So. Remember the story about the Connecticut man who got busted for speeding in his rental car by the GPS the rental company had installed? Apparently he sued Acme Rent-a-Car and they dropped the fees on the grounds that – although it was clearly stated in the contract – he hadn’t thoroughly read the contract he signed when he rented the car.
What the hell? What is the point of a contract if it’s meaningless? This really drives me nuts. I’m sorry, but if he SIGNED the contract, it’s his own fault for not reading what he was signing! It couldn’t have looked exactly like all the others he had signed because it had AN ADDITIONAL SECTION concerning the GPS system! Now, I can see if there was nothing in the contract about the GPS system that he would have an argument, but otherwise … Please!
How about if I am 3 months late on my truck payment? The bank will (quite legally) charge me late fees and interest rates up the wazoo – and they could even repossess my truck! But according to this kind of thing, I could sue the bank and say, “Hey! I believe you when you say it was in the contract, but I didn’t read the fine print!” and they would have to say, “Oh. Sorry. Our bad. We included that in the contract you signed and we were responsible on our end (by letting you use the truck like we said we would) but it looks like we didn’t realize that you might not have read the fine print.” That’s just W.R.O.N.G.
What’s the difference between that and NOT HAVING FINE PRINT?!?!? If “what’s in the fine print” is meaningless, because the consumer has no obligation to READ or KNOW what’s there, what obligation does the manufacturer have to be HONEST in the fine print?! None! So the next time you buy a bottle of Coke, when you read the ingredients on the side and see, “horse urine” listed, what do you do? You can call Coke, but they would have every right to say, “Oh, that fine print DOESN’T MATTER. We put all kinds of stuff on there – just for funsies! – because it’s MEANINGLESS. Don’t worry. It doesn’t really have any horse urine in it.” And what would you believe then?
And please note that I’m not going to rent a car from these people. I don’t think that it’s cool that they track your usage of their rental cars with GPS (well … beyond the fact that it’s cool that it’s 2001-techno-neato and I dig that), but I believe if they state so explicitly in the contract that they make you sign, that they have every right to do so … By signing the contract you AGREE to let them, so …
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