Thousands Of People Didn’t Notice They Signed Up To Clean Toilets In Return For Free Wi-Fi

Phone landing in a toilet bowl. Photo: peterhowell (Getty).

As a grown adult, there are things we must do that we didn’t think about when we were younger. Paying bills, for example, is something we are all subjected to that we didn’t think much about as children. You do it, you move on — welcome to being a grown-ass man.

Another thing one has to do as an adult is pay attention to details. This life advice can save you from a whole lot of headaches because if you don’t do it, life can feel like it’s in the toilet. And for the people in this story, that’s literally what the fine print said on the contract they agreed to.

Thousands Signed Up To Clean Toilets In Return For Free Wi-Fi

A Wi-Fi solutions company named Purple wanted to have a little fun with people who don’t read contracts — which is basically everybody. In order to sign up for Wi-Fi through the provider, customers had to fill out and agree to terms of use. That all seems pretty standard, but hidden inside their usual terms was a “Community Service Clause” that allowed the company to put you knee deep in fecal matter.

The clause brilliantly suckered 22,000 people to sign up for Wi-Fi and now, according to the terms of which they agreed, things are going to smell a little more pungent. Just take a look at what the terms say:

The user may be be required, at Purple’s discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service. This may include the following:

  • Cleansing local parks of animal waste
  • Providing hugs to stray cats and dogs
  • Manually relieving sewer blockages
  • Cleaning portable lavatories at local festivals and events
  • Painting snail shells to brighten up their existence
  • Scraping chewing gum off the streets

The trick was a social experiment to expose the issue of customers having the irresponsible habit of never reading the terms of service. Looks like it worked.

“Wi-Fi users need to read terms when they sign up to access a network,” Purple CEO Gavin Wheeldon said in a statement. “What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing, and what license are they giving to providers? Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair.”

Luckily, Purple probably isn’t going to make all these people clean a bunch of shit up out of toilets, but it’s a pretty valuable lesson in reading the fine print. But if the company follows through with the terms, at least users can be on Wi-Fi to upload all their community service to Snapchat. It all works out.

h/t Complex

Here’s another news story that smells a little funky: Sweden May Soon Add Music To School Toilets So Students Can Poop Without Shame