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22,000 people agree to scrub toilets to get free WiFi

Another reason it pays to read those T&Cs

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

More than 22,000 people who signed up for a free WiFi service inadvertently agreed to scrub toilets and clear drainage pipes after failing to read the service terms and conditions. 

The spoof T&C was included by UK public WiFi provider Purple as part of its efforts to highlight consumers' lack of awareness about what they agree to when accessing online services. 

A 'community service clause' embedded in Purple's T&Cs stated that users agreed to carry out 1,000 hours of community service, including cleaning portaloos, unclogging drainage pipes and hugging stray cats. 

Just one person spotted the odd term during the two weeks Purple ran the stunt for, winning a prize in the process.

"Wi-Fi 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," said Purple CEO Gavin Wheeldon. 

The UK will soon introduce new legislation to make it harder for companies to use consumer data without users' "unambiguous consent". 

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