"You won't need a degree in linguistics to hire a room at the University of Warwick" - so says John Lister from the Plain English Speaking Society.
Warwick Conferences, the conference and meetings arm of The University of Warwick, has just received the ' Plain English Campaign ' kite mark for their new Terms and Conditions for customers. John Lister from the Plain English Campaign went on to say:
"This is another nail in the coffin of legal jargon. The agreement means that the customer knows what they are getting for their money, and the University knows there will be less confusion and fewer complaints. The only people who lose out are the lawyers who won't beneeded to disentangle any gobbledygook."
There now follows an example of the old and new text of the document:
Old Text: "Where at the Customer's request the Supplier or the University arranges for a service to be provided to Customer or members of the Customer's party by any organisation outside the University, the Supplier or the University acts only as an agent for the Customer and any resulting contract is between the Customer and the person or organisation providing the service. For the purposes of clauses 13 and 14 the person or organisation shall be treated as a person visiting the premises by arrangement with the Customer."
New Text: "If you ask Warwick Conferences to arrange for a service provided by any person or organisation outside the University, Warwick Conferences will only act as an agent for you. Any resulting contract is between you and the person or organisation providing the service. We will treat the person or organisation as a person visiting you at the University."
The new terms and conditions also now adhere to Meetings Industry Association (MIA) standard. Professor Hugh Beale, from the University of Warwick's School of Law was also commissioned by Warwick Conferences to read through the document to ensure that the new Terms and Conditions are legally sound and valid. Professor Beale is a Law Commissioner (1 of only 6 in the country) and is looking at how one might use national legislation to encourage more customer 'friendly' documents.
For further details please contact:
Andrew Paine, Director, Warwick Conferences Tel: 024 76 523776
Jennie Eley or John Lister, Plain English Speaking Society, Tel: 01663 744409
Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:
Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
Tel: 024 76 523708