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18 September 2018 Posted by 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

How to make them water tight
KATHERINE HAWES
TERMS and conditions have the potential to be your business’ saviour or fall from grace. With well drafted terms and conditions, you can protect your business to the greatest extent legally possible.


The aim of the terms and conditions is to protect you from claims against your business. Your terms and conditions should be easily accessed by your website visitors.
 
They should also explain how your online business will operate through clauses such as privacy policy and refund policy.
Below you will find a brief explanation of the clauses which will make your website terms and conditions as protective as possible.
 
Privacy Policy
 
A privacy policy is essential. The Australian Privacy Principles provide a guideline of how personal information should be kept ensuring privacy. You should include stipulations on how information is collected, what kind of information is collected, who has access to this information, how it is stored and what it is used for.
 
Cookie Policy
 
A cookie is a small file that is stored on your computer. It contains information about the website you visited, allowing other websites to tailor your online experience to your personal preferences. For example, when you log on to Facebook, you may see advertisements for the model plane you were just searching for online. This is all due to a cookie! If your website utilises cookies, you should install a cookie policy. This policy should advise visitors that cookies are used.
 
Refund Policy
 
If your online business involves the sale of goods and services, you should include a refund policy. The refund policy must be in line with the Australian Consumer Law and should not prohibit refunds. The Australian Consumer Law contains different rules depending on why a good was returned in the first place. In certain circumstances, a consumer is legally entitled to a refund, while in others, they may not be entitled to a refund, exchange or credit note. There are similar rules for the provision of services.
 
Amending your terms and conditions
 
All good terms and conditions include a clause which allows the website owner or operator to amend the terms and conditions at any time, without notice. You should provide a statement informing visitors that you intend to amend your terms and conditions whenever you please.
 
Copyright
 
A clause relating to copyright ownership is an important part of your terms and conditions. You are automatically protected by copyright if you have created something new. You don’t need to register your creation or pay a fee, you are automatically granted this protection. However, others might believe that you have violated their copyright. A copyright clause can potentially protect you against liability from visitor’s claiming copyright ownership of anything on your website.
 
To protect yourself further, you should acknowledge any unoriginal work on your website. For example, if you use an image created by someone else, you should state that they took the photo or created the image.
There are several other clauses that you can include in your terms and conditions to cover all your possible liabilities.
 
These include the following:
 
• Website ownership.
• Visitor’s agreement.
• Liability limiting clause.
• Third party material.
• Consequences of use.
 
Katherine Hawes is principal at

 



editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Email: info@wsba.com.au
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