Visual T&Cs: Comic Book Heroes Combat the iTunes Terms & Conditions
We’ve all done it – accepting Terms & Conditions without reading them. At 20,669 words (in 2015), spending a day reviewing the Apple iTunes T&Cs is not going to be a great prospect for any iTunes customer simply wanting to download a song.
However, artist Robert Sikoryak has sought to make the process more engaging by adapting the iTunes T&Cs into a comic book (or ‘graphic novel’ to be correct). The book features the late Apple founder Steve Jobs in a unique comic illustration on each page, ranging from Batman, Transformers, the Simpsons, X-Men, Snoopy…the list goes on.
In our opinion, Sikoryak doesn’t go far enough. Whilst the illustrations really are fantastic, he doesn’t make the content of the terms link appropriately to the images. More importantly, he doesn’t revise the wording to make the terms more user-friendly and he has therefore missed a great opportunity.
So why would businesses want to use Visual T&Cs?
In March last year, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills issued a call for evidence for recommendations for how T&Cs can be made to be more accessible for consumers. We await the results of this exercise, but it provides an indication of the Government’s drive to create greater consumer confidence and clarity in the legal relationships that they enter into.
Sikoryak definitely demonstrates that colour and imagery can make complex legal terms more interesting and eye-catching. If drafted correctly, they can provide customers with a quick reference point for understanding how you wish to conduct your business relationship with them, unpicking often ‘heavy going’ but important parts of the agreement such as: what to expect from the goods / services they are purchasing; what rights and obligations are to be provided by each party; and what happens in the event that an issue arises.
Standing out from the crowd
We are finding increasingly more clients who want their T&Cs to be drafted in a bespoke manner in order to continue their ‘tone of voice’, brand strategy and reinforce their marketing messages – they don’t just want several pages of block text which are intended to catch-out customers. Whilst we appreciate that Visual T&Cs won’t be suitable for all businesses, they could be a selling point for your services, enabling you to stand out from the crowd by providing a unique way to differentiate yourself from competitors.
In our view, the right combination of relevant images or visual content alongside / in combination with user-friendly terms would ensure that your business can offer an extra level of transparency and accessibility to your customers. Having this clarity from the outset could reduce the risk of disputes arising in the future.
So, if you would like to provide a better contracting relationship with your customers (or if you just want to see your MD as a cartoon Batman) we would be delighted to work with our trusted graphic design partners to create your very own Visual T&Cs.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01603 339044 for further information.
Please note: the content of this article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken in any specific circumstance.