The days of businesses having to cram all of their terms and conditions onto one side of A4 paper are, thankfully, now gone. Small print used to be literally typeface in as small a print as possible so that more clauses could be fitted on to one page.
Thankfully technology has revolutionised the way that we conduct business today. Most businesses now communicate by email, use websites, and many will have their own electronic ordering systems which their customers will access to order goods and services.
What this means is that unless you are tied to using paper because of the nature of your business, you can adopt standard terms and conditions that actually reflect what you do and give you the protection you need relevant to your business.
You can now use attachments and links to websites, where terms that apply to a contract can be set out in a legible format, and are made readily available without costs of printing, paper and supply.
Why is this such an advantage? When I advise clients as to how to make sure that their standard terms and conditions actually apply to the business they are conducting, one of the things I advise is to make those terms and conditions accessible to customers in as many ways as you can. This should always include having your terms and conditions available on your website, and may include having a footer link on your email communications pointing out that the terms will apply and allowing the customer to click and view the terms.
What this means is that you will be accumulating evidence that your customer was aware of your terms and that they would apply to his dealings with you. If your customer proceeds to deal with you without objecting to those terms, in the event of a dispute, he will be hard pushed to raise an objection at this stage.
If you would like any help with your terms of trading, small print or advice on how to incorporate your terms and conditions, please contact Jane Rudge on 0121 227 3885.