06 October 2015
Spotify decided to update and change some of its terms and conditions to make an “improved user experience”. Instead they faced a backlash of angry customers.
The new terms included access to pictures, phone numbers and sensor data stored on the user’s smartphone. Customers raised the concern that their data would be at risk and shared without consent.
Spotify has apologised and accepted that they should have communicated better with their customers and that the privacy and security of customer data is their highest priority.
This incident highlights the need for any business to be clear and concise when it comes to writing company policy. Businesses need to be aware that the terms and conditions they rely on must not only protect them, but also their customers.
Terms and conditions are vital to establish the arrangements between companies and other parties be they customer, supplier or even employee. Cover should exist to the extent that clients or partners have no opportunity to go back on their word.
By having clear terms and conditions you protect yourself legally and there is proof of a company’s policy should it ever need to be produced before court.
Your terms and conditions should give clarity on what should happen in particular situations. Think of them as a manual or recipe book, detailing the outcomes of key eventualities or concerns.
The elements you should include depend on the type of business, but the following are some basics to consider:
• a clear definition of the services or products being provided
• any payment terms including when payment is due
• guarantees or warranties if they are included
• specify a timeline for deliveries, and a contact for queries
• detail what happens if either party doesn’t deliver, pay, or wants to end the relationship
• include the term of the agreement and what notice is required to get out of it
• specify which law shall govern the contract.
When terms and conditions are written, advice from an expert in business law is recommended. This ensures that any included terms are legal, and provide sufficient protection should anything go wrong.
Slater and Gordon have a team of experienced business lawyers on hand for companies big and small. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9052 or contact us online and we will call you.