Is Your Website Refund Policy Deceptive?

By | Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

When you sell goods or services online, it’s important to have a website refund policy. And it needs to be accurate to avoid claims you’re engaging in false or deceptive marketing practices.

Because you don’t want the government coming after you, lawsuits from unhappy customers, or negative Google/Yelp reviews of your business.

What if you have a “no refunds” policy? Assuming it’s legal (some states have a “buyer’s remorse” mandatory refund period for certain purchases), then that should be clearly disclosed too so that prospective customers don’t find out after buying that it’s too late to get their money back.

Now if you do have a website refund policy, make sure that there are no hidden “gotchas.”

For example, if you charge a restocking fee for returned merchandise, that should be disclosed.

And if the customer is responsible for return shipping costs, be sure to make that clear too.

Of course, an experienced website lawyer can prepare a refund policy that’s designed to limit your liability exposure. And while you’re at it, have him review or prepare your other website legal documents (e.g., privacy policy, terms of use, etc.).

Should You Copy Terms And Conditions From Another Website?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

Should You Copy Terms And Conditions From Another WebsiteWhen you’re looking for website legal protection, you’ll want to include website legal documents on your site. But does it make sense to copy terms and conditions from another website?

The Pros And Cons

Benefits

The benefits to an entrepreneur on a tight budget are that you’re saving time and money up front by not investing in the terms and conditions, privacy policy, and other website legal documents that you need. It’s simply copy-and-paste to have legalese added to your site.

Related Article: Privacy Policy 101 – What Every Website Owner Should Know

But do these benefits outweigh the risks? Or, are you putting yourself in greater danger by taking another site’s legal documents to use as your own?

Legal Risks

As a practical matter, “borrowing” someone else’s legal documents without permission is stealing intellectual property. This typically is referred to as copyright infringement. If you’ve infringed upon someone else’s copyrights, you may be liable for up to $150,000 per document “borrowed” plus the copyright owner’s legal fees in the infringement lawsuit against you.

Note that it’s often difficult to track down and obtain the copyright owner’s permission (usually by paying a fee) to use another site’s legal documents. Most site owners are using their documents per a license obtained from the copyright owner.

A few have also “borrowed” theirs and are at risk of being sued for copyright infringement at any time for intellectual property theft. If you use their bootleg forms, you’re at risk too.

Unfortunately, many site owners simply don’t know what rights they have to the legal documents because they’re not attorneys and didn’t bother to check when buying a license. They might think they “own” the terms and conditions but are actually only licensees with no rights to give others permission to use the documents.

Even if you obtain the legal right to copy terms and conditions from another site, those provisions are probably not designed to protect your site. For example, the website legal documents used at Amazon.com are very different than what the average small business website needs.

What If You Decide Not To Copy Terms And Conditions From Another Site?

Our Internet law firm provides customized website legal documents for a flat fee as part of a Website Legal Protection Package.

Related Article: 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

If your budget is too limited to pay a website attorney to prepare customized documents you need for your site, you may want to consider using Website Legal Forms Generator, a software that generates site legal forms that were created by Internet Business Lawyer Mike Young.

5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

privacy policy website legal documentsNot all online privacy policies and other website legal documents are created equal. In fact, using the wrong documents could be as dangerous as not having the right ones on your site. Here are five of the common errors Internet business owners make when putting a privacy policy, terms of use, and other legal docs on their sites.

Error #1 – Borrowing Another Website’s Legal Documents

If you borrow another site’s privacy policy, refund policy, terms of use, DMCA notice, membership agreement or other legal document, you’re likely infringing upon the copyright of the person or entity that owns the legal documents. This means you could face a demand of up to $150,000 per infringement, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Related Article – Privacy Policy 101: What Every Website Owner Should Know

Even if the website’s owner gives you permission to use the documents, the site’s owner may not have the legal right to do so.

Why?

Many website legal documents are prepared by Internet business lawyers whose law firms own the copyrights. Site owners use the legalese under a license from the law firms rather than owning the documents.

A few years ago, an Internet lawyer contacted all of the website owners who were using his legal documents without permission. They were given a choice of paying him $5,000+ per site for a license or he would sue them for $150,000 per copyright infringement (and they would lose)…

Keep Your Customers Happy With a Website Refund Policy

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

website refund policy

What is a website refund policy?

A website refund policy is a business site’s written policy regarding clients who are not satisfied with their online purchases, for a variety of possible reasons ranging from a defective product to buyer’s remorse. This is different than a site’s privacy policy.

Related Article: Website Legal Protection For Your Business

Under a refund policy, a purchaser can opt to send the purchase in question back to the company from which it was purchased, and depending on the particular situation, receive either a full refund, partial refund, or store credit. In rare circumstances, it may make sense for the policy to clearly state a “no refunds or returns” policy.

What does a typical site refund policy entail?

Website refund policies often detail what sort of purchases can and cannot be refunded, contain time limits for the refund policy to be exercised, and the technical details of the returns process.

Related Article: 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

get website legal protectionCommon clauses include:

1. Terms stating which products may be refunded and which may not, and language explaining why certain products (for instance, food that could spoil) may not be returned.

2. Time limits for using such policies, usually 30 to 90 days after a purchase

3. Information on cost estimates

4. Information on how refunds are to be paid out

5. Language that identifies under what conditions the company will cover the cost of shipping on returns.

Ultimately, these policies carefully take into account both a company’s need to shield itself but not alienate its client base, erecting a framework where online businesses can balance client service against any potential for losses because of fraudulent activities.

Related Article: Do Your Website Legal Documents Give You Ownership Of Submitted Content?

Need help with your refund policy?

Does your company need a website refund policy or revisions to an existing policy? Internet Lawyer Mike Young has been helping prepare these and other important website legal documents (e.g. privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc.) for a wide variety of business clients since the mid-1990s.

To get help with your site’s policy, go ahead and set up a telephone consultation today.