Disclaimer and Terms of Service and Conditions of Use Agreement (Including Cookie Practices)
Last updated on June 4, 2018
These are the terms and conditions – which include a mandatory arbitration provision — that govern your use of certain digital products, including FreeAdvice.com, AttorneyPages.com, ExpertPages.com, SeniorCareAdvice.com (each referred to as a “Site” and collectively as the “Sites”) that display this or a substantially similar notice, and their related mobile Applications, and Services (including the Forums, Discussion Boards, Ask a Lawyer, and Ask a Professional features) offered by Advice Company (a Delaware corporation) and/or certain of its affiliates (individually and collectively referred to as “AdviceCo,” “us,” or “we”). It provides that any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any AdviceCo Site, Application or Service will be resolved by individual binding arbitration, rather than in court (other than a small claims court).
Our Sites are among the world’s first and leading websites for consumers and professionals, and together with our Applications and other Services provide extensive information and generalized advice designed to help people get a basic understanding of legal, insurance, financial and other topics, and also connect consumers to professionals, and professionals to other professionals and experts. We are a publisher, and not a law firm, legal referral service, insurer, agent, health care provider, or financial advisor. As laws, regulations, insurance policies, business and financial conditions, and standards of practice often vary from place to place, and may constantly change, only a professional licensed in your jurisdiction can provide you with professional advice on which you can rely.
- 1. GENERAL RULES AND DEFINITIONS
- 2. CONTENT ON THE SERVICES
- 3. USER GENERATED CONTENT: SUBMISSIONS INCLUDING COMMENTS, REVIEWS AND MORE
- 4. USE OF THE SERVICES
- 5. REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES AND DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
- 6. REGISTRATION AND SECURITY
- 7. FEES AND PAYMENTS
- 8. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ADVICECO AND USERS
- 9. COOKIES AND OTHER SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES
- 10. SOFTWARE LICENSES
- 11. TERMINATION
- 12. ARBITRATION AND OTHER PROVISIONS
- GENERAL RULES AND DEFINITIONS
1.1 If you choose to use the “Site” and/or one of our mobile Sites and/or Applications, or any of the features of a Site or Application, including but not limited to RSS, API, software and other downloads, or any services on one of our Sites or Applications, including the Forums, Discussion Boards, Ask a Lawyer, and Ask a Professional features (all the foregoing, including Sites, referred to collectively as the “Services”), you will be agreeing to abide by all of the terms and conditions of this Terms of Service Agreement between you and us.
1.2 We may prospectively change, add or remove portions of these Terms of Service at any time, which shall become effective immediately upon posting. It is your responsibility to review these Terms of Service prior to each use of the Site and by continuing to use the Site, you agree to any changes.
1.3 IF ANY OF THESE RULES OR ANY FUTURE CHANGES ARE UNACCEPTABLE TO YOU, YOU MAY DISCONTINUE USING ANY OF THE SITES, APPLICATIONS AND/OR FEATURES, AND YOU MAY ALSO CANCEL ANY MEMBERSHIP YOU MAY HAVE ON ANY FEATURE OF A SITE OR APPLICATION ON THAT FEATURE (IF AVAILABLE).
YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THE SERVICES NOW, OR FOLLOWING THE POSTING OF NOTICE OF ANY CHANGES IN THESE OPERATING RULES, WILL SIGNIFY YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH RULES, CHANGES, OR MODIFICATIONS.
You may also cancel a membership on a prospective basis by sending an email notice with the specifics of the membership you seek to cancel to email@example.com, and such membership shall be deemed canceled upon our acknowledgement of receipt of your notice, although the terms of this Agreement shall continue to apply with regard to any matters occurring prior to our confirming receipt your notice.
1.4 To the extent that certain Services or features may have different or additional terms and conditions, they too shall apply, except to the extent they are inconsistent with these Terms of Service. We may change, suspend or discontinue any aspect of the Services at any time, including the availability of any Services feature, database, or content. We may also impose limits on certain features and services or restrict your access to parts or all of the Services without notice or liability.
- CONTENT ON THE SERVICES
2.1 The contents of the Services, including the Sites and Applications, are intended for personal, noncommercial use. All materials published on the Services (including, but not limited to articles, Q&As, news articles, forum postings, discussions, photographs, images, illustrations, audio clips and video clips, also known as the “Content”) are protected by copyright, and owned or controlled by AdviceCo, a person or firm that has licensed or authorized us to use such content, or a party to whom attribution is given with regard to the Content. You shall abide by all additional copyright notices, information, or restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Service.
