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Website Woes

2 min read
05 November 2021

Key Takeaways

  • It is important that you consider tailoring your website’s Terms and Conditions to your business’ specific needs.
  • Medical practices in particular need to be cautious when using ‘off the shelf’ website Terms and Conditions due to the nature of their business and a perception of potentially offering or providing medical advice.
  • You should ensure that your website protects you and your business to the maximum extent possible.

Almost every business has one, and it isn’t ‘that employee’ – it’s your website.

Unfortunately, while most businesses will do their due diligence and make sure that each employee’s terms of engagement are specific, the same can rarely be said for their website’s Terms and Conditions (T&Cs).

To avoid any website woes, it is important that you avoid off the shelf T&Cs that your web developer has ‘thrown in’ for you and that you tailor your website terms and conditions to your specific needs and business.

Medical practices in particular need to be cautious when using ‘off the shelf’ website  T&Cs due to the nature of their business and the importance of patient specific medical advice.

Some of the items to consider tailoring to your specific business include:

  1. Payment Terms and Conditions

Does your business have payment terms that vary from the standard 7-14 days?

Additionally, do you require payment to be made in advance or in a specific way (eg. EFT only). Customers will rely upon the material available on your website and if your website is not reflective of your invoicing terms and conditions, you could find yourself in a difficult position.

  1. Disclaimers

Does your website include information about the services you offer and how you help your customers?

 Is there general advice available to show you are the best in your industry?

If you don’t have disclaimers around this information, customers may rely upon your general advice, suffer loss/damage and you may find yourself in the cross-hairs of a claim.

  1. Australian Consumer Law and Warranties

Does your website consider the Australian Consumer Law and the warranties that customers are subsequently entitled to? Is your return/refund policy compliant with the ACL?

  1. Privacy Obligations and Requirements

Australian Privacy Laws impose strict obligations around the storage of information.

If you have not liaised with your website supplier as to where information entered into your website will be stored, you may be exposing yourself to a breach of the Privacy Laws.  

Additionally, how you treat and use clients’ or patients’ information must be clearly displayed in your privacy policy.

  1. Out of Office Details

If your office is closed and you do not offer an out-of-office number for patients or clients to phone, you may need to display emergency or 24/7 support details on your website.

For example, if you are operating a psychiatry practice and you do not offer on-call services outside of normal business hours, you may need to direct your website traffic to call a 24/7 provider or Triple 0 in the event of an emergency.

With consumers doing their research and increasingly relying on websites to get their information, you should ensure that your website reflects your business position and protects you to the maximum extent possible.

We can help advise you on your website T&Cs and help you to tailor them to your specific circumstances. Simply send us an email or call 07 3220 1144.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.

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