Following recent media coverage of the Seaborne Freight blunder, Suzanne Thompson – Solicitor in our Corporate/ Commercial team – discusses the importance of preparing bespoke terms and conditions for your business.

Suzanne Thompson, Corporate and Commercial department solicitor at DBF Law

The importance of instructing your solicitor to prepare bespoke terms and conditions which apply specifically to your business has been highlighted recently by the Seaborne Freight terms and conditions gaffe.

It was widely reported by the media in the new year that Seaborne Freight, a company awarded a £13.8 million government contract to provide extra ferry freight services in the event of a no deal Brexit, had used website terms and conditions apparently intended for a pizza delivery business.

According to reports Seaborne’s erroneous terms and conditions advised customers to check goods before “agreeing to pay for any meal/order”, and provided re delivery that “Delivery charges are calculated per order and based on [delivery details here]. Any delivery charges will be displayed clearly in your order summary…”

The government subsequently confirmed that the terms and conditions were “put up in error” and have since been corrected.

This type of gaffe is all too common where businesses in an attempt to save costs “copy and paste” terms and conditions from a competitor or in this case a completely different business.

It highlights the importance of instructing a solicitor to prepare bespoke terms and conditions which have been tailored specifically for your business in key areas such as goods and/or services to be delivered, payment, delivery, retention of title, limitation of liability, and termination.

For advice on preparing or updating terms and conditions for your business please contact myself or my colleague Andy McNish, partner in our Corporate/Commercial team.

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