2.2 The Services and Content are protected by copyright pursuant to United States and international copyright laws. You may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce (except as provided in Section 2.3 of these Terms of Service), create new works from, distribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit, any of the Content or the Services (including software) in whole or in part.
2.3 You may download or copy the Content and other downloadable items displayed on the Services for your personal noncommercial use only, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained therein. Copying or storing of any Content for other than your personal noncommercial use is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from the Chief Executive Officer of AdviceCo or the copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in the Content.
2.4 The Content of the Services is owned or licensed to us. Certain Content is furnished by third parties. Neither we nor any of the third parties will be liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any such Content, or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof, or for any damages arising therefrom, regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of whether we knew or had reason to know of such delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions.
- USER GENERATED CONTENT: SUBMISSIONS INCLUDING QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, FORUM POSTINGS, REVIEWS AND MORE
3.1 You shall not upload to, or distribute or otherwise publish on to the Services any libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, menacing material, or any illegal material.
You agree to be courteous and respectful. You agree that you will not threaten or verbally abuse others, use defamatory, degrading or demeaning language, or act in any manner intended or designed to disrupt discussions in any manner, including use of repetitive messages, meaningless messages or “spam.” You also agree not to use language that abuses, disparages or discriminates on the basis of race, color, religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, region, disability, etc. Vulgar or hate speech of any kind is grounds for immediate and permanent suspension of access to all or part of the Services and may subject you to legal action.
We recognize that people have a broad range of opinions and preferences and may disagree, but personal attacks and use of vulgar or demeaning terms are a direct violation of these Terms of Service and are grounds for immediate and permanent suspension of access to all or part of the Service and may subject you to legal action and damages.
3.2 The Services shall be used only in a noncommercial manner. You shall not, without the express written approval of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer or the Chief Administrative Officer of AdviceCo distribute or otherwise publish any material containing any solicitation of funds, advertising or solicitation for goods or services using our Services.
3.3 You acknowledge that any submissions you make to the Services (i.e., user-generated content including but not limited to: comments, forum messages, reviews, text, video, audio and images, as well as computer code and applications) (each, a “Submission”) may be edited, removed, modified, published, transmitted, and displayed by us or our agents and you waive any rights you may have in having the material altered or changed in a manner not agreeable to you. Submissions made to the Services may also be included in our RSS feeds, APIs and made available for republishing through other formats and media.
3.4 You grant AdviceCo a perpetual, nonexclusive, world-wide, royalty free, and sub-licensable license to the Submissions, which includes without limitation the right for AdviceCo, or any third party it designates, to use, copy, transmit, excerpt, publish, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, create derivative works of, host, index, cache, tag, encode, modify and adapt (including without limitation the right to adapt to streaming, downloading, broadcast, mobile, digital, thumbnail, scanning or other technologies) in any form or media now known or hereinafter developed, any Submission posted by you on or to the Services or any other website owned or operated by AdviceCo, including any Submission posted on or to the Services through a third party.
3.5 You are solely responsible for the content of your Submissions. However, while we do not and cannot review every Submission and are not responsible for the content of these messages, we reserve the right to delete, move, or edit Submissions in our sole discretion.
3.6 By making a Submission, you are consenting to its display and publication on the Services and for related online and offline promotional uses.
3.7 Any person involved in or affiliated with the production of a work reviewed any of in the Services may not, directly or indirectly submit or cause anyone else to submit a review for that work or competing works.
- USE OF THE SERVICES
4.1 You may not access or use, or attempt to access or use, the Services to take any action that could harm us or a third party. You may not access parts of the Services to which you are not authorized. You may not attempt to circumvent any restriction or condition imposed on your use or access, or do anything that could disable or damage the functioning or appearance of the Services, including the presentation or display of advertising. Being exposed to advertising is a condition of accessing the Services.
4.2 The Services may contain links to other related websites, resources, and advertisers on the Internet. Since we are not responsible for the availability of these outside resources, or their contents, you should direct any concerns regarding any external link to such sites. A link to another site, resource or advertiser does not imply that it is endorsed or approved by AdviceCo and we shall not be responsible for any information on any linked sites, resources or any advertising that appears on our Services.
- REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
5.1 You represent, warrant and covenant (a) that no materials of any kind submitted through your account will (i) violate, plagiarize, or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy or other personal or proprietary rights; and (ii) contain libelous, slanderous, menacing or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate material; and (b) that you are at least 13 years old. You hereby indemnify, defend and hold harmless AdviceCo and all officers, directors, owners, agents, information providers, affiliates, licensors and licensees (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all liability and costs, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the Indemnified Parties in connection with any claim arising out of any breach by you or any user of your account of these Terms of Service or the foregoing representations, warranties and covenants. You shall cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any such claim. AdviceCo reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you.
5.2 AdviceCo does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed, uploaded, or distributed through the Services, or by any user, information provider or any other person or entity. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.
THE SERVICES AND ALL DOWNLOADABLE SOFTWARE AND FORMS ARE DISTRIBUTED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, ADVICECO DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY AND/OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ADVICECO DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE SERVICES, INFORMATION, CONTENT, MATERIALS, PRODUCTS (INCLUDING SOFTWARE AND FORMS) OR OTHER SERVICES INCLUDED ON OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU THROUGH THE SERVICES, OUR SERVERS OR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS SENT FROM US ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
ADVICECO WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND ARISING FROM THE USE OF ANY ADVICECO SERVICE, FROM ANY DATA BREACH (REGARDLESS OF CAUSE OR CULPABILITY) OR FROM ANY INFORMATION, CONTENT, MATERIALS, PRODUCTS (INCLUDING SOFTWARE) OR OTHER SERVICES INCLUDED ON OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU THROUGH ANY ADVICECO SERVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY AND CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, NOR WILL ANY OF ADVICECO’S OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OR THEIR HEIRS, SUCCESSORS OR AGENTS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY TYPE.
TO THE EXTENT ANY JURISDICTION’S LAWS DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN DAMAGES, BE AWARE THAT SOME OR ALL OF THE ABOVE DISCLAIMERS, EXCLUSIONS, OR LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU, AND YOU MIGHT HAVE ADDITIONAL RIGHTS.
YOU HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK.
- REGISTRATION AND SECURITY
6.1 As part of the registration or account creation process, you may be asked to create login credentials by selecting a password and providing an email address. We may also ask that you give us certain registration information, all of which must be accurate and you agree to update such registration information to maintain its accuracy.
Each registration is for a single user only. You are not allowed to share your registration login credentials or give your login credentials to anyone else. We may cancel or suspend your access to the Services if you share your login credentials. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password, which you will not have to reveal to any representative or agent of AdviceCo. You may not (i) select or use the login credentials of another person with the intent to impersonate that person; (ii) use login credentials in which another person has rights without such person’s authorization; or (iii) use login credentials that are offensive or that we, in our sole discretion, deem inappropriate. Failure to comply with the foregoing shall constitute a breach of these Terms of Service, which may result in immediate suspense or termination of your account.
6.2 Please notify firstname.lastname@example.org of any known or suspected unauthorized use(s) of your account, or any known or suspected breach of security, including loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure of your password or credit card information.
6.3 You must be 16 years of age or older to register or subscribe to any part of the Services.
6.4 You are responsible for all usage or activity on your AdviceCo account(s), including use of the account(s) by any third party authorized by you to use your login credentials. Any fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise illegal activity may be grounds for termination of your account, at our sole discretion, and we may refer you to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
- FEES AND PAYMENTS
7.1. We reserve the right at any time to charge fees for access to portions of the Services or the Services as a whole. However, in no event will you be charged for access to the Services unless we obtain your prior agreement to pay such charges. Thus, if at any time we require a fee for portions of the Services that are now free, we will give you advance notice of such fees. You may cancel your account at any time. All new fees, if any, will be posted prominently on the Site and, when appropriate, at other locations on the Service. You shall pay all fees and charges incurred through your account at the rates in effect for the billing period in which such fees and charges are incurred, including, but not limited to charges for any digital products or services offered for sale through the Services by us or by any other vendor or service provider. All fees and charges shall be billed to and paid for by you. You shall pay all applicable taxes relating to use of the Services through your account.
- COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ADVICECO AND USERS
8.1 Unless you expressly indicate on your registration form that you do not want to receive such information, we, our owners and assigns, may send you emails and electronic newsletters and allow certain third party vendors to provide you with information about their products and services.
8.2 We reserve the right to send electronic mail to you for the purpose of informing you of changes or additions to the Service or otherwise, subject to any right we may grant for you to opt-out.
8.4 We may contact you via e-mail regarding your participation in user surveys, asking for feedback on current Services or prospective products and services. Such information is used to improve the Services and better understand our users, and any information we obtain in such surveys is generally not shared with third parties, except under terms designed to maintain confidentiality or in aggregate form.
