Small print

How to deal with small print.

small print

Most people don’t read all the small print when they sign up to online services, buy goods and services, or insurance. But by not checking what you are signing up to, you could be caught out by hidden fees and charges, or have a nasty surprise when you come to claim on your insurance.

If possible:

  • read the terms and conditions or small print of every contract you sign up to, including online. Skimming through a document is better than not reading it at all. For more help with this, see the Skillswise skimming and scanning topic.
  • spend more time looking at contracts for expensive goods and services and when you deal with businesses you don’t know well
  • pay attention to fees and charges and what your responsibilities are.

Always read contracts and make sure you understand what you are signing up to. Speak to friends or family, or get some advice from Citizens Advice on 08454 040506 or some legal advice from Community Legal Advice on 08453 454 345.

Don’t sign up to contracts straight away over the phone. Instead, ask for information to be sent to you. Watch out if you sign up to ‘free’ online trials as you could be signing up to a monthly subscription.

The Plain English Campaign has produced free guides to some of the most puzzling terms often found in small print, such as financial and legal jargon.

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