oboloo FAQ's

Are Terms And Conditions Legally Binding If Not Signed?

Are Terms And Conditions Legally Binding If Not Signed?

Have you ever clicked “agree” on a website’s terms and conditions without even reading them? You’re not alone. It’s common practice for people to skip over the seemingly endless legal jargon, but have you ever wondered if those terms and conditions are actually legally binding? Can they hold up in court if you haven’t signed anything? As a procurement professional, it’s important to understand the legal implications of agreeing to terms and conditions online. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of contract law and explore whether or not terms and conditions are truly binding agreements.

What are terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions, also known as terms of service or user agreements, are the rules that govern your use of a particular product or service. When you sign up for an account on any website or download an app, there’s typically a section outlining these terms and conditions. They’re designed to protect both the company providing the service and the user using it.

These documents lay out everything from how to create an account, what actions are prohibited while using the service, how user data is collected and utilized by this company. While they may seem like just another annoying thing to click through when signing up for something online, they play a crucial role in establishing expectations between companies and users.

Terms and conditions can cover anything from intellectual property ownership rights to dispute resolution processes in case of legal issues arising down the line. In essence, they form a binding contract between two parties: you (the user) and them (the company). Even though many people don’t bother reading them properly before agreeing with it; understanding their importance could be beneficial along with being legally secure while engaging in business transactions online.

What makes them legally binding?

What makes terms and conditions legally binding? To put it simply, a contract is formed when one party offers something to another, with the second party accepting the offer. This can happen in various ways – online, in-person or even over the phone.

When it comes to online transactions, such as purchasing goods from an e-commerce website, terms and conditions are usually presented to you before making a purchase. By clicking “I accept” or “Agree”, you are acknowledging that you have read and agreed to these terms.

However, simply presenting terms does not automatically make them legally binding. The wording of the terms must be clear and specific enough so that both parties understand their rights and obligations under the agreement.

Additionally, there cannot be any coercion or duress involved in accepting these terms. If one party is forced into agreeing to certain provisions under threat of harm or other negative consequences, then those provisions would likely not be enforceable.

For terms and conditions to be legally binding they must meet certain requirements such as clarity of language used among others.

Do you have to sign them to be bound by them?

When it comes to terms and conditions, many people wonder if they have to sign them in order for them to be legally binding. The answer is no, you don’t necessarily have to physically sign the document.

In fact, simply using or accessing a service or product that has terms and conditions attached is often enough to bind you to those terms. This is because most companies include language stating that by using their service or product, you are agreeing to their terms and conditions.

However, there are some situations where this may not be the case. For example, if a company makes significant changes to its terms and conditions without notifying users beforehand, those changes may not be enforceable.

Additionally, if a court determines that certain provisions of the terms and conditions are unfair or illegal under applicable law, they may not be enforced.

It’s important for consumers to understand that even if they haven’t physically signed a document agreeing to the terms and conditions of use for a particular product or service – they can still potentially be bound by those agreements.

Examples of when terms and conditions may not be binding

There are instances when terms and conditions may not be legally binding, even if they have been presented to a user. One example is when the terms are deemed unfair or unconscionable by a court of law. This means that the agreement heavily favors one party over the other, making it unjust and oppressive.

Another instance where terms and conditions may not be binding is when they contradict existing laws or regulations. For example, if a company’s terms state that users cannot sue them for any reason, this would likely be unenforceable since individuals have legal rights that cannot be waived through an agreement.

It’s also worth noting that minor discrepancies in how terms are presented can impact their enforceability. If key information is buried deep within pages of legalese or written in small font size, it could potentially render the entire agreement invalid.

If both parties did not mutually agree to the terms and conditions before entering into a contract or transaction, then they might not be considered legally binding. In such cases where consent was coerced or obtained under false pretenses, courts may rule against enforcing these agreements.

While most companies require users to accept their terms and conditions before using their services/products/website/etc., there are still various situations where these agreements may not hold up in court.

Want to find out more about procurement?

Access more blogs, articles and FAQ's relating to procurement

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

© 2024 oboloo Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of oboloo content, including by framing or similar means, is prohibited without the prior written consent of oboloo Limited. oboloo, Be Supplier Smart and the oboloo logo are registered trademarks of oboloo Limited and its affiliated companies. Trademark numbers: UK00003466421 & UK00003575938 Company Number 12420854. ICO Reference Number: ZA764971