Karen negotiates to buy 1,000 pens from Jim for $2,000. To finalize the deal, Jim asks Karen to stop by his office to sign a written contract. Strangely for a basic sales agreement of this type, Jim prints a ten-page contract for Karen to sign.
Karen begins reading slowly through the terms, which are convoluted and written in different size font. Jim then assures her: "Feel free to skim through the rest of the deal, but it's just a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo basically saying that you pay, you grab these boxes of pens, and you're on your way back to the office. I'm sure your staff will love them." Karen follows Jim's advice.
A year later, Karen receives a letter from Jim asking for all the pens back. "As per the terms of our agreement," writes Jim, "I must unfortunately request that you return all the pens because the poor financial state of my company has left it no choice but to declare bankruptcy. Please ensure that each pen is full of ink as required by Section 7, Paragraph 2 of the agreement." Karen refuses to comply and Jim sues.
In court, Jim points to the provision in question. The contract truly did say that in the event of the seller's bankruptcy, the buyer is to return all pens and ensure that they are filled with ink. Karen argues that the provision was unconscionable and should not be enforced. After all, the purpose of the contract was to buy disposable goods for an office, and although Karen did have a duty to read the contract, it is clearly oppressive to use an obscure provision to turn a buyer into some kind of insurer for the seller's business. The court reasonably holds that the Section 7, Paragraph 2 of the contract was unconscionable and refuses to enforce it.