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John C.
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Victor – you’re my hero too!

Email disclaimers do my head in – they serve no purpose for the majority of people and companies who use them, and are extremely annoying when you are scrolling through a lengthy email thread.

I’m certain that the majority of people who include an email disclaimer do so just because they’ve seen other people do it – the “me too” school of management, and more often than not have just copied one, or bits of various ones, from other peoples emails with little regard to whether the disclaimer applies in their circumstances or provides any real legal protection. it also stinks of passing the buck – if you send a confidential email to someone who shouldn’t have received it, then take ownership of your mistake, rather than trying to pass the responsibility for confidentiality onto the recipient!

If it were necessary to put a disclaimer on every communication, would we also need to put one on every envelope we send? Every SMS message we type? Every Twitter post? Lets draw the line somewhere in the vicinity of common sense!

Consumer affairs legislation has made it illegal to erect a sign in a store that states “no refunds”, as it implies that the store is in a position to somehow withdraw a customer’s consumer rights merely by showing that sign. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to also establish clear guidelines regarding email disclaimers (in the case of disclaiming against negligence for instance).