Good for France
Ed Foster reports in his latest Gripelog on a judgment against AOL France forcing them to alter their terms of service. The French court found 31 separate clauses in AOL’s “user agreement” abusive.
Almost all the clauses deemed abusive by the court are ones that you’d find in virtually any American ISP’s terms of service. The offending terms included AOL’s disclaimer of all liability for service outages, the customer’s automatic acceptance of billing changes, AOL’s right to terminate the service without warning, and the practice of charging a full minute of service for partial minutes. Also included was that most classic of sneakwrap terms, the right of AOL to unilaterally make changes to the agreement at its discretion.
Of particular importance among the 31 clauses was also the one where AOL says the customer’s sole remedy in any dispute is to stop using the service.
Good for France, and the other European countries likely to follow its lead. Now, we just need to get similar remedies here in the States.