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ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT

ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT

Article provided by MoneySupermarket.com

Small print is one of those things that we should all read before we commit to buy a product or service. Without reading the small print, how do you know what you are committed to purchasing? Now I’m going to be honest and say, I never used to read the small print on anything until just a few years ago, when I took out a credit card and I didn’t read about the excessive charges for payment protection. Now, I admit that this was in fact my fault for not reading the small print, so I thought I’d list a few products or services where I think reading the small print is incredibly important.

Insurance

Whether you are buying home or auto insurance, you should always read the small print. When it comes to specific insurance policies, they tend to come hand in hand with add-ons or extras that can bump up the cost of your insurance considerably. Also, important things to include when checking your insurance small print are things like exit fees (if you want to back out of the contract) and things that you can do to actually invalidate your insurance (just in case!).

Flights

When buying flights online I’ve found that not one site is the same as another. They all operate using different layouts and they have their own way of selling the flights to you. For example, I always get confused when I go to booking a flight with regards to what extras I get, does the flight come with an in-flight meal? What are the extra baggage charges? Sometimes these small details are kept in the small print so make sure you look carefully.

Employment Contract

When starting a new job, I always meticulously check my contract of employment. The things that are normally included in the small print, are things like, whether or not you get paid for sick days in the first 6 months of employment, or how many days holiday you are entitled to. Sometimes these things are detailed clearly on contracts and other times they are quite difficult to spot.

Cell Phone Contract

When purchasing a cell phone contract there can be some hidden charges that you’ll need to be aware of, things like cell phone insurance can be enclosed in the small print. Also, make sure you check out what the charges are on your cell contract for when you venture outside of your monthly calling or messaging allowance, the prices can be pretty steep.

Financial products

Possibly the most important thing to read the small print on are financial products. Whether you’re taking out a new loan or credit card, taking out any type of financial product is a massive commitment, so you need to ensure you read all of the small print carefully.

An example of this could be, you’ve just taken out a ‘balance transfer credit card’, as there’s a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 12 months, however the product doesn’t clearly state what the interest rate will be on new purchases during that period, so make sure you read the contract carefully to find out. Financial products normally come with a long term commitment and they can be the most damaging if you don’t read the small print.

What other products or services do you think you should always read the small print on?

-MR

16 Responses to ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT

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  2. Mark Hooson says:

    Some good ideas here!

    I’d add: any sort of finance agreement (e.g. car finance) and menus in restaurants if you have allergies!

  3. Moneycone says:

    I actually used the fine print to my advantage and got out of my DirecTV contract without paying an ETF!

  4. Aloysa says:

    Credit card fine print can actually kill you if you are not careful. And airlines… and hotel reservations… I think anything we buy/use has fine print that should be read. Informative post.

    • admin says:

      It’s a shame that the details in the fine print are what can really cost us.

      Perhaps we should read the small print first, since it’s what the seller is trying to hide from us.

  5. Jessica07 says:

    All great tips! I could especially relate to the one about cell phone contracts. Those carriers must be schooled in how to include fees that can actively play hide and seek.

  6. I got an offer in the mail for transferring a balance from one credit card to another. What you didn’t see until you read the teeny-tiny print was the huge fees associated with transferring the balance.

    Good thing I don’t carry a balance!

    • admin says:

      Isn’t that just plain rotten!

      They make it sounds like a great deal, and bank on most people not reading the hard to read small print… And then snap, they have you in their financial trap…

  7. I think you should read the fine print on websites you enter confidential information.

  8. Fine prints are big killers if we are not careful. It’s amazing how these companies are really, really making it hard for us to read them. It seems that they don’t want us to read the fine prints at all!! But if you don’t, it may later bite us in the @$$!

  9. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Weekend Readings | Spruce Up Your Finances says:

    [...] Always Read the Fine Print presented by Money Reasons – Fine prints are big killers if we are not careful. It’s amazing how these companies are really, really making it hard for us to read them. It seems that they don’t want us to read the fine prints at all!! But if you don’t, it may later bite us in the @$! [...]