympathetic to their side than to your side. Denying you the chance to go to court can therefore remove an avenue for you to enforce your rights when things don't go as expected when you shop online.

Conditional Ownership of Purchases

Many people have bought digital products, such as E-books, thinking that they will have the same ownership rights as would be the case if they bought a hard copy of the same book. However, the sales agreements can stipulate that one isn't allowed to share the item bought with any other person. Sellers can even reserve the right to delete the product without notifying the buyer. In effect, the buyer in that case seems to have rented the product, and yet they thought it was an outright purchase. Reading the accompanying documents can clarify what ownership rights you have when you procure that item.

Improper Use of Personal Information

Buyers who don't read the availed sales documents or agreements may also unwittingly allow the seller to use their personal information, such as email addresses, in ways that the buyer wouldn't have consented to if he or she had known about those intended uses. For instance, the fine print of the purchase agreement can give the seller authorisation to share your contact information with "sister" companies. You may then end up inundated with unsolicited marketing information after buying something from an online store. You can save yourself from such spam mail by ensuring that you aren't granting the seller permission to use your information in any way that he or she wishes.

Have you fallen foul of any of the problems in the discussion above? Contact an experienced lawyer for advice. A professional will examine the circumstances pertaining to your situation and he or she will suggest methods that can remedy the problem.