Why are website T&Cs important?
Most Australian Businesses have experienced some form of disruption following the COVID-19 pandemic. The post-pandemic landscape has seen a drastic increase in e-commerce with more than half of all small-to-medium business in Australia pivoting in some way to online industry and an increase in online spending from consumers by 55% in 2020, a trend continuing through 2021 and into 2022.
Overall, updates to website Terms and Conditions of Use (T&Cs) have lagged behind this shift to online shopping. Understandably, with many Australian businesses struggling to pay the bills over the last two years, the website T&Cs have fallen down the list of priorities.
However, if you have an online store selling goods and services on your website, you are required under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to keep your website T&Cs up to date.
What should my T&Cs cover?
In a nutshell, your website T&Cs are the first layer of protection for your business and useful in complying with the ACL requirements.
First and foremostly, your T&Cs should cover how users can use your website and any prohibited conduct. They should also limit your liability, identify the collection and storing of user data and protect the intellectual property on your website.
While the exact policies covered in your T&Cs will differ depending on your industry, it is always prudent to cover the:
• delivery of goods
• return and refund policies
• privacy information
• user’s rights and a license to use the website
• disruption of services (particularly where the business relates to travel, accommodation or transport)
• right of refusal,
and other risks that would impact the specific industry your business operates within.
Do I need to update my T&C’s?
There is no set rule for how often you should update your website T&Cs, however, when you have updated your product or service offering, it is usually a good time to update your T&Cs. It is also important to capture recent updates to the law or government regulations within your website T&Cs where this is possible.
With regard to the post pandemic landscape, now is as good a time as any to take a look at whether your T&Cs are compliant and adequate in protecting your business.
How we can help
Our Corporate & Commercial team is available to assist with any questions you may have. Please email us your enquiry.