Many disclaimers (found in terms & conditions and small print) contain far too many words and are jam-packed with technical legal terms.
This one is typical but comes from the GOV.UK website. These are well-written and surprisingly readable T&C.
Guarantees, Conditions or Warranties
The disclaimer starts by stating that the site owners try to keep the site up-to-date and says:
“…we don’t provide any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to the accuracy of the information on the site”
Very few readers of these T&C will understand the subtle difference and legal distinctions between a guarantee, condition and warranty. What they mean is: “We don’t guarantee that this site’s information is 100% accurate.”
Historically, lawyers used duplicate words to ensure the court would interpret their contracts exactly as they were intended, covering all possible nuances. The result is wordy, technical documents which very few people can read and fewer still can understand.
Today’s lesson is don’t use three words, when one will do. And that’s true whether you are a lawyer or not, as we recently found out in the Parkwood case.
If you have any terms and conditions you want me to review, comment on or revise, then drop me a line.