This is a relatively short and straightforward set of terms and conditions covering the making of bookings online in relation to events, courses, workshops or similar. The T&Cs template assumes that the person or company operating the booking facility is the same person or company that will contract to arrange the event etc. It comes in three versions:
- B2B: for business bookings;
- B2C: for bookings by consumers; and
- B2B and B2C: for bookings by both businesses and consumers.
Whilst the template may be used in relation to a wide range of different booking types, it would need to be expertly adapted for use in connection with bookings which are subject to special regulation, such as package holiday bookings.
Variation of bookings
Special terms have been included in the document, allowing the supplier to vary certain matters relating to a booking - for example, the exact time at which a booked event will take place.
Statutory cancellation rights in B2C versions
Some of the more important legal rules affecting business-to-consumer contracts entered into online are set out in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Under those regulations, a consumer may cancel a distance contract entered into with a trader via the trader's website at any time within a 14 day cancellation period. The cancellation period begins on the day after the day the contract is made. If the trader begins supplying the services before the end of that period then, providing the trader has jumped through various procedural hoops, the trader may deduct a portion of the charges representing the work done from the refund. If the trader completes the provision of the services before the end of that period then, again subject to procedural compliance, the right to cancel ceases to exist.
Some services (eg passenger transport services) are not subject to the cancellation rights in these regulations. Details of the excluded services are set out in the guidance notes.
Contractual cancellation rights
Contractual cancellation rights are included in all versions.
The contractual cancellation right works differently to the statutory right, with the suggested notice period defined by reference to the time before the booked event, rather than the time after contracting. In addition, refunds for cancellation under the contractual right are calculated as a percentage of the contract price. Whilst you must honour the statutory cancellation requirement, you do not have to offer an additional contractual cancellation right.
In accordance with standard warranty terms implied by English law, the supplier undertakes to provide the booked services with reasonable care and skill.
A fairly standard set of limitations of liability is incorporated into the document. These may protect the supplier against claims for losses arising out of events beyond the control of the supplier, business-related losses and consequential or indirect losses. In addition, the supplier's liability may be capped.
A force majeure clause protects the supplier in the case that an event beyond the supplier's control leads to a failure or delay in contractual performance. This protection may be qualified by express requirements that the supplier keep the customer notified of such events and take reasonable steps to mitigate any effects such events may have.
An optional indemnity contained in the template provides that, if the customer breaches any provision of the agreement, the supplier may recover resulting losses on an indemnity basis - a more generous measure than standard contractual damages.
Overall, the document favours the interests of the supplier over those of the customer. However, in the case of B2C contacts, because of the interventions of consumer protection legislation, there are strict limitations on the extent to which terms and conditions such as these can be biased toward the supplier.