June 20th, 2019.

In your small business, it’s absolutely vital that your customers know clearly what they are purchasing and what your terms of business are. This is especially important if you operate online.

What are terms and conditions (T&Cs) and how important are they?
These are the clauses in a contract that set out the rights and obligations that both parties need to be aware of when they enter into a contract.

In the past, a big mistake which businesses have made is believing that, if they hide their terms from the customer but the customer still signs the contract, that these terms can be relied upon – i.e. if the terms of the contract are part of the “small print”, the belief is that once the customer signs the contract, whether or not they have seen or read the terms, that they will be bound.

Can terms forming part of the ‘small print’ be relied upon?
Largely, the answer to that is no.

Bring T&Cs to the customer’s attention
Nearly 80 years ago, way back in 1940, there was a landmark case in the courts about whether a local authority could rely on a disclaimer (against personal injury) on the back of a ticket given to a customer who hired a deck chair. The courts made the point that in order to rely on this, such a disclaimer would have to be brought to the customer’s notice at the time the contract was being made. In this case it wasn’t, since the customer only received the ticket after he paid the money. Therefore, it was a receipt and, consequently, the disclaimer could not be relied on since it had not been brought to the customer’s notice before the contract was made, enabling him to pull out if he wanted. 

For the full story at smallbusiness.co.uk CLICK HERE