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When you are selling to customers, you need to set terms and conditions that apply to your sales as a business owner. This is especially true when you are an online florist, as you lack the face-to-face contact that other types of businesses would have. This means that, without terms and conditions, miscommunication could happen and your business could be in trouble. Therefore, this article will explain what your New Zealand terms and conditions need as an online florist.

What Are Terms and Conditions?

Your terms and conditions are an essential legal document protecting your business when it makes transactions with customers. This document limits your business’ liability and details customers’ rights and responsibilities. 

Essentially, every time a customer buys flowers from your business, they enter into a contract with you. As such, your terms and conditions are a standard document that sets the terms of that contract, which applies to every sale you make. Customers cannot negotiate the terms of this contract and usually accept them when they make a purchase from your business. 

You need to make sure you take reasonable steps to inform your customers of these terms and conditions. A good idea is to include an online tickbox for customers to check, notifying you of their acceptance of your terms and conditions. You should also get a lawyer to look over your terms and conditions to ensure they are fair and enforceable, particularly for an online context.

In particular, your terms and conditions need to set out crucial contractual issues, such as:

  • who each of the parties is, usually meaning your business and the customer;
  • your rights to amend your terms and conditions as you need;
  • when a customer accepts this contract;
  • the exact nature of the goods or services you provide, such as whether your business provides goods other than flowers;
  • any cancellation terms; and
  • dispute resolution.

Outside of these, there are also specific areas you should cover that directly apply to being an online florist, as outlined in the following paragraphs.

Delivery

As you operate online, you will likely be delivering many of your bouquet orders unless you have an additional pick up facility. Therefore, you need to ensure you have a clause in your terms and conditions dedicated to the terms of your deliveries. This clause should detail:

  • whether you include delivery costs in the initial price;
  • what areas you do and do not deliver to;
  • order times for specific dates or holidays, such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day;
  • disclaimers for late delivery times during busy periods or any additional costs at these times;
  • same-day delivery conditions;
  • the customer’s responsibility to provide accurate address details and any fees for re-delivery;
  • specific disclaimers relating to third party deliveries if you are outsourcing delivery; and
  • conditions for contactless delivery.

Payment

When you allow online order payments, you need to set out the terms for this process in your terms and conditions. You should detail the forms of payment you allow, such as:

  • credit card payments;
  • payment gateway transfers; and
  • internet banking.

Importantly, there are specific standards for online payment systems, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). You should make sure your payment methods comply with these standards and state as such in your terms and conditions. In addition, be sure to include any necessary references to your privacy policy and how you protect sensitive payment information.

Furthermore, you must indicate that your sales are in New Zealand dollars and whether the price includes goods and services tax. If you require deposits for big events, such as weddings, you should include these payment terms as well.

Returns and Refunds

Under New Zealand consumer law, you need to meet various consumer guarantees when you sell to consumers. If you fail to do so, you need to provide customers with a remedy, in the form of a:

  • repair;
  • refund; or
  • replacement.

For example, you need to provide a remedy for faulty or substandard goods, such as if you gave a customer dead or rotting flowers rather than the fresh flowers they ordered.

Of course, due to the perishable nature of flowers, there will be some restrictions as to the remedies you can give your customers in these situations. Whatever you offer, be sure to specify what situations you provide refunds (outside of what the law requires) and any conditions that customers need to meet to get a refund.

Specialised Terms

Your terms and conditions should reflect the realities of your business, so you will need to include terms that cover any unique or specific situations you will encounter. One example would be a term about your flower substitution policy to ensure that a customer will accept those instances when you may have trouble sourcing a particular flower. Other specific terms include:

  • those covering website usage and other things related to operating online; or
  • terms relating to other products you may provide, such as alcohol or other gifts.

Key Takeaways

For any business that sells goods or services, terms and conditions are an essential document for ensuring that your sales happen how you want them to. For example, as an online florist, you are dealing with perishable goods, so you need to account for any problems that may arise when you sell them. Accordingly, terms and conditions can protect you if something does go wrong. If you would like more information or help with your terms and conditions online, contact LegalVision’s e-commerce lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions are an important document for protecting your business and limiting its liability. They are a contract that applies to your transactions with your customers.

What should my terms and conditions cover?

Your terms and conditions should cover various contractual matters, such as defining the relevant parties and determining any cancellation conditions. However, you will also need terms specific to your business, such as delivery times or substitution policies.

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