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Click on Accept

It's all in the fine print.

By Mark GagnonPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 4 min read
Click on Accept
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

It was one of those nights when there was nothing on TV and it was too early to go to bed, so I was web surfing. I had heard about a site that was like Amazon but all their items were pre-owned (used). They sold everything from houses to hose clamps, vacation packages to vacuums — you name it, they had it for sale. I eventually found the site and started exploring a virtual cornucopia of items for sale. Why someone would buy slightly used shoelaces is beyond me, but there they were for 25 cents per lace. As I was scanning other items, an information box popped up on my screen informing me that, after reading the Terms and Conditions, I would need to click the Accept button if I wanted to continue using the site. I had 10 seconds to click Accept. No one, me included, ever takes the time to read the 25 plus pages of legalese that are usually included in the conditions box. I clicked Accept and continued browsing. About an hour later, I called it a night and went to bed.

The next morning started as usual. I donned my workout gear and headed out for my morning run. As soon as I stepped through the door, I saw it, an empty driveway where my car should be. Someone had stolen my car! I turned, heading back inside to call the police when I heard my neighbor call, “What’s wrong with your car? I saw a tow truck take it away early this morning.” “What company?” I asked. He didn’t get the name, but as there are only two towing companies in town, it wouldn’t be difficult to trace my car’s location. With a 50/50 chance of getting the right company, I dialed the first number. Things were looking up! They had my car. I told them I would be there ASAP to reclaim it. When I asked who arranged for the tow, I was told it was the Accept Corporation.

Feeling a little better about my car’s whereabouts, I had breakfast and went upstairs for a shower before calling a friend for a ride to the salvage yard. Shower complete, I grabbed a towel to dry off when I thought I could hear voices in the hallway. Figuring it must be the clock radio, I stepped out of the bathroom directly in front of a middle-aged woman with a young couple in tow. The screams of startled surprise finally subsided, and I wrapped a towel around my waist while asking, “Who the hell are you people, and why are you in my house?” The middle-aged woman blurted out while brandishing a piece of paper as if warding off evil spirits, “I’m with Remax. This house is listed for sale by the Accept Corporation, and you’re not supposed to be here.” I explained to the trio that I never listed my house for sale; there had been a major screw up and I asked them to leave so I could get dressed and get this all straightened out.

The woman left in a huff along with her charges. The younger woman looked back over her shoulder, gave me the once over, and smiled. No time for that nonsense. I had to do some serious research. My computer wasn’t working, and neither was my cell phone, which meant I had to ask a neighbor for a ride to the library to use the public computers and pay phone. After 10 minutes online, I located a phone number for the Accept Corporation. I went to the payphone, dropped in some coins, and dialed. An electronic voice answered and told me there was a 30-minute wait time and promptly switched-on heavy metal music.

I returned to the computer more determined than ever to undo this mess. Back on Accepts website, I used my customer password from the night before and accessed the conditions attachment I had ignored last night. There, on page 21, paragraphs 3 thru 5, everything that had happened was clearly spelled out. By clicking the Accept button, I had ceded to the Accept Corporation all deeds and titles of properties and possessions that I own, both now and in the future. By ignoring my responsibility to do due diligence, I had given away all my property. This is how Accept gained its inventory of pre-owned items.

As I was staring blankly at the screen, feeling despondent, when another information box appeared.

Should you wish to cancel your agreement with The Accept Corporation, you must click the Accept button. We are giving you this onetime opportunity to purchase all your former belongings at market value plus a 15% handling charge. There is also a 10% inventory change fee. You have 10 seconds to click the button, starting now.

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (4)

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  • 💸 Build Your Future 💸10 months ago

    Thank you for sharing! 😊

  • Daisey Maiden10 months ago

    I thought this story was thought provoding and well written. It was an interesting concept. I am new to vocal and would love some feed back on my stories if you have the time. https://vocal.media/authors/daisey-maiden

  • James Evans11 months ago

    Really good article.

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