Sooner or later, you will be sued. Because it is inevitable, the question of "when" is less important than whether or not you are prepared for your terms to be enforced. Are you certain that your online legal agreements--clickwrap, sign-in-wrap, and browsewrap--can hold up in court? In our 3-post series, we will detail the three common types of online agreements, case law examples, and the factors that influence their enforceability in court. Our first post is dedicated to clickwrap agreements.
We constantly sing the praises of clickthrough (clickwrap) agreements for their ease of use and enforceability, but not all agreements are created equal. There are some best practices you need to use to create truly enforceable clickwrap agreements—here they are boiled down to five key considerations.
This post was originally published February 2018.
There is no denying that clickthrough agreements (or clickwraps) have become both ubiquitous in our daily lives and a fundamental part of doing business. And for good reason: people expect transactions to happen fast, sometimes instantly, especially in online marketplaces, SaaS businesses, and mobile apps.
Slowing things down for contracts isn't an option. Businesses use clickthrough agreements to inject contracts seamlessly into their checkout flows, registration forms, and other moments of electronic engagement. However, a lack of workflow around your clickthrough agreements can expose your business to even more risk.
Clickwrap agreements are a simple and streamlined method of presenting legal terms. From an eCommerce or SaaS perspective, presenting legal terms as a clickwrap agreement during a customer’s purchase flow makes perfect sense. Customers fill their shopping cart, proceed to checkout, click to agree to legal terms (that they probably didn’t read) and the order is fulfilled.
The majority of Software as a Service (SaaS) apps rely on personalized consumer accounts individuals create when first accessing the platform. Essentially, this exchange allows the business operating the SaaS application to generate a license for the user, which in turn grants them access to the app. Because of the nature of this process, it’s imperative that proper legal steps are taken to ensure that the exchange is secure for both the company and consumer. One of the best ways to successfully do this is to implement the clickwrap method.
Basically every commercial website you stumble upon these days will present you with some form of click-through agreement upon registration. Whether this be creating a new social media account or signing up for a daily newsletter from your favorite website, chances are you will probably have to click some sort of “I Accept” button before continuing on. Clicking that button is just as legally enforceable as putting pen to paper, but it’s a LOT more efficient. Here’s how:
No matter how awesome your product or service is, you’re going to run into trouble if you aren’t checking your online legal terms. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You’re probably familiar with those clickable terms of service boxes you are presented with when you first become a user. These clickwrap agreements use a button labeled “I agree” instead of a traditional ink and paper signature, but they are still just as legally enforceable.
Gone are the days of mailing and remailing contracts, and we could not be more thrilled. Written contracts can often be time-consuming and complex, and honestly just a big pain. Luckily, eSignatures have come to save the day! Contracts don’t necessarily need the typical ink-to-paper form of signing anymore, yet some companies have not taken advantage of all that eSignatures and clickwraps have to offer. In this blog we will outline some contract-signing practices that have yet to completely fall to the wayside (but hopefully will soon).
FinancialForce conducted a survey of HR professionals asking, “What are the major pain points you face today?” Out of the answers collected, the top two pain points were:
- Completing manual processes and spreadsheets
- Lack of systems integration
The solution to both of these pain points was technology adoption. New software with automation, recordkeeping and data analysis capabilities enables Human Resource Departments to streamline their workload and be much more organized.
When not implemented properly, it can be costly. Companies like GoGo Wireless, Safeway, BMO Harris Bank, and Zappos have all suffered the consequences of not following best practices with multi-million dollar lawsuits and costly litigation. So what are the next steps to properly implement these types of agreements?