Click agreement terms are customary in online transactions. Many a buyer just clicks and does not read through the terms because of laziness or extreme want for the service or items sought. The folly is to the buyer. Unfortunately, that is how the matter develops for millions of customers who seek online services and products without taking the time and care to be familiar with the terms required for the services or product they want. Your options for ability to settle disputes are narrowed if the user does not take the care nor the time to be adequately aware.
Click agreement process, for the vendor is quite simple. First the consumer must confirm identity. There is usually a registration step required where the user registers. Such process involves clicking a box of some sort that construes that the consumer agrees to the terms, i.e., “accepts the terms”. Most agreement, if not ‘all’ of them have an arbitration clause that states that the user agrees to arbitration. Some, however, have an opt-out provision where the user can inform the vendor within a specified time-period that it does not agree to have any dispute resolved through arbitration. There are other points that are considerable in online agreements.
Click agreement hyperlinks, for instance, or selection options must be noticeable to the user. The conspicuous nature of the click item or hyperlink has been problematic to some vendors. If the user can demonstrate that the vendor did not make the options more pronounced, the likelihood of the user to avoid the condition stands better. Courts have frowned at online vendors who use sophisticated means of having an attractive site but hide certain necessary features in online contracting.
Provisions that demonstrate that the costs in dispute resolution will be covered by the vendor tends to demonstrate to the courts that the arbitration clauses on terms may not be unreasonable. Arbitration clauses in terms that require consumer to bear costs of arbitration may not be favorable by the courts. The courts determine that there must be a way to forestall frivolous claims by consumers, but there also has to be a way to assist consumers who cannot afford the arbitration costs.
As side from registry, identity, consent to terms, arbitration, there are terms that involve handling of the merchandise of service. Not all online contracts are the same, yet they do have elements that earmark the duties and responsibilities of the consumer vis-à-vis the vendor. As always, buyer be aware.