Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Who really reads the terms?
New on LowEndTalk? Please Register and read our Community Rules.

All new Registrations are manually reviewed and approved, so a short delay after registration may occur before your account becomes active.

Who really reads the terms?

Ok, so who really reads the terms of service when they signup for service? All hosts have a clause that say they can refuse services to anyone, and they can choose to make changes at any time. However, when a host does refuse service, we generally see a thread calling out that host, and for what exactly? For doing something that is listed in their terms of service.

Do you read the terms
  1. Do you read terms when signing up for service?119 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Sometimes


  • I make sure I read the ToS of every host. That's how I decide whether I want to give my money to them or not.

  • It really depends on the type of app i am placing on the host if i am putting a simple blog then no. i jut sign up i am good about having backups run on there own so there is no risk for small sites like that. I will read the terms when its something that could abuse resources or be questionable.

  • i don't read usually, but i respect it.

  • jarjar Patron Provider, Top Host, Veteran
    edited February 2014

    I'm a sysadmin. We don't read. We parse. If I can't grep it, it isn't there :P

  • Try to look for stuff thats important for me, but do not read all TOS.
    But of course, if I brake any rule from the TOS that I should have known about, it's my fault, and I take the consequence for not reading their TOS. Don't get here on LET blaming the host.

  • CTRL-F,

    search for streaming; if disallowed, close the tab and never look back.

    Thanked by 1Mark_R
  • I don't usually read every word, but I do skim over it. There are times when a service looks good, but after reading the TOS I decide against signing up.

    Even if there's nothing that should negatively affect you in the TOS you can sometimes get a sense of the service provider's attitude toward their clients/potential clients in the language they use.

    I also check for huge overage charges, or other extra charges in there. Also special steps you may have to take to cancel the service.

  • what i do before is read reviews more and read tons of threads about a host before signing up

  • Nick_ANick_A Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    I'm surprised at the number of yes votes. I'm a sometimes. Like others have said, if I break it unknowingly, I'm willing to abide by the terms for breaking it. It's strange how many people break a TOS and then complain based on the grounds that no one reads the TOS, however. My typical response is something like, "Well, we are going to abide by the agreement we made with you even if you aren't going to."

  • I'm a sometimes, too. I'll usually skim over them before agreeing. If I am going to be using a host, I make sure I don't want to run anything that is forbidden - IRC bouncer, etc.

  • Luckily most people don't write an arcanum obscura. Standard structure's pretty easy to parse and to be honest, people trying to be cute and simplify things get tossed out. The time it takes to read is far less than the accounting and admin so it's worth the read for any oddities. The bigger question is whether I remember the ToS, to which my response is no.

    Thanked by 1netomx
  • some host will not honor their terms

  • kyakykyaky Member
    edited February 2014

    how many providers change their terms without telling you while you have active products?

  • some will even change your plan :)

  • MaouniqueMaounique Host Rep, Veteran
    edited February 2014

    I tried to both keep the legalese version and the translation in English. That is because I read ToS all the time and it is some dry reading, however, if it was to be applied all the time, nobody would be hosting with nobody, there are provisions which basically say we can do what we want, you have the right to pay us, in short. I look especially if there is a problem with using traffic, that is my main concern, also, what applications are forbidden, if Tor relays are, then I look elsewhere, it means that, even if they do not have provisions against using the advertised traffic, there will still be problems if I do.
    About the ToS changes, yes, I am partly guilty, in the sense that abusive and illegal apps are forbidden as well as illegal content being distributed, recently I explicitly added currency mining and card sharing software to the forbidden apps without notifications as that was implicitly forbidden before, now it is only a clarification for people which are doing CTRL+F or something.

    Thanked by 1jcaleb
  • said: However, when a host does refuse service, we generally see a thread calling out that host, and for what exactly? For doing something that is listed in their terms of service.

    As alluded to above, I think there may be some grounds to complain.
    There's a bit of a difference between over-protective legal statements a host must put into their ToS, as opposed to how something may generally accepted principles.

    For example, a host could deny you service because they don't like your name (extreme case, lame example perhaps, but you get the point). Their ToS probably covers it, but it's not something you'd expect a host to enforce in the context.
    If anything, it makes everyone else aware of unusual terms and odd behaviors.

