Nested promises

Have you ever noticed the fine print on some merchant receipts? Does this example of an agreement within an agreement (i.e. “I promise to keep my previous promise to pay”) make any logical sense? Does it make the original promise any more solemn or any more legally or morally binding?


About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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3 Responses to Nested promises

  1. CHCollins says:

    Well, the system needs to have the user sign “something” that identifies the card user. The nested promise above sounds a little more professional than a nested attestation such as “By signing this, I certify that I am me.”

    • Fair enough. How about: “I certify that I am authorized to make this purchase”? (But even such a certification, however worded, seems superfluous, like the nested promise. The merchant no doubt wants to reduce the risk of fraudulent purchases, but why? Won’t the merchant receive payment from the bank that issued the credit card in any case? It’s the bank that should be worried about fraud or non-payment, not the merchant, right?

      • CHCollins says:

        Maybe it’s the bank that forces the merchant to include such wording on the receipt. Your wording is good, but I would like the wording to read: “By signing this, I opt out of all unsolicited phone calls, emails and solicitations for credit cards, forever.”

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