Click Wrap Agreements
A click-wrap agreement is also sometimes called a click-through agreement or a click-wrap license. These agreements are made on the internet, when an end user wants to access a product or service. Prior to using that product or service, the user will be asked to agree to terms and conditions, often through a dialog box or a pop-up window. By clicking words like “I Agree” or “I Accept,” the user will be given access to the item in which they were interested. Both online transactions and software licensing commonly use click-wrap agreements to ensure that users have contracts with their company for the use of the product or service.
By choosing to use a click-wrap agreement, there is no need for a company to negotiate with individual customers. Companies that do large sales volumes would become completely bogged down if they were required to negotiate with every customer who wanted to use their software or purchase something from them. The terms and conditions of the click-wrap agreement become a binding contract on both the company and the end user, and work to protect both sides from improper actions that might be taken by the other party to the transaction.
While most click-wrap agreements are written to cover the company that requires them, there are protections for the end user in place, as well. That user has to be treated fairly, and the company must not misrepresent what the user is receiving for the compensation given to the company. Generally, though, no one takes the time to read click-wrap agreements. The agreements themselves are frequently numerous pages of tiny text, and a lot of legal language. It would take a significant amount of time to read it, and it’s often very standard information that is seen in the majority of those types of contracts.
Many consumers feel safe not reading the click-wrap agreement, because they know that everything in that agreement has to be legally enforceable. People joke that company could put literally anything in there and the majority of end users would never know. While this is technically true, there would be no benefit to the company. It would still have to follow the law, and anything too odd in its agreement would not be enforceable. The companies that use click-wrap agreements can also save electronic signatures and incorporate additional clauses that may not be seen (or needed) in more traditional contracts.