What is Term of Service and Why Does it Matter

If you have ever installed an app on your phone, visited a new website, purchased a relatively expensive product like a phone, or even signed an insurance policy, you will have noticed that there was something titled ‘Terms Of Service’. If you don’t really remember what it said or what it was about, it’s not okay, however, you aren’t the only one. In fact, most people don’t ever read more than the title of the Terms Of Service. Regardless of what service or product it is, we usually all just click the ‘accept’ button or go ahead and sign anyway, not even considering what the company owes us and what our obligations to that service are.

The great thing is that most companies create very detailed Terms Of Service. For things like digital products, this can be an entire PDF that is a few hundred pages long. While this does signify the importance of the product, it makes it even more unattractive for the purchaser or end-user to read. Also, the terms of service include a lot of technical and legal terms and don’t make much sense to the average person. Unless you are using this document for some specific purpose, going through it isn’t a priority. Here are a few things you should know about the document you have never read.

What is Term of Service and Why Does it Matter

  1. Product Or Service Policy

    The terms of service are particularly important when you buy something that comes with a guarantee or a warranty. You will notice the word guarantee or warranty in the marketing material usually has a small asterisk above it. For example, in the case of cars, the service warranty is only valid for a certain number of miles or for a certain time period. In some cases, you also have an extended policy available which will give you the same coverage for a longer period of time. If you are using your car for commercial purposes or you think that it is going to touch the end of the warranty very soon, it’s a good idea to get an extended warranty.

  2. Privacy Policy

    Every website on the internet stores your information in some form or the other. Whatever kind of website it is, they will gather information from all users and then use this for further process development, or they might even be selling their information to third parties. The process of generating terms and conditions depends entirely on what the information is used for and also impacts the kinds of cookies used. As a user, you don’t know what these cookies are gathering when you accept the cookie notification. The privacy policy portion of the terms of service will detail this information. Usually, the cookie notification only says what kinds of cookies are being used, meanwhile, the average person doesn’t know what these cookies do. To get more information about this you can visit the privacy policy section of the site and understand what you are giving to access this site.

  3. Terms Of Service

    The terms of service policy are used widely in digital products and also in physical products. Also when you are using services such as insurance, using a bank loan, using temporary accommodation, or many other kinds of services, you will have to sign a waiver that ensures you agree to the terms of service. This is a very common thing in SaaS products. If you have ever created an email account, signed up to a social media platform, or even just used an app, you have signed one of these. In general, it protects the business owner from wrongful use of their products and services and outlines the penalties that you as a consumer will have to face if you violate this agreement.

  4. Refund Policy

    For some services and products, it is possible to get a refund. This could be because you are not satisfied with the product, it could be for a defect in the product, or it could be for any other reason. All circumstances under which the company will be liable to entertain your request for a refund will be outlined in the refund policy. If there is no refund policy, companies might still give you a refund, but they are not legally bound to. Also, if a company refuses to compensate you, and you are only asking for something that is in line with the refund policy, you can use this as the basis of your case against them.

    What is Term of Service

Ideally, you should at least skim through the terms of service for the products and the services that you buy. Usually, the main points are either written in bold, highlighted, or written separately. This is the only way you can find out what the consequences of using a product and service are and if you are uncomfortable with it, you can choose not to. Otherwise, there is no reason for you to complain later on and there is no basis on which you can base your argument.

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