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Ambiguous or Obscure Parts of Contracts (“Fine/small print”)

"Fine print" is usually something that comes at the bottom of a contract or an advertisement in the smaller font, which serves to legally protect the producer/advertiser. There are things written in the fine print that would make the offer less appealing if it were written clearly and openly. They can also serve as disclaimers to clarify something that may be unclear on a product.

For example, a toothpaste with the statement “100% whiter*” (with an asterisk *), leads to the “fine print” somewhere else on the package. Here, the company provides a legal disclaimer in which actually claims the following: 100% whiter teeth, compared to never brushing teeth at all and drinking coffee all the time. Another example of “fine print” relates to service renewal; a new customer may think that he/she just signed a one month cellular phone agreement with the company and that it will automatically expire and become void after one month of service. Usually, that is not the case, and the contract is automatically renewed. Consequently, the new customer will end up with the second or third month charges without being informed or aware of them. It is only then that the customer service representative will suggest that the unhappy customer read the clause – fine print – at the bottom of a certain page of the contract that he/she has signed .The same rule applies if the agreement was made verbally in person, or by phone. At this point, the unhappy customer can cancel/terminate the contract only after paying the total amount owing, including all extended months.