Terms and conditions listed on a company's website are an important legal document. They outline the contractual terms of what you and your customers agree too when they engage with your business and purchase goods or services. However, for business owners, they can be challenging to put together and you may think hiring an expert will be costly. Therefore, some start-ups and small businesses may choose to copy terms and conditions from another website. This method may seem tempting and appears to be a convenient way to save money – however, it can come with some significant consequences as time goes on. We look at the reasons why copying terms and conditions from another website is a bad idea.
Copyright and intellectual property infringements: Copying another website’s terms and conditions is considered to be copyright infringement. This could open you up to potential legal action which could be costly for your business and damage your reputation. The time and cost encountered if you need to go through this process will be considerably more than if you just originally outsourced the production of your terms and conditions to an expert.
Every business is different: Your business is unique. Even copying the terms and conditions of a business that sells similar products or services can still open you up to contractual rights that you do not want or are not comfortable with. For example, you may offer a 30 day warranty for your services – but if you copy the terms and conditions of a similar company that offers a 90 day warranty you may end up having to carry out more work and cover more costs than you intended. By using terms and conditions from another business, you could be binding yourself to accept conditions that you do not agree with or want to fulfill.
They may not be up to scratch: Just because another company or competitor has terms and conditions does not necessarily mean that they are comprehensive, clear and well written. They may have written them themselves with no support from an expert, or they may have downloaded a template online that can come with a whole host of risks. Terms and conditions are incredibly important, and a poorly written agreement filled with loopholes and misleading provisions may make it hard for you or your customer to claim certain things. One poorly written clause may also invalidate the entire contract. If you copy terms and conditions you could run the risk of, not only confusing your customers, but also breaching the law for misleading them about the essential terms of your relationship.
Copying another companies' terms and conditions is not a good idea because they will not be relevant for your business’ unique circumstances. You also open yourself up to potential copyright infringement and other legal liability which could end up being very damaging to your business. Although it may seem like a good way to save time and money now, there could be significant reputational and monetary implications further down the line. Having an expert team produce your terms and conditions for you is a cost-effective way to ensure you have the clear and transparent documentation needed to run your business. For more information contact the team on email@example.com.
About Brumpton and Brumpton
Located in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Brumpton and Brumpton provide Policy and Procedure writing services to businesses of all sizes. Our diverse team of experts all bring a different skill set to the table, meaning we're able to provide a range of expert capabilities to our customers.
With over 12 years of experience in writing policies and supporting documentation, we will work with you to understand your needs and put the right policies and processes in place to give your company additional stability and make it clear how you want to operate.