More than 20,000 people might be obligated to spend the best part of three months cleaning toilets after failing to read the small print in the terms and conditions of the free WiFi service they signed up for.
The Ts and Cs were were part of a prank pulled by a Manchester-based WiFi company called Purple, which theoretically obligates everyone who signed-up for the free WiFi service to clean the toilets at music festivals, among other things, in return for their WiFi usage.
"Cleaning festival loos, hugging stray cats and dogs, and scraping chewing gum off the streets are just some of the uninviting tasks people have agreed to in exchange for free WiFi. And we aren't just talking about a few hundred unfortunate individuals.
"Over 22,000 people have openly agreed to carry out 1,000 hours of community service after we added the spoof clause into our terms and conditions over a two-week period," blogged the company.
It continued: "A 'Community Service Clause' was added to our usual terms and stated: The user may be required, at Purple's discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service."
A list of possible roles was listed, but it seems that very few of the users, if any, got that far down the list of terms and conditions.
The good news is that Purple is unlikely to try and enforce the contract, but the company does argue that people should learn a lesson from the experience.
Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple, said: "WiFi users need to read terms when they sign-up to access a network. What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what licence are they giving to providers?
"Our experiment shows it's all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair."
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