A growing number of people are turning to embrace the world of online shopping. But have you ever thought about how a contract is present when online shopping and how legally binding it may be?
There are various ways that sellers ensure that they have a contract present, some better than others.
You may have seen some of them yourself.
A Click-Wrap agreement is in place when you click through the options and details of your purchase and finally come to a page where you are required to read and scroll through the terms and conditions of the purchase. This ensures there is an enforceable contract when the purchaser clicks on “I Agree” or “I accept” button.
A Browse-Wrap agreement is an agreement where the purchaser has to physically click on another link or visit another page to view the terms and conditions for the contract. It is not required that the terms and conditions be viewed before the customer can click the “I Agree” or “ I Accept” button. A Browse Wrap agreement is less likely to be enforceable.
Some factors that need to be taken into consideration with online agreements and contracts: –
- When is the contract formed?
- Who is making the offer, the seller or the purchaser?
- If the contract is formed at the time of clicking “ I Agree” can no other terms and conditions be added?
To ensure that these are covered, the terms and conditions must be specific and cover all aspects required. (Eg refund and warranty terms). Ensure that there is notice to the customer that explains that the online transaction is governed by contract law. Give the customer opportunity to review the terms and conditions (Click Wrap Agreement) before being bound by the online contract. Give a clear statement of what constitutes acceptance of the agreement and ensure there is a tick box which advises that the terms and conditions have been read.
Yes, online stores may be a cost effective way of selling a product but ensuring you have strong online contract will help you come across any issues in relation to contract law and will save you money in the long run.
If you would like more information or want to obtain the best possible chance of a successful outcome in your dispute, please contact our Commercial Litigation Department Manager, Amanda Heather on direct line 07 5506 8245, email firstname.lastname@example.org or free call 1800 621 071.
We have an experienced dedicated Commercial Litigation team that practice exclusively in these areas.