Monday, July 21, 2008

Warning: Disclaimer May Be Dumb

While in AR this past week, I was changing the volume on my new phone, when AT&T decided to let me know of the horrific dangers that would surely result from such an insolent act. On the screen the following message popped up:

"CAUTION: Loud ringtones could damage your hearing."

Thanks, Mommy. Now let my ears die in peace.

On the ride home, we stopped at a Starbucks, and Danielle got an iced coffee. The straw she got - the STRAW - was emblazoned with a disclaimer warning us to not use the straw for hot drinks.

Most disclaimers - like the standard airbag one - are actually pretty useful. But why is it that so many producers feel the need to warn us about every possible bad thing that could ever conceivably happen with their product? Could AT&T really be legally responsible if some idiot turns their phone up too high and sticks it in their ear, damaging their hearing? Is it really Starbucks' fault if you burn yourself sipping piping-hot coffee through a straw? Those aren't product defects, those are user defects.

Anyone else got some wacky disclaimers they'd like to share?

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