If you operate your own business and you have a website for it, or indeed if you operate an online business like an e-commerce site or any type of membership platform, one of the elements which make up the contents of your site which you must never take lightly is your terms & conditions page. Many online business operators seem to take this important feature lightly, for a number of reasons which while understandable, are in no way justified.
Seriously, it can come right back to haunt you in a big way, so you need to take the time to invest some effort into making sure you have a solid set of terms of conditions.
Stop looking at it from the point of view of your typical visitor – typical visitors don’t take the time to even read the first line of those notorious terms and conditions anymore, if any of them ever did in the first place. This applies both to software solutions they purchased (or downloaded for free) and to websites which they use, such as membership sites which require them to sign up by filing in their personal and contact details.
This still doesn’t mean they’re not important because once there is a clause in your terms and conditions which goes something like “By using this site, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions of use,” this constitutes a legally binding contract which can come in to protect you as the site owner in the event that something not so good happens. This is some very serious stuff and although I’m pretty confident my plea to you to read these terms and conditions of the websites you use (if you’re the user) will fall on deaf ears, but if you’re on the other side of the fence and it’s you who is operating the website, you simply cannot ignore my plea.
If you believe in the generally good spirit of humanity, which you should, then you would definitely not want to believe that there is someone out there lurking who is just waiting to exploit any weakness you may depict by way of your online platform’s legal liability. It’s important for example to make sure nobody can claim any liability from you as a result of having used your site in any way. If you want to protect yourself from anybody claiming legal recourse on the premise that the use of your website resulted in them sustaining personal injury for instance, a simple liaison with a team of personal injury lawyers may save you the trouble of having to react to such a claim by getting some expensive legal advice down the line.
In this case the lawyers you consult with while formulating your terms and conditions would naturally not charge you as much as they would charge you if they were called upon to defend you and your company in a court of law, following some legal action taken against you with regards to some implied consequences of the use of your site.