‘Fine Print Subservience’

Meirav Furth-Matzkin and Roseanna Sommers, Consumer Psychology and the Problem of Fine Print Fraud, 72 Stanford Law Review (forthcoming 2020), available at SSRN. Sellers entice consumers to make purchases by advertising many lovely benefits of their products. It is quite common, however, to then qualify and narrow these marketing promises in the fine print terms attached to the transactions. What if sellers outright deceive consumers – by making loud promises that they surreptitiously negate or contradict in the fine print? What if, say, a phone carrier runs an ad for an ‘unlimited’ data plan which, under the terms of service, is actually strictly limited? In a surprising article, Meirav Furth-Matzkin and Roseanna Sommers (academic fellows at the University of Chicago Law School) expose the cognitive impact of this tension between explicit promises and fine print … (more)

[Omri Ben-Shahar, JOTWELL, 30 July]

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