The terms and conditions is a legally binding contract between a vendor and its users. It outlines the scope under which the vendor offers the products and services is acceptable. This document is essential in the conduct of business and a vital element of any online presence. Prospective users are required to accept these terms and conditions before they start using the products or services.
Your terms and conditions will cover all your online services; there is no need for different terms and conditions for different platforms, one terms and conditions document will cover all, including:
- Blogs and articles
- Content Management Systems
- Online shopping platforms
- Mobile devices
- Social Media
The vendor can modify the terms and conditions as and when they deem necessary. However, they are obliged to notify the users so that they can review the changes before they become effective.
What is covered in T&C
Whether you have your T&C created by a lawyer, use a terms and conditions template or a terms and conditions generator, the type of clauses included in each will be the same.
Deciding what needs to be included in your terms and conditions will need a lot of thought and consideration. The following, for example, are typical parts of a T&C document:
- Applicable law and jurisdiction
- Eligibility criteria for the user of products and services
- Users that are accessing your website or mobile app do they have the capability to create their account and store personal information?
- The action that makes the user enter into a contract, e.g. buying a product or signing up for a service
- Segregation of users, and different offerings that are available to visitors and members
- The offerings available only to members
- Offerings that visitor can use without becoming a member
- Contract renewal policy
The use of personal information
- The fact that the vendor will collect and use personal information
- The retention period of information
- The sharing of information with other entities and/or affiliate companies
- The measure for securing the information
- The fact that the use of certain products and services will result in monetary charges
- The billing methods acceptable by the vendor
- Whether there are any warranties for use of product
- The circumstances under which the provision of services can be terminated by the vendor
- Return policy, conditions under which a product can be return and money refunded
- If the service provided to users becomes unavailable due to technical issues, could it result in a loss for the user?
- Is the payment system protected against credit card fraud etc?
- Payments terms, including refund policy
- The fact that payment is subject to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates
- The amount of tax payable by the users upon use of products and services
Content and intellectual property
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), protecting the business and their online assets from being unlawfully used.
- The user generated content
Limitation of liability
Terms and conditions will ensure no liability exists for the website for any third parties that may be accessed from the business website. This puts the responsibility of accessing other media back to the user and gives the user responsibility to check and agree to, third parties terms and conditions.
- The ways in which notifications and messages will be provided to the users
- The rights and limits of users
- How to complaint to the vendor
- How to contact the vendor
This list is far from exhaustive, but by ensuring the basis of your T&C is sound, you are providing your business with the protection required.
Each business defines what rules and guidelines are detailed in the terms and conditions, and this ensures the business can keep complete control of who can access their online services and the rights of each user. Keeping this control is critical for businesses in case there is the need to suspend services for a particular individual for example.
With GDPR Regulations introduced in 2018, Privacy Policies are regulated, but no regulation exists for terms and conditions.
A lawyer with experience in providing T&C for different businesses will be able to guide your business through the steps, or with a terms and conditions template geared to your industry, will also produce the desired result.
Good terms and condition generator will prompt you with intelligence to ensure you have considered the clauses that may be necessary for your online presence.
Terms and conditions, although not a legal requirement is an essential element of any online business. A website without properly constructed is taking the risk of future issues with problematic users that could result in litigation. Well considered T&C will protect against future issues.
Ensuring your website has professional T&C has never been easier, the most expensive option is to instruct a lawyer to prepare your terms and conditions. However, the other two remaining professional options are to use a T&C template or a T&C generator.
Templates allow you to select the industry key features of your online business and the template offered will be very close to what is needed at a fraction of the cost of T&C produced by a lawyer.
Terms and condition generators are an outstanding approach to create perfectly customized terms for your business with wizards that guide the user through simple steps to define your business, T&C. The terms are generated and customized exactly to your business requirements, at a fraction of the cost of lawyers.