Elite digital marketing

The Industries with the Longest Terms and Conditions

Reboot Line

The internet is accessed by 4.66 billion active users and with that, the world has seen a huge digital shift in industries moving online. Online companies can protect themselves with terms of service (TOS), also known as terms and conditions and terms of use (TOU). This serves as an agreement between the website and its users.

It is of common knowledge and admission that terms and conditions are most likely skimmed past or not read at all. As a website’s terms can change without notice, online users should be wary of them. But how long would it take to read the terms of websites we use every day? And given the population’s average reading age of below eleven, how likely are we to understand it?

Using a combination of tools, the digital PR experts at Reboot investigated how long it takes to read a website’s terms and conditions and also analysed their reading age.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Dating
Fashion
Social Networking
Job Sites
Children's Education
Banking
Home/Car Insurance

Which Terms and Conditions take the longest to read?

DATING

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions: 

The dating industry has the longest terms and conditions with an average of 7,569 words - the equivalent of a 58-minute read.

We can reveal that Grindr not only has the longest terms and conditions within the dating industry, but it is also among the longest of all the other websites analysed in our study. It would take the average reader 1 hour and 51 minutes to read their terms and conditions, which is 14,462 words long, and if read every day that’s a massive 676 hours (28 days and four hours per year)!

On the other hand, Badoo’s terms and conditions have 4,818 words - nearly three times shorter than Grindr. Considering Badoo users spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app, a 37-minute read of their terms and conditions isn’t too long.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions:

The Ts and Cs of the dating industry were calculated to be grade level 13, which means that the terms of use’s complexity can be understood by 18 to 19-year-olds - the same as their minimum joining age requirement.

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Grindr

18-19

13

14,462

1 hr 51 minutes

676 hrs 28 minutes

Bumble

19-20

14

8,242

1 hr 3 minutes

385 hrs 41 minutes

OkCupid

19-20

14

7,759

1 hr

363 hrs 11 minutes

Her

18-19

13

6,733

52 minutes

315 hrs 7 minutes

Eharmony

16-17

11

6,693

52 minutes

313 hrs 18 minutes

Match

18-19

13

6,368

49 minutes

298 hrs 5 minutes

Tinder

18-19

13

5,473

42 minutes

256 hrs 7 minutes

Badoo

18-19

13

4,818

37 minutes

225 hrs 42 minutes

Average

18-19

13

7,569

58 minutes

354 hrs 12 minutes

 

FASHION

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions: 

With 5,036 words in terms and conditions on average, fashion websites rank as the second longest to read - typically 39 minutes. It is reported that by 2025, fashion e-commerce will be worth $1003.5 billion! So, with a trending online shift, consumers will be spending more time visiting their favourite apparel websites rather than in-store. Reboot can reveal it would take the average reader nine days and 20 hours per year if they read the terms and conditions of these websites every day.

Arcadia’s Zara has the longest terms of use of all fashion websites in our study, taking an average of 1 hour and 3 minutes to read the 8,223-word long document. In comparison to Grindr’s 28 days, it would take readers only 16 days if they read the terms every day of the year.

Popular with the likes of Kylie Jenner, Fashion Nova’s terms and conditions take the least amount of time to read, taking just 18 minutes to read the 2,397-word Ts and Cs from start to finish - 3.4 times shorter than Zara.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions:

The average reading age for fashion websites stands at 17 to 18 years old, which is grade level 12. Despite the fact that people of all ages are influenced by fashion, it seems the complexity of words used doesn’t take the younger generation into consideration - especially retailers like Fashion Nova (reading age of 22 to 23), and Forever 21 and Pretty Little Thing  (reading age of 19 to 20).

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Zara

17-18

12

8,223

1 hr 3 minutes

385 hrs 5 minutes

Forever21

19-20

14

6,979

54 minutes

326 hrs 41 minutes

Depop

15-16

10

6,197

48 minutes

290 hrs 11 minutes

Boohoo

16-17

11

6,029

46 minutes

282 hrs 16 minutes

ASOS

14-15

9

3,875

30 minutes

181 hrs 17 minutes

Pretty Little Thing

19-20

14

3,700

29 minutes

173 hrs 23 minutes

H&M

15-16

10

2,890

22 minutes

135 hrs 3 minutes

Fashion Nova

22-23

17

2,397

18 minutes

111 hrs 56 minutes

Average

17-18

12

5,036

39 minutes

235 hrs 44 minutes

 

SOCIAL NETWORKING

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions: 

Following closely in third, the terms and conditions for social networking websites average 4,754 words in length, and have an average reading time of 37 minutes. This equates to nearly nine days a year if read every day.

