Why you need website policies
And what about you ? You will certainly want to rule out other people using your material.
An opportunity to set it down in black and white
What happens if there are no website terms and conditions?
If you’ve only just become aware of your legal obligations to have clearly defined website policies and T&Cs then the temptation can be to simply cut and paste the terms and conditions from a similar business. This might save you an hour or two in the short term, but could come back to haunt you and your business further down the line. The policies you cut and paste from another business could be out of date, designed for a completely different business scenario, or simply not up to the job.
Inadequate or absent terms and conditions could also result in:
- A complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding the collection and use of data, including data used to process a sale and/or market, which could land you in big trouble under the Data Protection Act.
- A failure to comply with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 as well as running into problems with the Sale of Goods Act 1977, Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and potentially the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 may result in complaints or, worse still, costly legal proceedings.
- You may wish to restrict the use of intellectual property, and how visitors interact with the website e.g. forums, blogs or product reviews. This will be difficult to manage if there are no clearly laid out terms.
- Your reputation could be at stake, too. Without clear and legally compliant terms online, anyone who thinks about doing business with you will suspect you’re trying to ‘hide something’ and may be reluctant to deal with you at all.