When it comes to producing your website Terms and
Conditions the best (and some would say only) approach is to
seek professional legal assistance.
However, providing your lawyer with a draft for proofing should be more
economical than having them prepare the contents from scratch. But then
we are dealing with Lawyers.
HCD Tactic: When dealing with any service provider -
Lawyers included - always get a clear indication of time / cost estimates
before approving any engagement.
Lawlive.com.au is an Australian website that sells
personalised templates of legal contracts and documents, including many
relating to website terms and conditions for around $100.00 per document.
If your website is published in Australia you need to comply with current
Australian Consumer Laws, and there may also be other industry specific
requirements that could cause serious problems if overlooked.
If you're selling products or services online and accepting credit card
payments, your merchant facility provider may also have specific
requirements relating to the legal information you publish.
So if you're ready to tackle composition of your T's & C's, here's
our 8 Point Guide outlining some of the key areas
you need to cover...remembering of course that we're not lawyers, and the
following is not in any way intended to be legal advice.
Copyright - Australian Law automatically applies
copyright to your website and content, but adding a copyright notice
confirms this. Apply the statement to everything from the website
design, your products, your images and your text content.
Use of Information - Include a disclaimer that
protects you against the use (or misuse) of the information or advice
that you provide on your website. What you say may not work for
everyone, and you can't predict how people may use it.
Customer Returns - If you sell products or services
on-line, it is essential that your Terms and Conditions comply with the
latest consumer laws. You must include the following:
A statement that you comply with the latest Australian Consumer Law
The terms under which you will provide a refund, repair or
replacement on faulty items or undelivered service.
Details of your guarantees.
Details of your warranties (if you provide any).
Shipping Policy - If you sell products, and send them
to customers by courier or mail, provide a clear outline of the terms
of sending goods. Include expected costs and delivery times, your
policy for late or undelivered goods, and any responsibilities of the
Industry/Product Specialist Risks - If you are in
certain industries, or sell products that have a higher set of risks
(like health advise or products for example), you should seek
professional legal advice in relation to inclusion of special terms and
conditions, such as for example disclaimers that limit claims for
possible injuries or losses that may be caused by using any of your
products or services.
Amount of Liability - Most importantly, include a
clause that limits the amount of your liability from any claims made
against you or your business, including a maximum claim amount for
damages (the amount paid for the product or service for example).
Terms for International Customers - If you sell your
products or services to customers overseas, include separate terms that
cover international customers and their consumer laws.
Privacy - Australian Privacy Laws changed in March
2014. Australian Private Sector Organisations are required to have a
manage personal information". While not every Australian website is
audience via interactive functions such as newsletter subscriptions,
online shopping systems or even just simple online forms such as a
contact form, you'll need to disclose how you manage the personal
information you're collecting.
Publishing current, clear, business specific Terms and Conditions that
have been approved by professional legal counsel provides peace of mind
for your customers while serving to mitigate the risk of legal action and
costly penalties and fines for non compliance with your obligations.
For the latest consumer law information, visit the Australian Consumer Law website and for more
information about the new Australian Privacy Laws visit the Privacy
section of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,
or select the link below to download the plain English factsheet.