The Devil is in the Details and the Fine Print

The saying “the devil is in the details or the fine print” cautions us to be wary.  When you open a bank account, log into a website, sign up for a “free” app or a new cell phone, you agree to terms spelled out in the fine print that carry significant implications.  While you should read the fine print before signing, it’s far easier to trust the salesperson and the large print.

Ah, but, Caveat emptor: let the buyer beware.   

Credit Card applications that announce you’re Pre-Approved often have fine print saying, “subject to approval”.

BowFlex Treadclimber ads claim all you have to do is “walk to lose weight” like the customer they show who lost 80 pounds.  The fine print reveals average weight loss is 17.4 pounds and that involved, for women, following a meal plan of 1,000 calories a day.

A recent Harbor Freight catalog announced an 80% off storewide sale.  A magnifying glass revealed the tiny words “up to” in the heading.

Edgar Dworsky, editor of MousePrint.org has made it his mission to expose the strings and catches buried in the fine print.

I’m tired of disclaimers and double talk and fine print.

That’s why the not-so-fine print on the bottom of a “Hooked on Carnival” newsletter is so refreshing.  It clearly defines who the organization is and their expectations of members.

Our Guiding Principles/Code of Ethics

We are many things: responsible, resourceful, reliable, prompt, agile, efficient, proactive, communicative, available, professional, industrious and innovative. We feel a strong responsibility to maintain an honest, trustworthy and transparent relationship with our members.

Integrity: Let values guide your actions in all cases.  Avoid speaking against yourself, blaming self, blaming others, and gossiping about others.  If something seems wrong, it should be addressed directly.  Speak up if you are aware of violations in the code (even if it was you who made the violation). Never benefit from inside information.

Don’t Take Things Personally: Others do not take actions because of you.  What others do and say is a projection of how they see their world around them.

Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to share what you really want.  Clearly communicate to avoid misunderstandings or added drama.

Always Do Your Best:  Treat every person with respect and treat people fairly. Under any circumstances always truly do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-blame, and regret.  By applying these four principles to risk management or alternative dispute resolution the parties can take the high road, reduce stress on themselves, and increase the probability of success by focusing on the issues and not the people.

Don’t you wish more organizations were as straightforward?

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