Eleanor Margolis had used PayPal for more than a decade when the online payment provider blocked her account in January. The reason: She was 16 years old when she signed up, and PayPal Holdings Inc. insists she should have known the minimum age is 18, because the rule is clearly stated in terms and conditions she agreed to. Clearly stated, that is, in a document longer than The Great Gatsby—almost 50,000 words spread across 21 separate web pages. “They didn’t have any checks in place to make sure I was over 18,” says Margolis, now 28. “Instead, they contact me 12 years later. It’s completely absurd.”
Source: Bloomberg Technology News
Date: April 20th, 2018
1) “In 2005 security-software provider PC Pitstop LLC promised a $1,000 prize to the first user to spot the offer deep in its terms and conditions; it took four months before the reward was claimed.” What might be better ways to make sure users know what they are signing up for?
2) What might be an appropriate length of terms and conditions that it would be sensible for a company to say that they are “clearly stated”? That is, how much should a reasonable user be expected to read and understand when signing up for an online app or service?