  • I once did not read the TOS of and was forced to pay $1500+ for another month of servers that I did not need. Since their TOS stated that customer must cancel 7 days in advance of renewal date, and I was trying to cancel 3 days before renewal date.

    Read the TOS of every host after that.

  • joepie91joepie91 Member, Patron Provider

    I generally skim over the TOS to see if there are any unusual headers... and I read (and memorize) the "acceptable use" section carefully for every host.

  • I read them - Cancellation and AuP mainly!

  • I do, always. It's part of my decision making process for choosing a host.

  • I try to but don't always. I've rushed to pick up a few VPSes in the past that were good deals without reading ToS - based on comments about the providers service on LET/LEB....I've then circled back to read the ToS and a couple of times raised eyebrows and cancelled. Typically, this is because of over-zealous financial penalties that could be applied (that would be hard to defend against even if "behaving well"). I don't want to spend my time trying fight accusations that may be hard to defend against and/or to claw money back.

  • I look for a few keywords

  • This never hurt anyone...

    You can know how much CPUs, RAM, HDD, speed and traffic provided at the price, but you cannot tell if and how
    game server
    Tor node
    file-downloading, video-streaming
    are allowed or not, or offered in what extent.

    Spend 1 minute, read the TOS&AUP, and you are not a dick.

    P.S: Sometimes I share files with .zip files with password. Though I would announce the password every time, there are always someone complaining that they do not know what the heck the password is.... Can't really understand why.

  • If I read a terms of service, I would be over 100 By the time I was finished... check the box and hit next is my motto

    Thanked by 1Mark_R
  • There needs to be a fourth option - I skim through the terms looking for things like cancellation terms and AUP.

    On a side note, creative commons licenses have two versions - a human readable one and one for lawyers :)

  • I don't read it, but I'm not proud of that, I should probably change my habits

  • Yes. They're generally pretty good indicators about the quality and trustworthiness of a provider and the type of problems one might encounter with that host. Inexperienced beginners usually just copy them from some other site and often forget to change all names and brands or have a few dead links within (might be a good and honest offer, but better don't expect any technical knowledge above your own). Larger, experienced and rather reliable businesses often have detailed, reasonable and very carefully worded terms which in practice sometimes means no or very slow support unless paid extra for defined service levels. And in the case of low end offers they can be particularly helpful to determine if a "too good to be true" offer is just based on the normal overselling logic, an extraordinary promotion to boost client count prior to a planned sale, an indication of a technical enthusiast without business experience or a potential scammer. The latter tend to have some unusual restrictions, clauses and other surprises buried deep inside pages of tiring standard legalese so that those who only skim them could easily miss it. In fact, professional scammers tend to have rather sophisticated terms in order to protect themselves.

    Add to that a few other obvious indicators (offer links not working, inconsistencies, missing names/addresses, non-existant phone numbers, ripped-off site designs, whois anomalies, frequent changes of specifications under the same product name, wrong data center information, response time and quality for pre-sales inquiries, missing SSL on order page etc.) and one get's a pretty accurate picture...

    Just a few months ago I saw such a typical offer from linked-h****** which looked really great for a backup repository, specifically for the location that was offered, but their web site was unfinished, inconsistant and changing very frequently, the phone number was disconnected, the logo was not theirs, no name/address info, several dead links and, above all, the terms were a real mess that seemed to have been copied together from various sources and which contained some rather surprising clauses. Then no response to a direct pre-sales inquiry regarding one of those terms for almost a week and only a vague and unconvincing response here at the forum, so I disn't risk any money on it even though it wouldn't have been much anyway, thinking they might not even make it through the first year. That was about three months ago and in the meantime this 15year or so old kid obviously has lost interest in hosting, the domain is now parked with ads and quite a few people who have paid for service now seem to be left holding the bag according to some other forums.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Member, Patron Provider

    I read through some things not all, but I always respect it regardless.

    I understand people don't so I bullet point the important parts in your VPS details email so there is really no excuse :)

  • I often don't read the terms of service when it comes to other things (usually for no reason other than time constraints), but when it comes to web hosting I have learned to at least skim them.

  • Speaking of this, anyone in contact with whoever runs ?

Sign In or Register to comment.