Terms

General Terms of Trading

Summary of key terms

These are our key contract terms which are a summary of the main points in our full contract terms.

  • Customers: We deal only with businesses. We do not offer consumer services.
  • Services: We offer a range of services, from consultancy to installation, configuration and maintenance of equipment as well as provision of Internet connectivity and mail services such as virus and spam filtering.
  • Internet Service: We provide a service to connect you to the Internet. We don’t guarantee any install date, or that we can provide services at all. It is up to you to pick the right service for you, and some services have usage limits. The Internet is big and complicated and we do not control it. The Internet has many good and useful things in it, but it also has bad things, so do not blame us for anything you find. It is up to you to protect your network. You must take responsibility for what you do with the service, and for anyone you let use the service. The Internet has rules, so play fair. Things can break! If they do, we will try and fix things as quickly as we can. It can take days to fix some problems. We allocate you Internet addresses, but they do not belong to you, and we can change them if we need to.
  • Mistakes: If we do something wrong and it stops your service working, the most we will compensate you is the money you paid for the service while it was not working properly. If goods we have supplied break, you can send them back to us and we will arrange for them to be repaired or replaced in a reasonable time. You have to understand that things can break. It is up to you to take whatever precautions you need. This does not affect your statutory rights. You agree that these limits apply even if you take a case to alternative dispute resolution and so you will not accept any award in excess of these limits.
  • Paying us: You must pay us for the goods and services we provide. We only email invoices. We do not post invoices. You must tell us if your email address changes. Sometimes we will agree credit terms, and each invoice tells you when payment must arrive. It is up to you to make sure we receive the payment in time. If not, then there are penalties, and we may stop or restrict your service. We will give you instructions on how to pay. If you get your payment wrong, or claw back a payment, we may charge an administration fee. If we make a mistake taking a payment, we will compensate you for bank charges and interest up to the same amount as our administration fee. If we have sold you something, it still belongs to us until you have fully paid for it.
  • Ongoing service: For services, we normally charge you in advance. The price is fixed for the whole of the time covered by the invoice. For most services, you can stop them whenever you like. If you stop your service, you still have to pay for the invoices we have issued. If you don’t tell us you want to stop a service, or can’t prove you told us, we will keep providing it and you have to pay us.

 

General Terms & Conditions

This document, and the documents to which it refers, define the terms of the agreement by which we provide you with goods and/or services. The key terms above are a summary of these full terms. For purchase of goods, our terms for supply of goods also apply. For purchase of services (including ADSL/Internet), our terms for supply of services also apply. For all Internet services (including ADSL), our Acceptable Use Policy also applies. Our usage-based tariffs for broadband Internet have specific rules and terms which also apply. If you are not happy with any of the terms or require any clarification of the terms please contact us. Whilst this is a standard contract, we are happy to consider changes generally or to meet your specific circumstances. Where we agree a variation to this standardagreement it must be in writing and signed, or an email electronically signed, and such changes will take precedence over these terms.

Interpretation

This agreement is written in plain English and should be read as such. This agreement is subject to English law. We have used the terms we, us, our, etc to mean The Computer Man, and you, your, etc to mean the customer to whom we are providing goods and/or services. We also trade as “ComputerMan”, “T.C.M.” and “Total Call Management”. We have tried to make the terms in this agreement general and easy to understand. The terms should be read as a statement of what we intend and read to the full extent that the law permits. If a term is not valid in some context, it should be read to the full extent that it is valid, or possibly only applying to a narrower context which allows it to be valid.

Limitations of Liability

We understand that ongoing operation of goods and/or services we provide can be important to you but we expect you to understand that such goods and services can fail for a variety of reasons. It is also possible for us to make mistakes. As such we expect you to take whatever precautions or insurances against such failure or mistakes as you see fit, including situations where we may be negligent. We exclude any liability for consequential losses or tort.

If we are negligent, then we accept that we have liability. We require you to prove we have been negligent in such cases. We require you to demonstrate actual losses for your claim. We require you to take all reasonable steps to minimise your losses.

Whilst there are no limits on our liability for death or personally injury due to negligence, we limit our liability for any other negligence or any other reasons to a refund of the amount paid for the failed goods or services. (We also make it a condition that you do not use any of our goods or services in any safety of life situations where a failure could cause death or personal injury). You agree to this limit whether we are negligent, or not, and even for liabilities that somehow occur when we are not in breach of contract with you.

In the case of on-going services this limit of liability is the pro-rata charge we have made for the period each specific service was not adequately provided, and then only from when the problem was reported to us, and only then after allowing reasonable time for us to get the problem rectified.

If an incident relates to an ongoing service but not a specific time frame, then we limit our liability to the charges you have paid for the related service for a one month period.

If we are providing a resilient or redundant service package so that overall services continue in some way when part of the service fails – then the liability only relates to a period where the service as a whole has failed (i.e. all of the redundant parts have failed).

You agree that our liability is also limited in respect of any claim you make indirectly or via any third party (such as a bank or insurance company) and agree to indemnify us against charges above that liability in any such claim.

