When Colin Cochrane showed his girlfriend’s five year old son how his online spread betting account worked, he was in for a nasty surprise.
The child had a go on the system while he was out and he got home to find the account £50,000 in the red!
So he contacted the company, Spreadex, only to be told that as far as they were concerned, he was liable for the debt as one of the clauses in the contract said ‘you will be deemed to have authorised all trading under your account number’.
When he failed to pay, Spreadex sued Mr Cochrane. But the judge threw out their claim.
Among other things he ruled that there was no binding contract as there was no commitment on the part of Spreadex and, even if there had been a contract, it was unfair and therefore unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.
In his judgement the judge commented on the complicated (49 page) and one sided nature of the contract.
So if you have T&Cs on your website, keep them short, fair, and easy to understand.
- For more information on this case see this article by Mark Lewis of IBB Solicitors, a leading member of Connect2Law.
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