How far would you go for free wi-fi? Well, wi-fi provider Purple wrote an odd clause into their terms and conditions to find out…
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Barely anyone reads terms and conditions of an end user license agreement (EULA), let alone one for a public wi-fi connection, and Purple know it. As an experiment/prank on wi-fi-hungry users, the company added some left-field requirements into their Ts and Cs, including cleaning toilets, cleaning up chewing gum on the streets, and giving out hugs to stray dogs and cats.
The ‘Community Service Clause’ specified that, at Purple’s request, the user must carry out 1,000 hours of community service. On top of the tasks listed above, participants also agreed to the possibility of having to manually unblock sewers and painting snail shells to ‘brighten up their existence’.
Purple say they’re not going to force the 20,000 people to actually partake in the listed activities, and that the clause was there to make a point about ‘the lack of consumer awareness when signing up to use free wi-fi’. Every user had the chance to spot the additions and win a prize for doing so, but only one managed it. For perspective, that’s 0.000045% of the total users in the two-week period.
Purple CEO Gavin Wheeldon 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 license are they giving to providers? Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair.”
So, will this make you check the terms and conditions before you agree next time, or is free wi-fi worth the 1,000 hours of scrubbing?