TikTok’s terms and conditions are 7,605 words long, which takes the average reader nearly one hour to read. As the most downloaded app of 2020, that’s a lot of reading!

On the other hand, Pinterest places last with the least amount of reading time for their Ts and Cs. A total of 2,974 words means readers have an easy 23 minutes of reading.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions:  

Another industry supposedly becoming more child-friendly is social media. Nevertheless, an average reading age of 18 to 19 years states differently.

In fact, despite Tiktok having a minimum joining age of 13, their terms and conditions are one of the most complex of all websites analysed in our study, with a reading age of 20 to 21 years old.

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Tiktok

20-21

15

7,605

59 minutes

355 hrs 53 minutes

Twitch

21-22

16

6,631

51 minutes

310 hrs 15 minutes

Twitter

18-19

13

5,470

42 minutes

256 hrs 7 minutes

Snapchat

16-17

11

4,434

34 minutes

207 hrs 27 minutes

LinkedIn

17-18

12

4,094

32 minutes

191 hrs 38 minutes

Facebook

18-19

13

3,485

27 minutes

163 hrs 2 minutes

Instagram

18-19

13

3,340

26 minutes

156 hrs 21 minutes

Pinterest

17-18

12

2,974

23 minutes

139 hrs 19 minutes

Average

18-19

13

4,754

37 minutes

222 hrs 30 minutes

 

JOB WEBSITES

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions: 

Terms and conditions on employment websites take the fourth longest to read, according to our study. The job-searching process can be stressful and time-consuming but, fortunately, the average reading time stands at 34 minutes for the average terms and conditions length of 4,423 words.

If users were to read the terms of service every day for a year, they can expect it to take eight days and 16 minutes!

Monster (7,304 words) and Glassdoor (7,158 words) rank first and second respectively as the job sites with the most amount of words, taking the average reader 56 and 55 minutes to read.

In last place is Reed, with their terms taking 13 minutes to read due to their low word count of 1,684.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions: 

Job websites have an average reading age of 19 to 20 years, which is recognised as a grade 14.

Interestingly, Reed’s terms not only take the least amount of time to read, but their reading age is also the easiest with a grade level of 11 - this means 16 to 17-year-olds are able to understand it easily. Monster is the most complex as its reading age is targeted towards 21 to 22-year-olds with a grade level of 16 - five grades higher than their competitor, Reed!

 

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Monster

21-22

16

7,304

56 minutes

341 hrs 53 minutes

Glassdoor

19-20

14

7,158

55 minutes

335 hrs 12 minutes

Indeed

20-21

15

6,121

47 minutes

286 hrs 32 minutes

CV Library

18-19

13

4,865

37 minutes

227 hrs 31 minutes

Total Jobs

18-19

13

3,000

23 minutes

140 hrs 32 minutes

JobSite

18-19

13

2,942

23 minutes

137 hrs 29 minutes

Apply4U

20-21

15

2,309

18 minutes

108 hrs 17 minutes

Reed

16-17

11

1,684

13 minutes

79 hrs 5 minutes

Average

19-20

14

4,423

34 minutes

207 hrs 4 minutes

 

CHILDREN'S EDUCATION

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions:

In fifth place are children’s education websites with a reading time of 20 minutes and spanning at an average of 2,558 words. It would take nearly five days a year if read every day.

The School Run’s terms have 5,012 words which would take the average reader 39 minutes to read. By comparison, Topmark (three minutes), Tate Kids (four minutes), and Oxford Owl (eight minutes) impressively have a reading time of under ten minutes, making it short and snappy for users.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions:  

With the lowest reading grade level, children’s education websites consist of a word complexity suited to ages 17 to 18 years (grade level 12) - a stark contrast to elementary and secondary school reading ages.

On the other hand, BBC Bitesize and Tate Kids, both endorsed by the UK government, have the lowest reading grade level and are easily read by 13 to 15 years olds.

