Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Image stolen from

Liz over at Success Blog got me started the other night thinking about what is free. An unusual topic for me as I normally think nothing is free. There’s always a “string attached”. Thanks to the interweb, anytime I see something that is offered as free I assume the worst. I’m usually right.

The best example is It's owned by the credit reporting companies that charge you for your credit report.

How do they get away with it?

A Disclaimer. The fine print that is too small to read or too confusing to understand.

The best one I’ve found so far is an old one by Herche for his blog.

Now I’m starting to love disclaimers. You can use them for anything!

What we need is a Universal Disclaimer!

So here’s the start and it’s open for review and hopefully addition.

Limit one offer per customer/business. Valid for in-stock items only. See page 46 for details. No rainchecks. While supplies last. At our discretion reserves the right to make substitutions of equal or greater value. Nonreturnable. Offer Expires. Not valid in Stores. Subject to credit approval. Discount will appear on your first billing statement as a credit with a qualifying purchase. Credit cannot be used to satisfy any minimum payment due on your account. One discount per account. Ask a store employee for full details. Call 888-322-5555 for more details. Actual yields may vary by usage. Approximate page yield based on standard measure of 5% ink coverage per page. All sizes are approximate.
Please raise you seat back trays to their full upright position. Latex-free. All rights reserved. This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects of other reproductive harm. Nothing we sell is recommended for children under 3 years of age. However, all your APRs may automatically increase up to the 32.24% variable default rate if you default under any Card Agreement that you have with us. We may also increase the promotional rate if you fail to make payments to another creditor when due. We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions contained in this Client Manual and the Marketplace Addendum, which may include adding to them or deleting certain provisions entirely or partially. additional fees and taxes apply. Do not directly inhale. PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES Do not feed to your cat or dog, subject to change according to the bylaws of the country of Sri Lanka, except during a state of war, declared or undeclared. Not covered if damaged due to misuse, negligence, accident, shipment, inserts or natural calamities. Please talk to your doctor for details.

Disclaimer: This article is not finished yet.

Had to add:

EFF's newsletter had a notice that they changed their privacy policy and they seem to have caught on to the need for a better disclaimer.


* Changes to EFF's Privacy Policy

To better serve our clients, customers, supporters, and
benefactors, EFF will from time to time alter our Privacy
Policy. As of April 1, 2009, the following minor changes
have been made:

1) In pages 1-30 of our Privacy Policy, delete "never" and
replace with "within a matter of hours."

2) For "sole and exclusive right throughout the universe,"
please substitute "multiverse" throughout.

3) Where "session cookie" appears, delete and replace with
"lloigor." "Deleted" should be replaced with "clumsily

4) In section 14.4, "shared with third-parties" should read
"sacrificed to Yog-Sothoth, Key and Guardian of the Gate."
"From time to time" is a typo and should read "For all ye
time immemorial."

5) Our Website no longer supports the Konqueror 3 browser.

Please update your own local copies, and destroy any
previous versions you may have made. If you have forwarded
our Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Service to other
individuals, please contact them and ask them to destroy
their outstanding versions. If they ask why, have them
killed. Our Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Service are
(c) 1989-2009 the Electronic Frontier Foundation AG
(Offshore Holdings), Principality of Liechtenstein.

For this complete post:

Received April 1, 2009

Welcome, and why are you here?

I'm sure you have better things to do.