We often overlook the fine print when looking over documents, signing papers and basically anything we come across that involves paperwork.
It's like ignoring the warning label on new prescriptions; the fine print isn't there to look pretty in your medicine cabinet.
But understanding the gist of the basics and accepting what's written in bold print is a common habit.
Who has the time to read a novel when it's not a novel?
One company is making sure we all understand the importance of reading documents thoroughly. And it paid off for one woman.
Georgia school teacher Donelan Andrews understands the importance of reading the fine print and teaches her students not to gloss over documents ranging from exam papers to insurance policy claims just to get to the end.
The 59-year-old was rewarded $10,000 for practicing what she preaches, according to The Washington Post.
When she planned for an upcoming trip to Europe, she opted for an insurance package in the event of a cancellation.
But when reading over the documents from Tin Leg, a subsidiary of travel insurance company Squaremouth, she noticed something peculiar on the last page.
Andrews was the first to reach out to Squaremouth about the contest, the company said, 23 hours after the event lau… https://t.co/MfJhODXdaM— The Baxter Bulletin (@The Baxter Bulletin)1552053601.0
The not-so-hidden passage read:
"If you've read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all of their policy documentation."
Tin Leg then instructed alert readers to send an email mentioning the contest to claim a cash prize.
And that's exactly what Andrews did 23 hours after the contest was launched.
@WGXAnews covered our $10,000 check presentation to our Pays To Read contest winner this week! Watch the video here: https://t.co/SG0NUTEfmA— Squaremouth (@Squaremouth)1551472589.0
Not only did Andrews receive the $10,000 grand prize, Squaremouth also donated the same amount to Washington D.C.-based children's literacy charity – Reading Is Fundamental.
The company also donated $5,000 each to both of the schools Andrews teaches at: Upson-Lee High School and Lamar County High School. The money will go towards funding for work-based education programs and new textbooks.
The Squaremouth website explained the reason for the contest, and it's all about making sure customers find ways to save money.
"We created the top-secret Pays to Read campaign in an effort to highlight the importance of reading policy documentation from start to finish."
This is such a great marketing tactic https://t.co/64eWPyUVpH @squaremouth— Aaron Hanson (@Aaron Hanson)1551976135.0
"We never want a customer to spend more than they need to on a policy, or to pay for a policy if we know they're concerned about something that can't be covered."
Andrews reflected on the exams she handed her students that emphasized the importance of reading every word on a document.
She told Squaremouth:
"I used to put a question like that midway through my exams, saying, 'If you're reading this, skip the next question.' Right when I saw the wording, it reminded me of that and intrigued me to keep reading."
What a great idea to get the word out about your company and educate consumers about an important industry issue.… https://t.co/SPRr6ySdET— Erica Fetherston (@Erica Fetherston)1551970886.0
Ha, this is awesome, good for her. One of many reasons literacy is so important! It pays to read!! 📖📚🤑 Georgia wo… https://t.co/oh1R6NHfrQ— Laura Marcella 🦓🧡 (@Laura Marcella 🦓🧡)1551964983.0
So what does Andrews plan to do with her winnings?
After 25 years of teaching, Andrews had planned to retire and to celebrate her 35th wedding anniversary with her husband in Scotland. Her cash prize will go towards securing their spot on the trip that required being on a waiting list.
Her newfound fortune taught us all a valuable lesson and she deserved her prize.
It makes you think twice about scrolling to the bottom of new iTunes user agreements and upgrade policies, right?
It just goes to show you never know what you're missing out on. A free iTunes gift card, perhaps?
Safe travels and congratulations, Donelan!