 

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

The School Run

18-19

13

5,012

39 minutes

234 hrs 49 minutes

BBC Bitesize

13-14

8

3,964

31 minutes

185 hrs 33 minutes

Blockly Games

20-21

15

3,903

30 minutes

182 hrs 30 minutes

National Geographic Kids

19-20

14

2,877

22 minutes

134 hrs 27 minutes

TED-Ed

17-18

12

2,764

21 minutes

129 hrs 35 minutes

Oxford Owl eBook Library

19-20

14

1,042

8 minutes

48 hrs 40 minutes

Tate Kids

14-15

9

524

4 minutes

24 hrs 20 minutes

Topmarks

17-18

12

377

3 minutes

17 hrs 39 minutes

Average

17-18

12

2,558

20 minutes

119 hrs 41 minutes

 

BANKING

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions:

On average it takes readers 18 minutes to read a banking website’s terms and conditions, consisting of around 2,368 words. We use banking apps and websites daily, so if a user reads the Ts and Cs every day for a year, it would take them a total of four days and 15 hours.

The banking website with the longest terms and conditions is Natwest with 3,442 words (27 minutes). However, Tesco Bank takes the least amount of time to read with 1,605 words - which takes around 12 minutes to read.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions: 

The banking sector’s reading age averages 19 to 20 years, which isn’t surprising due to the industry’s complex nature. However, it has the same reading age as the fashion industry - where you’re more likely to see younger users.

Lloyds Bank scores a reading grade level of 12 (17 to 18 years), making it the lowest of all the websites analysed and the easiest to understand.

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Natwest

19-20

14

3,442

27 minutes

161 hrs 13 minutes

Royal Bank of Scotland

21-22

16

2,929

23 minutes

136 hrs 53 minutes

Barclays

18-19

13

2,721

21 minutes

127 hrs 9 minutes

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

20-21

15

2,574

20 minutes

120 hrs 27 minutes

HSBC

18-19

13

2,072

16 minutes

96 hrs 44 minutes

First Direct

19-20

14

1,860

14 minutes

87 hrs

Lloyds TSB

17-18

12

1,739

13 minutes

81 31 minutes

Tesco Bank

19-20

14

1,605

12 minutes

74 hrs 50 minutes

Average

19-20

14

2,368

18 minutes

110 hrs 43 minutes

HOME/CAR INSURANCE

How long it takes to read the terms and conditions:

In last place is home and car insurance companies, with their terms and conditions taking the least amount of time to read. The industry averages a low 13 minutes to read (1,682 words) - that's nearly five times shorter than the dating industry!

Direct Line (2,259 words) and AXA (2,224 words) have the longest terms and conditions to read, both 17 minutes. By comparison, Aviva (1,136 words), John Lewis (1,152 words), and Age Co (1,183 words) have the lowest reading time of nine minutes.

Reading age required to understand the terms and conditions: 

The home and car insurance industry has an average reading grade level of 14, which means it is understood by 19 to 20-year-olds. However, as an incredibly important sector for all home and car users, this means that the average reading population will not be able to understand well.

Website

Reading Age

(Years)

Grade level

Total words

Time to read

Time to read per year (read every day)

Direct Line

18-19

13

2,250

17 minutes

105 hrs 15 minutes

AXA

17-18

12

2,224

17 minutes

104 hours 2 minutes

Churchill

18-20

13

2,005

15 minutes

93 hours 41 minutes

Admiral

19-20

14

1,897

15 minutes

88 hrs 49 minutes

Tesco Bank

19-20

14

1,605

12 minutes

74 hrs 50 minutes

Age Co

19-20

14

1,183

9 minutes

55 hrs 22 minutes

John Lewis Finance

19-20

14

1,152

9 minutes

54 hours 9 minutes

Aviva

21-22

16

1,136

9 minutes

52 hours 56 minutes

Average

19-20

14

1,682

13 minutes

78 hrs 38 minutes

 

Methodology:

  1. Firstly, Rebootonline.com decided to investigate different industries we utilise in our daily lives and researched popular websites within them.
  2. They then looked at each website’s terms and conditions (including similar variations such as terms & conditions and terms of use) and copied the words into WordsToTime.com. This calculated how long it would take the average reader to study the terms and conditions.
  3. Averages (minutes) of each industry were inserted into UnitConverter.io to analyse and rank which sector’s terms and conditions take the longest to read.
  4. Subsequently, to determine the reading age group and grade level of each website’s terms and conditions, Reboot used WebFX.com’s readability test tool. Once the grade levels had been averaged, the reading age group of each industry was totalled.
  5. Reading ages and grade levels were measured by the Flesch Kincaid test.

 

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