What condition are your (terms and) conditions in?

How many of you have ever read the terms of conditions of any product or service ever? How many give T&Cs a cursory glance because it seems like the right thing to do without committing much more than the odd word or sentiment to memory? How many always read everything word for word?

Russell Parsons

I suspect the answers are 1. Too many of you 2. Most of you 3. Not many of you.

The problem is that for most products they are dense documents that contain pages of legalese and nothing of any use in terms of a customer’s experience and or intended use of a product.

Brands have never given much thought to the documents because they too have concluded that no one gives a jot about what they actually say. They produce them to tick a compliance box, no more no less.

This is a colossal waste of time, energy and paper. Brands have a three page direct marketing opportunity to provide customers with information that will help them use and get the most from a product.

All power to Barclaycard, then, which is in the process of rewriting its T&Cs to make them a document that “people want to read”.  Barclaycard’s European consumer marketing director Katherine Whitton told Marketing Week that T&Cs should not be about “what we want you to know but what you need to know before using the card”.

For a brand in a sector where trust levels are chronically low, particularly a brand owned by sector pariah Barclays, this is an opportunity to exceed transparency expectations. It is also opportunity to enhance customer experience in an area where people least expect to have a positive experience.

It also potentially provides a return if not an immediately tangible one; on the substantial amount of money heaped on producing and printing paper T&Cs every year.

A smart move by Barclaycard and an example others should be quick to follow.

Do you have a direct marketing case study from 2013 to shout about? Then why not enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards? Find full details at www.marketingweekawards.co.uk.

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