If we can tell stories in our business marketing then we can tell stories with our contract terms…
The show will (probably) go on
Strictly Come Dancing (a BBC TV show) includes a public vote and it’s T&C have improved from their original lengthy version. I think they could tell better stories with their terms such as this one:
There are a number of contingencies which could occur during or before each show, as with any other live television programme. Contingencies cover withdrawal of any celebrity, professional dancer or judge for health reasons or other unforeseen circumstances or outside the control of the BBC. The remedial actions may include, but not be limited to changing the format of the show, including, removing, substituting or adding acts and/or judges; and cancelling, suspending or altering voting or one of the voting methods at any time. In the event of any celebrity leaving the competition, the BBC will decide on contingency plans as it deems necessary and appropriate to the circumstances.
This could be made it far easier to read and understand if it said:
We can’t promise that the technology will work or that the show will go on, but we’ll do our best.
We will do our best
This post was promoted by Andrew Thorpe from Mojo Your Business whose business helps people use story-telling. I found this clause on Mojo Life website:
MojoLife Ltd is not liable if circumstances outside our control force us to cancel this event (in these unlikely circumstances we would aim to reschedule the event, if appropriate).
This could be adapted to tell a story and reflect what MojoLife stands for. It could become part of their brand by being whispered among clients. It could become part of the weaving of the stories of their history. I didn’t ask whether they’d ever had to cancel an event, but – if so – that experience could form the basis for a rewrite. Or they could say something like:
In X years of business, we have never had to cancel an event. But should the unexpected happen we will do our best to rearrange it at a time convenient to you. If that is impossible, we will review how we can provide equivalent value to you, although we cannot offer refunds.
It might be longer, but doesn’t it say more?
What should you do?
Think about using your T&C more creatively.