How many times have you read the terms and conditions when you’ve made a purchase? The chances are – not often. A survey by the Money Advice Service found that 84% of people don’t read the terms and conditions of their purchases.

This isn’t the first survey to discover this. GameStation inserted a clause in their terms and conditions, where online customers would owe their souls to the company unless they objected in writing, when instead they would be compensated with a gift voucher.

Only 12% of purchasers claimed the gift voucher.

Not Just A Consumer Problem

The challenge is that it isn’t just a consumer issue. There’s a consistent problem with staff not reading the terms and conditions in businesses.

Anyone who is going to use the SaaS software you are ordering needs to know the rules and boundaries of the tool; and staff need to know that it isn’t just useless information for managers or lawyers to read.

If someone doesn’t read the terms and conditions properly, they might not realise when there is restricted use or extra charges for certain aspects. This could mean your business is charged more for the use of the software and your budget is drained.

Being ignorant of any terms of use will not protect you legally – you will be charged regardless. The only way to avoid additional charges is if the clause in the contract can be deemed to be unfair. However, the costs of defending any case could be high, and might not result in a win, in which case your costs will be significantly higher.

Finally, those who are responsible for paying the costs of the SaaS software need to read the terms and conditions themselves so they know when payments are due and so that any potential repercussions are understood.

Again not knowing payment dates and the charges for late payment is not a good enough excuse.

When Should Staff Read Terms And Conditions?

Staff, especially those using the SaaS software, should read the terms and condition before they start using the tool. There are several benefits to this, namely:

  • It enables staff to be aware of the impact the new tool will have on their work.
  • The more people who read the terms and conditions, the higher the chance any questionable terms will be discovered.
  • Ask staff to read the terms and conditions before signing up to the SaaS software. When staff are asked to read them after sign up, they can delay reading because the urgency has gone.

Getting staff to read terms and conditions is going to be a challenge. It is one of the ten most hated tasks for consumers, let alone staff. However, there are tricks you can do to ensure it happens.

One simple solution is to run a session where the terms and conditions are presented and read by all at the same time. This has the added advantage of you being able to engage all members of staff about the new SaaS tool and encourage them to adopt it more quickly.

Another solution is to provide a deadline for reading the terms and conditions and request that everyone signs a document to state they’ve read them. Part of the document should state that any breach of the terms will result in them being held responsible.

Make Your Staff Read The Terms And Conditions

Your employees need to be on board when it comes to the introduction of any new tools, so they should be reading the terms and conditions of any new SaaS software you plan to introduce. This should prevent your company from being overcharged or from being held responsible for anything that breaches the terms of use.

Do you make your staff read terms and conditions? How do you ensure that they actually read the document?

Let us know in the comments below.


Posted on October 17, 2016 by Sean Miller