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Why have Terms and Conditions?

Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) are key for any trading business, setting out the terms on which contracts are formed, operated and terminated.  They can be in various forms and contain all manner of arrangements which are bespoke to the relevant industry, transaction and customer including matters such as price and payment, method of placing orders, responsibilities of both parties, delivery arrangements, returns, and warranties and liabilities.  They also detail what happens when things go wrong, for example the customer fails to pay an invoice or the goods supplied are defective.

Having poorly drafted T&Cs can result in all manner of problems, as was highlighted in the case of Seaborne Freight, the company who was awarded a £13.8 million government contract to operate cross Channel ferries in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  Questions were raised about this company after it became apparent that the company had copied and pasted their T&Cs from a food delivery company.  Their T&Cs referred to “paying for your meal” and “delivery addresses” with their privacy policy only being partially drafted.  Aside from the potential risk of the T&Cs being unenforceable due to this discrepancy, the company (and its contracting party, the government) faced very public ridicule and significant damage to its business reputation.

Ultimately T&Cs allow you to determine the terms of engagement which apply to your customers and therefore are essential to have in place before engaging with any third party.  They ensure transparency between the contracting parties and, provided they are properly drafted, will address all stages of a contract bespoke to your company’s needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Corporate team if you would like to discuss your T&Cs or any other needs of your company.

Posted on 20/05/2019 by Emily MacNiven

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