Trustpilot announcements
March 25, 2024

Washington, D.C. locals are in hot water, uncovering legal and financial problems when ignoring the fine print

New survey from Trustpilot reveals that ignoring Terms & Conditions has led D.C. residents to deal with legal and financial troubles due to lack of financial knowledge, feeling intimidated by financial jargon and more  

March 25, 2024, NEW YORK – Big decisions come with even greater consequences, especially for some Washington, D.C. residents taking shortcuts when making large financial purchases. Online consumer review platform Trustpilot uncovered that only half (53%) of the city’s consumers admit to reading the Terms & Conditions fully when making these purchases, ultimately causing more harm with added financial, and even legal, implications. Whether it’s taking out a mortgage, buying a car or signing a rental lease, skimming the fine print is no longer an option, and it’s critical D.C. locals pay close attention to the documents with large price tags.  

The T&Cs are too long

Nearly one in five (19%) of respondents who don't read the Terms & Conditions fully say they have found themselves in financial or legal trouble because of it. With a historically high rental market and inflation continuing to impact the local economy, risking additional financial repercussions for simply skipping over some text is a poor move. 

D.C. respondents are choosing not to read the fine print in full because:    

  • 23% say they feel intimidated by financial jargon

  • 41% say they can’t be bothered to read the small print in full because it’s too long

  • 29% say they don’t read the print in full because they trust the company they are dealing with enough

  • 34% say they don’t read the print in full because the information they already have is sufficient

Locals know a guy

Instead, D.C. consumers are turning to ‘trusted’ individuals for financial advice, getting them to read the T&Cs on their behalf. 74% of local residents consult two people or less when making big financial purchases of $5,000 or more. Nearly a third (30%) rely on their partner and 31% turn to local financial experts. Data also shows this trust could be misplaced for some, with 24% of D.C. locals saying they regret trusting a third party to read the T&Cs for them. 

“Financial decisions are daunting, along with the pages of fine print that accompany them. When a large sum of your money is on the line, it should be a no brainer to validate recommendations from family, friends or a financial advisor to ensure that you’re making the right decisions,” said Alicia Skubick, Chief Customer Officer at Trustpilot. “There is strength in numbers, and validation from trusted reviewers who have been in your shoes will not only steer you in the right direction but hopefully prevent further financial or legal trouble.”

To learn more about how Trustpilot can support your financial journey, visit the Trustpilot Financial Hub and read through our guide to big money moments.



All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Censuswide. Total sample size was 2015 U.S. adults who reside in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA. Fieldwork was undertaken between February 15-19, 2024. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults age 16+. 

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Jack Baine

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