Having a terms and conditions on you website when you are operating online are vitally important. It cannot be emphasized enough that you require legal protection.
What are Terms & Conditions then?
The word term comes from the Old French terme meaning limit which came from the Latin terminus or end. A simple definition from the Oxford English Dictionary is: stipulations made; conditions offered or accepted.
The word condition originates from the Latin com – together and dicere – say. A simple definition from the same Dictionary is: something required as part of an agreement.
So one could say that terms & conditions:
Are perimeters or boundaries and requirements agreed upon and within which all transactions between two or more parties must take place for an agreed upon result to occur and without which no transactions take place.
In short it is your armour to ensure you are not taken by surprise in the rear!
A proper and legal agreement is required that sets out the terms & conditions of any proposed transaction or sale and the consequences of it. Therefore this is an area where you would do well to consult with your legal representative in order to draw up a set of terms and conditions for your particular circumstances. I have seen many web sites with no or skimpy terms and conditions that leave the merchant wide open to legal action which may be quite unwarranted but can cripple the merchants business. Ask yourself, why do all the larger companies have such an extensive and involved terms and conditions? Take a look at Microsoft or Procter & Gamble or any of the larger corporations. You will not find lip service paid to terms and conditions. You will see a page maybe two or more of legal terms and conditions. If you study the larger corporations well you will see they are protected with legal iron clad armour surrounding them on all sides including their backside.
Your terms and conditions should reflect your policy as relates to fraud as well as privacy and complaints and the client or customer should be acknowledging and agreeing to the terms and conditions prior to any sale taking place.