Fine prints are not fine with me

In most of the catchy advertisements or contract forms, you will find something written at the bottom in extremely small and almost unreadable font, that says something which you may not like. 0% interest for a 6-month-loan*, that is the offer, with *conditions apply. At the bottom, it might say in fine prints: “this is a 24-month loan with 20% interest for the rest 18 months period, excluding monthly service charges”. Mobile phone companies are very good at fine prints. 500 text messages for 10 units of your currency! *Conditions apply. In fine prints, it says: “validity is 24 hours”. To completely utilize this offer to send 500 sms in 24 hours (24×60 minutes), you have to keep sending one text message in every 2 minutes 53 seconds, and do nothing else! Please ask your mom to feed you, if you are serious.

Do these crazy sounding offers work? Do people turn away after reading all these fine prints? What I found that, people figured their own way of believing offers that sounded too good to be true. At first, you frown with suspicion, then you try to know the fine prints, and then do a simple linear calculation. If that calculation shows an “effective” solution, then you accept, otherwise reject. Consumers are good at easy math, which companies often complicate beyond necessity.

Whatever the way it goes, I am not comfortable with fine prints. This is less because of its illegibility, but more because of the attitude lying behind those illegible prints. It is, as if, saying something out loud that would pull you towards my mouth, then I am almost hissing something into your ear that I did not want you to hear at the beginning. Why do I have to call to know those hissing words? Why don’t you just put it below the advertisement in regular font and let consumers read it. After all, nobody believes right away whatever requires fine prints to be inserted somewhere later. This is not fine with me. How about you?


About 1mmarketing

Working as Associate Professor, School of Business, United International University, Bangladesh; a North-American graduate, with doctoral studies from UUM, Malaysia; cherishing a wide-view of the world, with multiple interests in culture, people, traveling, and specifically marketing science. I have a colorful and diversified background with a blend of corporate experience, research, consulting, training, public speaking and teaching. I love to write about marketing issues that affect our lives, and talk about its direction that would promote the greatest human welfare.
This entry was posted in Branding and Communication, Marketing Practices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fine prints are not fine with me

  1. Rubayed says:

    Fine writing about “fine print”

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