Avoiding Lawsuits: Why Terms and Conditions, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policy Templates and Generators are Bad

terms of service lawyerYou’re ready to go. The website is done, you’ve got a system is in place – it’s launch time, baby! But WAIT! Before you flip the switch, have you made sure your website isn’t a steaming pile of illegal content?

At this point you may say to yourself, “Well, Self, there isn’t much left in the coffers, and there are plenty of free website agreements floating around the Web. I’ll just grab one of those until things pick up.”

Don’t do that, though. Do not pass Go. Because if you gamble and grab any ‘ole terms of service agreement or generic privacy policy for your website, your company may be forced out of business before it gets off the ground. Or worse, by using a free website agreement, you may be inadvertently agreeing to things you don’t want to be agreeing to (#HUMANCENTiPAD).

Potential Pitfall #1 of Using Free Terms and Conditions Generator and Privacy Policy Generator – Outdated Agreement

Things have a way of lingering on the Web for…well…eternity. So that handy, free website terms of service agreement you found and downloaded without incident has the potential to land you in a lawyer-infested shark tank. What if it was written before the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act went into effect? What if it doesn’t make note of third-party access to the site and related liabilities? What if it doesn’t address stricter European Internet laws – laws that North American companies must follow if their sites are accessible across the pond?

You get the point. If you happen to choose terms of service agreements or privacy policies that were written when people still used dot matrix printers, the resulting legal hassle could be epic and costly.

Potential Pitfall #2 of Using Free Term and Conditions Generator and Privacy Policy Generator – Hidden Agreement

Scammers are clever people. They know how to exploit the loopholes and oft-ignored pockets of the proverbial matrix. Now imagine one of these clever scammers posted a “free” terms of service or privacy agreement online. At first glance, it looks like a standard, no harm, no-foul agreement. But low and behold, the fine print actually requires you to fork over 10% of your proceeds if you use the “free” agreement.

Granted, the contract may not hold up in court, but what if you end up agreeing to something that can be easily masked – like a cloaked tracking cookie?

Potential Pitfall #3 of Using Free Term and Conditions Generator and Privacy Policy Generator – Not Specific Enough

Just a few short years ago, websites basically came in two varieties – static sites and sites that allowed comments. Since social media and smartphones exploded on to the scene, however, websites now come in all shapes, size and interactive levels.
And guess what, different laws exist for different types of sites. A template terms of service agreement found in the nether regions of the Web may not be sufficient enough for a multi-level social media platform – and a privacy policy written just two years ago won’t cut it if your site allows users to create an account.

Again, using a template, outdated terms of service or privacy policy could land you in legal hot water.

Potential Pitfall #4 of Using Free Terms of Service and Privacy Policy Generator – Excessively Favors The Client

Of course you want to do right by your clients, but you don’t want to screw yourself in the process – and if you use a free website agreement, you may end up doing just that. Oftentimes, generic terms and policies found online are consumer-friendly – to the point of ridiculousness. Imagine the nightmare of becoming entangled in a legal flap with a client and your policies are doing everything for them and nothing for you!?

You don’t want to end up losing a legal battle because you opted for a free or template website agreement, right? Well lucky for you, it can all be avoided. A custom website terms of service agreement or privacy policy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you have a website that needs custom legal prose for a reasonable price, contact Terms and Conditions Lawyer.

Contact us now and see how we can help!

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