Terms and conditions

Is it a sin to say that you have read the terms and conditions when you obviously have not?

What a question. Maybe other people can answer your question…:slight_smile:

I’d answer a question with a question: OP, do you think it’s a sin? If so, why?

Seriously, given that we can’t get thru a day without “is X a sin?” Where X is some very minor matter, I’d respectfully ask that before people ask these questions they give an honest look at what they’re asking and whether they might be being scrupulous by worrying about such things. This type of material is not IMHO really “moral theology.”

I would say it is not a sin but its pretty stupid not to read terms and conditions of anything. If something goes wrong you would have no right to complain.

1 Like

Yes if- you’re making a claim based upon you actually having read them- “I read the terms and conditions and X isn’t in them”- you don’t know if X is in them or not

No if- you’re signing a paper or clicking a button that pops up when you install or first use software- the purpose of your signature/clicking the button isn’t to make sure you’ve read the terms and conditions, but to prove that you had the opportunity to read them. “I have read the terms and conditions” makes the company sound less self-interested than “I can not later claim that I had no clue what the terms and conditions were and therefore launch a legal action based upon my ignorance of the terms and conditions because my signature here proves I had the opportunity to review them”. It’s also less wordy.

I understand but I wasn’t sure where else to put this. I needed to ask it though, because I’m now finding myself unable to sign up for any websites that ask me to confirm that I’ve read the terms and conditions, because I have the choice of either sifting through pages of legal jargon that is either obvious or incomprehensible, or lying. So I needed an answer and I’ve noticed that most people put there “is this a sin?” questions in this category so i just placed it here.

Life is too short.
I click yes if I want the software or service, but will not wade through sixteen pages of jargon. It’s a risk we take.

I didn’t even read my mortgage documents. Just signed them.

Wow I have that problem so often.
I also think it hasn’t been asked here the first time. Maybe even by me, long ago?

It is easier to click yes if it is phrases just as “I accept the terms and conditions”, but clikcing yes when it says “I have READ the terms and conditions” does feel like lying to me so I have found myself often spending a long time reading them… some people tell me I exaggerate and I know I tend to be very scrupulous… would really be interesting to hear what moral theologian or a priest would say about this…

The worst thing ever in this context was a site where it said something like “I have read and completely understand the terms and conditions”… I think that time if I remember right I chose a different offer… ;–//

I always thought that’s what wives were for. :smiley:

Hold on.

When one is reading “terms and conditions” and agreeing- we are making an agreement.

With whom?

Let’s look at computer software, for example:

Unless I’m actually interacting with a real person, I’m interacting with a computer program.

Am I committing a sin if I “type a lie” into a computer? Am I committing a sin if I’m “lying” to a computer program? I’m going to say “no” to that. I’m not lying to a person so how is that a sin?

Now, the problem comes when the computer program does something horrible to my PC. I then want to sue the software company. They’ll ask "did you read the terms and conditions? Ohoh…now you better be honest and say “no”

I think the crux of the matter is when you make an agreement and don’t want to live up to it. THAT is where the lying is an issue and a sin.

It’s not a sin because the requirement of reading the terms and conditions is to safeguard the company/owner from legal actions. It might help if instead of reading “I have read the terms and conditions” you read “I had the opportunity to read the terms and conditions”. It’s the later which you are actually claiming when you click “yes.” That you actually read them or not isn’t relevant.

The terms and conditions do say lots of things that cover their butt…but often some things that are good to know.

Do I read EVERY set of terms and conditions? Nope, but I’ve started reading more and more of them and I am SO glad I did. I’m in the process of purchasing a home and twice in one day this week the jargon saved me a lot of trouble and possibly a lot of money.

these are definitely the sorts of things many people just click “yes, I agree” on.

It’s a gamble to not read them. As long as you DO agree to the terms, whether or not you read and understand the terms is on you…but it might be in YOUR favor to do it. It’s not harming the company at all if you give up rights, services or money.

I’m a document reader. Heck, I even ask questions when the legalese isn’t making sense to me. My realtor, lawyer, banker and several svc workers are surprised, saying that I’d be surprised how few people bother to read any of that stuff.

But heck, I’ve found out I have rights, priveledges, as well as responsibilities that I am definitely better off for knowing.

No, that’s what lawyers are for. I knew a lawyer who bought a lot of rental properties. He always walked into a closing and just said, "okay, give me the papers to sign. He signed everything without reading, and was out of there. I bought a house once when mortgage rates were over 8%, and I worked in the mortgage industry. The lady doing the closing kept trying to explain everything. When we got to the “total of payments” which was over three times the purchase price of the house, I just said, ‘yeah, I know; I don’t plan on paying that much.’ She said she had one client who walked out of the closing when he saw that number. I suppose it’s a lot easier now that rates are ridiculously and egregiously low.

I suppose that there could be a ton of outrageous conditions in a website’s terms and conditions, but I still don’t read them. I already know that Google and Yahoo can sell me out to advertisers, and do so.

I definitely recommend reading and understanding mortgage documents, but not “terms and conditions” online.
We got ripped off by a supposed agency buying homes, and I caught the extra $8K they wanted to charge for a nonexistent realtor supposedly working for them.
They did end up ripping off the bank which financed them, and leaving town after financing 5 or 6 homes to the tune of thousands, but we were fortunately paid. It was an unfortunate situation but it could have been worse for us.

During my divorce, we had to hire a lawyer to deal with the QDRO…dividing our retirement accounts according to the divorce decree. His office was paid 900 dollars to draw up ONE document.

When the document was ready I was called in to sign the paper, they said my ex had already done so. I went in and the receptionist pushed the paper towards me, kept her hand on one corner and handed me a pen. I told her I wanted to read it first. I got a big eye roll out of her, but she gave me the paper.

I sat down and read it. It had the dates wrong. This would have cost me several thousands of dollars of what was mine according to the divorce decree and had been explicitly stated in the divorce decree. So I did NOT sign it and I told them to fix it.

A week later I am called in to signed the corrected papers. I said “I’d like to read them first” big eye roll. I go and sit down. This time the date is correct but the letter says that money will be taken out of my ex’s account and put back into HIS ACCOUNT.

We paid them 900 dollars to draw up ONE document and they did it wrong twice. They got the only two critical parts of the document incorrect twice.

Read, read, read and read again any paperwork, even if your lawyer drew it up, and if you don’t understand something ask, ask, ask and ask again. Had I not done so I would have signed papers saying money yo be deposited into my ex’s account, and there would have been nothing I could do about it, because I signed the papers.

It surprises me how often lawyers get documents wrong. The only reason I sign mortgage docs without reading is because they are standard forms. When my father died I wanted to settle the estate without going through legal hoops by simply dividing everything equally between the children. I wrote a document to that effect and took it to a lawyer to make sure it was okay. He re-wrote it in legalese and got everything messed up. I read through the draft, red-lining simple mistakes and errors. It got done, but I was paying him to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes yet I ended up having to correct all of his mistakes.

I was going to start a new thread, but this one is quite related to a question I’ve thought about for awhile.

YouTube’s TOS state (verbosely) that you should not download videos from their site. I have been doing this for awhile when I find videos that I enjoy and would not want to see disappear one day from the site, etc.

I’ve been wondering if 1) a TOS like this is legally binding and 2) if so, does disobeying it fall under what the catechism says about obeying legitimate civil authorities.

My struggle is whether I am sinning by not deleting the videos I have downloaded; it’s tough because I feel my intentions are reasonable and the TOS terms are obviously being vague to prevent abuse of their service (downloading every video, etc.)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.