The Gross Things People Will Do in Exchange for Free WiFi (Hint: It Involves Cleaning Toilets at Music Festivals)

Two things before we begin:

  1. No one reads the end user license agreements of anything. When faced with a form full of terms and conditions, we just click “okay” and move on. We really have no idea what we’re agreeing to.

2. If you’ve ever been to any kind of music festival, you’ll know that it doesn’t take long for the porta-potties to get really, really gross. It’s enough to make you wonder if some humans have any kind of bathroom hygiene.

Someone at a Manchester company called Purple must have been thinking the same things and decided to conduct a social experiment. For two weeks, the company put a “community service clause” in a free wifi offer. Anyone who spotted this ridiculous clause would win a prize.

But after two weeks, only one person–i.e. the only person to read the EULA–stepped forward to claim the prize. Everyone else–some 22,000 people–signed up by just clicking “okay,” thereby agreeing to spend 1,000 hours cleaning the toilets at music festivals. Other requirements included hugging stray cats and dogs (never a wise thing) and painting snail shells to “brighten up their existence.”

This, of course, makes for a great story/moral/life lesson. To its credit, Purple will not force people to live up to the terms of their agreement but urge people to read what they’re actually agreeing to when it comes to something that’s purportedly “free.”

More on the story can be found here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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