Anyone else read TOS when installing new software?

I can’t be the only person who does this, can I? It’s amazing the number of people I’ve run into who, when helping them with their computer or installing something over the phone I recommend they read the TOS and they bitch about it. Seriously.

But damn, I love reading my TOS. Hell, when I was signing up for a new email address yesterday they has 11,000 words in theirs and popped it up every two screens. And you know what, I read the damned thing. OK, I read it the first time and skimmed.

But seriously, people who don’t bother to read these are asking for trouble. “Oh no, they say, it’s doesn’t matter, they’re a big company, they wouldn’t do anything to screw me.” Can’t get rid of that spyware now, can you? And you wonder why your credit card suddenly jacked up its rates.

I read the small print when I’m signing up for a service, such as an email account, or web hosting, but nearly always skip over it when installing software, because:

  • An unscrupulous company might do something that they haven’t declared in the blurb
  • I have certain unviolable statutory rights - they can’t just come along and take away my firstborn.
  • If they actually have the power to override these rights, I’m screwed anyway, regardless of how many checkboxes I fail to click on.

Spyware is a concern, but the sort of stuff I want to install doesn’t usually suffer from it and there isn’t any such thing as ‘Can’t get rid of’, or it hasn’t happened yet.

Or, to put it a little differently; do you honestly think a crook is going to put “By clicking ‘I Understand’, you agree to let us steal your credit card details and defraud you” in the TOS?

I do read TOS the first time I install or accept anything by anybody. … Or at least skim over parts that look standard and carefully read the parts that very often have iffy bits in them. I don’t read quite as thoroughly on purchased software because I’ve already bought it, and probably can’t get my money back, and besides, I won’t buy something from somebody (corporation or individual) I think may have questionable ethics.

OTOH, I read very carefully through everything that is offered regarding anything I purchase or sign up for online.