Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales of Consumer Contracting Culture

Wake Forest Law Review, pp. 863-901, 2010

U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-10

40 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; Cyberjustice Lab

Date Written: May 12, 2011

Abstract

Do you ask for contract or purchase terms prior to completing your everyday purchases? Do you first read the pizza box before paying the pizza delivery guy or gal? Typical consumers do not ask for or read their contracts prepurchase, and companies have become accustomed to burying purchase terms in product packaging or Internet links. These postpurchase, rolling, or “pizza-box” contracts have therefore become the norm in the consumer marketplace, and courts generally enforce them as legitimate contracts. This Article discusses varying theoretical perspectives on enforcement of these pizza-box contracts, and explores the available empirical data bearing on the legitimacy of post-purchase consent. It also adds some relevant results from the recent e-survey I conducted of consumers’ contracting behavior. The Article concludes by inviting further study and debate regarding enforcement of postpurchase terms. Further study and consideration of the meaning of contractual consent is especially important in light of the increasing prevalence of postpurchase terms with respect to online/e-contracts.

Keywords: arbitration, confidentiality, dispute resolution, contracts, Federal Arbitration Act, ADR

JEL Classification: K12, K41, K30, K10, K39, K00

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J., Pizza-Box Contracts: True Tales of Consumer Contracting Culture (May 12, 2011). Wake Forest Law Review, pp. 863-901, 2010, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1839807

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Cyberjustice Lab ( email )

Montreal
Canada

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