The cost of fine print? About $3K a year.

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Advocacy, Finance, Legal, Plain Language Blog Articles

moneyIf you think America is shifting to a culture of transparency, unfortunately, you’re wrong: consumers are drowning in more fine print and byzantine disclosure language than ever before.  Bank contracts and product manuals commonly bloat to hundreds of pages, in type as small as 1/6 of an inch.

Who reads this stuff? Almost nobody. And as this news clip from a CBS affiliate in Alabama reveals, that costs the average household about $3,000 a year.

Lawyers argue that excessive language is necessary to “protect consumers.”  But until disclosures are presented in a form people actually read, they’re doing just the opposite: allowing organizations to bury unattractive terms in pages of jargon, while simultaneously shielding them from legal liability.

“Devil in the Details” by Shanisty Myers

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