Hardware Reference
In-Depth Information
Terms and conditions are most critical as well, and they are designed to keep you and your
customer safe and in the know when making a purchase on your website. In the not so
distant past, a good many webmasters just copied the terms and conditions word for word
from another site that had terms and conditions looking legitimate enough to assume that
they were written by a lawyer who knew something about the subject. You need to think
about your own Terms and Conditions, including your refund and returns policy and other
pertinent conditions that help you run your business.
I am here to tell you that one business's Terms and Conditions page doesn't always work
for another. Essentially the Terms and Conditions page is a contract. However, just because
you have Terms and Conditions posted on your website doesn't mean they have been ac-
cepted. That is the first point you should take from this section.
You can “force” the acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, usually by having your cus-
tomers click an “I accept” button with a link to the Terms and Conditions page, before they
make a purchase from your site. This is called a “click-wrap agreement.” Good click-wrap
agreements are the ones in which the default setting reads “I do not agree,” so the custom-
er must change the selection to the “I agree” button, and then click. The reason is that the
customer must consciously make the decision to agree to your terms.
One of the most important components of your Terms and Conditions may have to do with
dispute resolution. Let's say you operate a website in Kansas and have a disgruntled cus-
tomer in California. If the customer in California defrauds your Kansas-based business,
you could sue the customer in California, and in fact would be required to utilize the court
system of California to collect any money. Turnabout is fair play, and the customer also can
sue you in California. However, courts consistently have held that the parties to a contract
can agree in advance to the place (venue) where disputes arising from it are resolved, as
long as the venue has some interest in the dispute (e.g., one of the parties lives there or the
contract is to be performed there). This sometimes is called a “choice of forum” clause, per-
haps the most important term or condition—and is the second point you should take from
this section.
Another aspect of your conditions involves how (as opposed to where) disputes are re-
solved. Terms and Conditions can specify that disputes will be resolved by arbitration, and
this is the third point. Taking a situation to arbitration may be a better solution for all parties
involved, financially speaking, if your Terms and Conditions have provided for this.
The last point that we need to discuss is the possibility of incurring attorney's fees during a
lawsuit. Let's face it, you are much more likely than your customers to make a mistake, and
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