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Buying Stuff on the Web: Can Users Correctly Identify Deception in Purchasing Contracts

Buying Stuff on the Web: Can Users Correctly Identify Deception in Purchasing Contracts
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Author(s): Ned Kock (Texas A&M International University, USA), Jacques Vervile (Texas A&M International University, USA), Hafizul Islam (Texas A&M International University, USA) and Jesus Camona (Texas A&M International University, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 3
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch098
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361

Abstract

A key e-collaborative activity through which many organizations acquire products today is that of Web-based purchasing. When buying products through the Web, as with traditional face-to-face buying, individuals may be faced with contract clauses that they should not accept. Some of those clauses may be even deceitful yet legally binding. This paper looks into whether Web buyers can identify deceit in software purchasing contracts. An experimental study was conducted in which subjects were asked to either accept or reject each of several clauses of a software-purchasing contract, some of which were deceitful. Two experimental conditions were used. In one of the conditions the clauses were displayed as Web-based video clips; in the other they were displayed as Web-based text windows. The main finding was that the subjects performed worse than chance in identifying deceitful clauses. The study raises a red flag regarding Web-based contracts.

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