What are Terms and Conditions Agreements?
A Terms and Conditions agreement acts as a legal contract between you www.reliefpad.in and the user. It’s where you maintain your rights to exclude users from your app in the event that they abuse your website/app, set out the rules for using your service and note other important details and disclaimers.
Having a Terms and Conditions agreement is completely optional. No laws require you to have one. Not even the super-strict and wide-reaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Your Terms and Conditions agreement will be uniquely yours. While some clauses are standard and commonly seen in pretty much every Terms and Conditions agreement, it’s up to you to set the rules and guidelines that the user must agree to.
Is a Terms and Conditions Agreement Required?
A Terms and Conditions is not required and it’s not mandatory by law.
Unlike Privacy Policies, which are required by laws such as the GDPR, CalOPPA and many others, there’s no law or regulation on Terms and Conditions.
However, having a Terms and Conditions gives you the right to terminate the access of abusive users or to terminate the access to users who do not follow your rules and guidelines, as well as other desirable business benefits.
It’s extremely important to have this agreement if you operate a SaaS app.
Here are a few examples of how this agreement can help you:
- If users abuse your website or mobile app in any way, you can terminate their account. Your “Termination” clause can inform users that their accounts would be terminated if they abuse your service.
- If users can post content on your website or mobile app (create content and share it on your platform), you can remove any content they created if it infringes copyright. Your Terms and Conditions will inform users that they can only create and/or share content they own rights to. Similarly, if users can register for an account and choose a username, you can inform users that they are not allowed to choose usernames that may infringe trademarks, i.e. usernames like Google, Facebook, and so on.
- If you sell products or services, you could cancel specific orders if a product price is incorrect. Your Terms and Conditions can include a clause to inform users that certain orders, at your sole discretion, can be canceled if the products ordered have incorrect prices due to various errors.
- And many more examples.
In summary, while you do not legally need a Terms and Conditions agreement, there are many many reasons for you to have one. Not only will it make your business look more professional and trustworthy, but you’ll also be maintaining more control over how your users are able to interact with your platforms and content.
What Information to Include in Terms and Conditions
In your Terms and Conditions, you can include rules and guidelines on how users can access and use your website and mobile app.
Here are a few examples:
- An Intellectual Property clause will inform users that the contents, logo and other visual media you created is your property and is protected by copyright laws.
- A Termination clause will inform users that any accounts on your website and mobile app, or users’ access to your website and app, can be terminated in case of abuses or at your sole discretion.
- A Governing Law clause will inform users which laws govern the agreement. These laws should come from the country in which your company is headquartered or the country from which you operate your website and mobile app.
- A Links to Other Websites clause will inform users that you are not responsible for any third party websites that you link to. This kind of clause will generally inform users that they are responsible for reading and agreeing (or disagreeing) with the Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policies of these third parties.
If your website or mobile app allows users to create content and make that content public to other users, a Content clause will inform users that they own the rights to the content they have created. This clause usually mentions that users must give you (the website or mobile app developer/owner) a license so that you can share this content on your website/mobile app and to make it available to other users.
Because the content created by users is public to other users, a DMCA notice clause (or Copyright Infringement ) section is helpful to inform users and copyright authors that, if any content is found to be a copyright infringement, you will respond to any DMCA takedown notices received and you will take down the content.
A Limit What Users Can Do clause can inform users that by agreeing to use your service, they’re also agreeing to not do certain things. This can be part of a very long and thorough list in your Terms and Conditions agreement so as to encompass the most amount of negative uses.
Terms and Conditions FAQs
A Terms and Conditions agreement is not legally required. However, having one comes with a number of important benefits for both you and your users/customers.
The benefits include increasing your control over your business/platform, while helping your users understand your rules, requirements and restrictions.
The main benefit of having a Terms and Conditions agreement is that you maintain the highest level of control over your website/business.
Your Terms and Conditions agreement is where you're able to list your rules when it comes to the use of your website. You're also able to maintain the right to terminate abusive accounts, disclaim warranties and limit your liability.
There are benefits for your users, as well. Your Terms and Conditions agreement makes it clear to your users what you expect from them, what they are not allowed to do with your website/service, and how they must handle certain situations such as arbitration and canceling their own accounts.
Without a Terms and Conditions agreement, your rules and requirements won't be made public and provided to your users. This means your users may take advantage of your "lawless" platform.
You may also get bombarded with questions from users asking about things that would otherwise be included in your Terms and Conditions agreement. For example, you may get a lot of questions asking how you handle user-generated content rights, or how a user can shut down an account.
Some clauses are specific to certain types of businesses and won't be found in all Terms and Conditions agreements. For example, you won't need a clause about subscription payment terms if you don't offer paid subscriptions.
In general, almost every Terms and Conditions agreement should include the following clauses:
- Right to make changes to the agreement
- User guidelines (rules, restrictions, requirements)
- Copyright and intellectual property
- Governing law
- Warranty disclaimer
- Limitation of liability
- Termination of accounts/service
- Contact information
The more complicated your website or business is, the more clauses you will end up having.
Some business-specific clauses include the following:
- Payment terms
- Cancelling service or subscription
- User-generated content
Display your Terms and Conditions agreement in the following places, where applicable:
- Via a static link to your website footer
- In a menu within your mobile app (typically in an About, Legal, Info menu)
- On your "Create Account" or similar type of page
- On any checkout or order finalization pages
The key here is to make sure your Terms and Conditions agreement is always accessible at any time, and that you also provide it additionally at points where the user may be more interested in referring to its terms.
Adding a link to your website footer or within your app menu makes your Terms and Conditions agreement available at any and all times. Adding a link to times when a user is interacting with you in a more specific way, such as when creating an account or placing an order, helps remind the user about your Terms and Conditions agreement at that important time.
To make your Terms & Conditions agreement enforceable, place an un-ticked checkbox next to a link to your agreement and a statement that says something along the lines of, "By checking this box, you agree to be bound by our Terms and Conditions agreement."
You can also use an "I Agree" button instead of a checkbox that users must click to show they agree to your Terms and Conditions agreement.