Click on Accept

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 similar to 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 shoe laces 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. I don't know anyone who ever takes the time to read the 25 or so pages of legalese that is usually included in the conditions box, me being one of those people I clicked Accept and continued browsing. I went to bed about an hour later.

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 have been parked. My car had been stolen! I turned to go back inside so I could call the police when I heard my neighbor call to me, "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 decided to have breakfast and 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 women with a young couple in tow. The screams of startled surprise finally subsided and I wrapped the 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 and 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 was able to locate 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 find a way 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 was happening was clearly spelled out. By clicking the Accept button I had ceded to the Accept Corporation all deeds and titles of properties and possessions in my name that they chose to take 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 acquired its' inventory of preowned items.

As I was staring blankly at the screen feeling despondent, 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 one time opportunity to purchase all your former belongings at market value plus a 15% handling charge. There is also a 10% inventory adjustment fee. You have 10 seconds to click the button starting now.