- COOKIES AND OTHER SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES
9.2 Do Not Track. Some browsers offer a “do not track” (“DNT”) option. Because no common industry or legal standard for DNT has been adopted by industry groups, technology companies, or regulators, we do not respond to DNT signals. We will make efforts to continue to monitor developments around DNT browser technology and the implementation of a standard.
- SOFTWARE LICENSES
10.1 You shall have no rights to the proprietary software and related documentation, or any enhancements or modifications thereto (“Software”), provided to you in order to access the Services. You may not sublicense, assign or transfer any licenses granted by AdviceCo, and any attempt at such sublicense, assignment or transfer shall be null and void. Except with the written consent of an executive officer of AdviceCo you may not copy, distribute, modify, reverse engineer, or create derivative works from the Software.
11.1 You may terminate your account at any time by discontinuing use of the Services and emailing us at email@example.com. Upon termination, we will endeavor to send you an automated confirmation via email that the cancellation was processed, and suspend your access on a timely basis. In our absolute discretion, we may, but shall not be required to comply with requests or directives from any actual or purported representative, agent, attorney, executor, administrator, trustee or other person with respect to your account or use of any of the Services, yet we shall have no liability to you or any other person if we act or fail to act, even if the request or directive was unauthorized.
11.2 We may, in our sole discretion, terminate or suspend your access to all or part of the Services for any reason, including, without limitation, breach or assignment of these Terms of Service, and we may also in our sole discretion, terminate or suspend any person’s access arbitrarily.
- ARBITRATION AND OTHER PROVISIONS
12.1 These Terms of Service have been made in and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of California and the United States Arbitration Act, Title 9, US Code. IF AND TO THE EXTENT THAT ARBITRATION MAY BE UNAVAILABLE, ANY ACTION TO ENFORCE THESE TERMS OF SERVICE MUST BE BROUGHT SOLELY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, AND MAY NOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER CLAIMS OR ACTIONS, OR AS ANY FORM OR CLASS ACTION, REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR SIMILAR ACTION, and must be brought only in the federal or state courts in San Francisco or Marin Counties of California. You also agree to be subject to the jurisdiction of such courts in any action brought by us against you for violation of these Terms of Service and/or Conditions of Use.
12.3 Correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
12.4 You agree to report any copyright violations to us as soon as you become aware of them. If you believe a violation of your own intellectual property rights has occurred with respect to material that is contained in the Services, please notify email@example.com and also send a letter to us at General Counsel, Advice Company, Post Office Box 1739, Sausalito, CA 94966-1739.
12.5 Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any AdviceCo Services will be resolved by binding arbitration conducted on an individual basis, and not in any form of class, consolidated or representative action, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in a small claims court having personal jurisdiction of Advice Company if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement.
At least 21 days prior to initiating an arbitration proceeding, you must send a letter by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, notifying us that you will be requesting arbitration and describing your claim to our General Counsel, at Post Office Box 1739, Sausalito, CA 94966-1739. If we do not resolve the matter to your satisfaction within the 21 day period, at your option you may elect to start the arbitration and have it conducted under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under its Commercial Arbitration rules, or, where available, under the auspices of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) under its applicable arbitration rules. The AAA’s Commercial Arbitration rules are available at www.adr.org or by calling 1-800-778-7879. The BBB’s rules may be obtained through www.bbb.org or by calling the Council of Better Business Bureaus at 703-276-0100.
Payment of all filing, administration and arbitrator fees will be governed by the appropriate arbitration tribunal’s rules. To the extent that your arbitration filing fees exceed the filing fees that would otherwise have been applicable in a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Marin County, California, we will reimburse such filing fees unless the arbitrator determines your claims are frivolous or excessive. Neither party may recover additional costs or attorneys’ fees in arbitration except if and to the extent that the arbitrator determines the other party’s claim or defense was vexatious or frivolous. You may choose to have the arbitration conducted by video-conference, or telephone, or based on written submissions, or at a mutually agreed location, subject to the rules of the arbitration tribunal.
WE EACH AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEEDINGS WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration we each waive any right to a jury trial. We also both agree that notwithstanding the otherwise applicable provisions requiring arbitration, you or we may bring suit in a court having jurisdiction solely to obtain injunctive relief to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights, or to obtain injunctive relief in circumstances in which an arbitration proceeding can not effectively and promptly grant such relief. AdviceCo’s officers, directors, employees, agents and their heirs, successors and assigns shall be deemed third party beneficiaries of this Agreement.