Is the deal too good to be true?


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It is important to think before signing any type of contract.

Bijan Choobineh

As a college student you are exposed to a lot of different deals everywhere. For example I remember when I was getting my ISU card during orientation, a few feet away was a representative from U.S. bank here to help convince people to open up bank accounts with them. It’s funny that after you hear their little song and dance you seem to think that the deal was made just for you; is it too good to be true?

As you know, every one of these special deals you sign up for has approximately a 51-page terms and agreements section that you, supposedly, need to read and agree to. But let’s be honest with ourselves. No one really reads through all of that. An example of this would obviously be the I tunes store account terms which are around 50 pages long and keep on getting revised all the time. The issue here is that you sometime in your life are going to have to make one of these deals, so how do you know which one to do?

Many would like to believe the solution to this problem is to read up on your legal information and read the terms very carefully, but that’s obviously time consuming and let’s face it, not very fun at all. The truth is that common sense is all you really need to understand what are good deals and contracts and which ones are too good to be true.

For a considerable bit of time, companies that had these terms had key facts buried deep within the terms in legal jargon that no one could understand. Because of this, some reforms came into play which forced companies to make some key facts understandable and available to a normal person. Therefore you need not know legal jargon because it is all laid out for you.

It probably helps to explain this concept with an example. If you are living on campus this semester you will soon have to sign a housing contract, basically asking you whether or not you will be living on campus next year or not. This seems pretty straightforward; however, there is a catch. If you read the big vibrant letters on the contract it states that if you say yes and change your mind after the deadline there will be a massive cancellation fee.

I don’t know about you but I don’t really see any legal jargon in this phrase, do you? I don’t really know how anyone could interpret it any differently. It clearly states that in the case of changing your mind, there will be a penalty, simple. As you can see this is just all common sense.

Now some of you may be saying to yourself that some contracts and terms may not be so simple to decipher from being good or bad because they withhold information. Here’s the thing, if you use common sense you can answer that question. If a contract withholds information from you in such a case then is it really a good contract? If they are really withholding information it is usually because they are hiding some information that hurt their case but you might like to know. Therefore common sense dictates that this contract or deal is a bad one.

Oh common misconceptions, don’t you love them? Although it may present a menacing appearance, these contracts become cake to understand once you stop over-thinking it. Therefore, the next time you are faced with any type of contract or terms agreement use common sense and ask yourself, is this a good deal? Is this too good to be true?