Terms and conditions apply

“Once a dream is dreamt, does the dreamer repent the desire for sex and violence? Does he fold the sleepy hills and buildings, the gentle skins and thrashed bedsheets into felted pouches and file them under Unfinished Business.” Rod McRiven

Every corporation imposes a ream of Terms and Conditions upon us.

The thing is, red tape is totally acceptable when, for example, safety is an issue or the risks of doing or not doing something might not be immediately obvious. But increasingly, private organisations and government agencies shelter their shoddy practices and underhand dealings behind Weasel Words which we realise, often too late, are for their benefit, not ours.

Remember, it is customers who provide their inestimable wealth.

Intricately contrived and often nonsensical their rules of engagement hijack common sense and transform even the simplest transaction into something pointlessly complicated whilst ensuring they squeeze as much money out of us as possible. For example, when someone marries, an insurance company for example will insist the name is changed on the policy and will charge £20 administration fee for the privilege thank you very much! In our case, it was a little over £1 per letter which translates to approximately £600 per minute.

It seems to me that meek compliance exposes their casual contempt for customers’ time, energy and money. Therefore, to all intents and purposes, it’s more in our interest to ignore their Terms and Conditions because so long as your money continues to be paid in return for the original purchase, that is as much interaction as should be required.

Give them an inch they would have us jump through hoops. Unchecked, they would surely renege on any agreement whilst eating your liver with an indifferent Chianti.

Rebel Rules . . .

Valued Customer: You are no more their Valued Customer than they are your Valued Supplier. Take as much interest in their Terms and Conditions as they do in yours. It’s important to know, if asked to sign, you are not agreeing that their Terms and Conditions are reasonable, neither are you accepting that you will abide by them in all circumstances, you are accepting that they actually have Terms and Conditions and as of that precise moment, under prevailing circumstancesat the time they appear to be reasonable. But, circumstances change and that is where Common Law comes in and takes precedence.

Charges: Always question extra charges. Despite the small print, you are not obliged to change your name on any policy, investment or insurance document.

Identity: Under Common Law you may call yourself by any name you wish but keep copies of your Birth Certificate handy in case it suits you to prove your identity when making a claim or cashing in a policy.

Communications: If you must write to or telephone any of them, never ask, always instruct (there are nice ways of doing this).

It’s worth emphasising that citizens of the United Kingdom are bound ONLY by Common Law and as such are not obliged to comply with any other commercial regulations or terms and conditions unless the individual chooses to do so.

© Rod McRiven 2017

Location: Empire Hotel, Jerudong Park, Darussalam, Brunei

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