Whilst we may choose to offer a good will credit at our discretion, you agree that if we are not in breach of contract then we have no liability to compensate you at all, and that if we are then our liability is limited as above. You also agree that the limits of liability apply if you take a case to alternative dispute resolution and you will not accept any award in excess of these agreed limits. This does not stop you taking cases to ADR if you are eligible to do so and if we have failed to resolve a formal dispute and does not stop you accepting any awards that are within what you have agreed as our limit of liability in this contract – we are simply expecting you to stick to what has been agreed, which is the whole point of having a contract.

Important

It is important to realise what this means. Basically, in most cases, if we screw up, the most you can get is your money back. Some of our services are very cheap and some are even free of charge, so this is not a lot of compensation. If this is a problem, then you should look at getting your own insurance or buying services from someone else. When you order goods or services from us you are agreeing to these limits of liability.

These terms do not affect your statutory rights, and apply to the full extent that the law permits them to within those rights.

Prices

Unless otherwise stated, prices quoted are exclusive of VAT which is added to your invoice. Any details relating to products and/or services on our web site are not to be taken as an offer in the contractual sense, but is merely an invitation for you to make an offer to purchase goods or services from us, which we may decline for any reason. Any postage is charged at cost (plus VAT) where applicable. You can buy goods without buying a postage service by collecting from our offices, or arranging for a courier to make a collection, by prior arrangement.

Effect of a VAT rate change

Some of our prices are based on a VAT Exclusive value and some of them are based on a VAT Inclusive value. This does not depend on the way you are billed. If there is a change of VAT rate then the price we have for our service does not automatically change. As such, if a service is based on VAT inclusive value then the VAT inclusive price does not change by the VAT exclusive price does. Similarly, if a price is based on VAT exclusive value then the VAT exclusive price does not change but the VAT inclusive price does. In the event of a significant VAT change we would aim to adjust prices as well, but this may not be at the same time or exactly the same amount. We indicate on the web site where a price shown is VAT inclusive and based on a VAT exclusive value or shown VAT exclusive and based on a VAT inclusive value.

The VAT rate that applies is the VAT rate applicable at the actual tax point of the invoice issued.

Periodic Billing

For ongoing services we will issue an invoice periodically (e.g. monthly). You may also receive additional bills for one-off charges, equipment or other services. We normally issue invoices in advance on the first day of the period being billed. We may issue them several days before the start of the period covered. We have a number of billing options.

Some older services are provided on a non-refund basis, rather than 30 days notice. i.e. they have no termination notice period, but any period already invoiced must be paid. As such, the selection of billing period may affect the timing or cost of terminating your service, hence we recommend monthly billing rather than quarterly. Where there is a notice period (e.g. 30 days) we will invoice only to the end of the notice period or credit if already billed beyond the notice period.

We may, in some cases, issue quarterly or annual invoices as 3 or 4 separate invoices issued on the same date with the same terms, one for each month or quarter of the period covered. These can be paid with a single payment. Whilst we normally allow you to choose your billing period, we can insist on calendar monthly billing if we wish.

Bills may be for a partial period (e.g. 1.5 months) at the start or end of a service, or if changing billing cycle. Whole days are considered only, with a part day counting as a whole day. A partial bill for monthly, quarterly or annual billing considers each day covered to be a proportion of its month (e.g. days in February are 1/28th or 1/29th of a month). For billing cycles based on weeks, each day is considered to be 1/7th of a week. For lunar bills each day is 1/29th or 1/30th of a lunar month based on our calculation of full moon date as the first day of the lunar month.

Payment

You are expected to read the invoices and statements we send you and contact us promptly if you believe there is any error.

Each invoice states the payment terms, and you must ensure payment actually reaches us or our bank within the payment terms. This is your responsibility, so you should allow yourself time to resend payment if it is lost in the post or a card payment is not authorised or other such eventualities.

You must ensure your payment quotes our account reference for you (e.g. A1234A) as quoted on your invoice and statement. This is to be written on the back of cheques sent, or included as a payment reference in any electronic payments. The payment will then be applied in full to the one specified account. If you pay by any form of bank transfer the date shown on our bank statement is considered to be the date you paid – this is important if using the Fast Payment system to send payments late at night or over a weekend as the statement date will be the next banking day.

Credit terms

Unless we agree otherwise, invoices are due for payment immediately. We are prepared to agree terms such as 14 days, 30 days orend of following month at our discretion. Credit is not automatic or a right and we may withdraw or change credit terms for future invoices if we wish. If you do not agree to the terms stated on the invoice you must contact us immediately. Invoices issued for immediate payment must be paid promptly, and arrive no later than seven days from issue of the invoice. We consider this to be sufficient time for a cheque, BACS transfer, fast payment transfer or other form of payment even allowing for public holidays, etc.

Clawed back payments

With card payments or direct debit payments it is possible for you to claw back the payment at a later date.

There really should be no reason for a claw back. If we have mistakenly taken payment from you, please contact us and we will immediately return the incorrect payment. We are also happy to pay you any bank charges that you have been charged because of the mistake, up to the admin fee we charge (£5.00).

It is also important to note that any returned or clawed back payment is cancelled on your account with us, making it as though the payment was not made at all, and you may become liable for late payment penalties and/or interest, as well as admin fees (see below).

Administration fee

Normally, there is no reason for us to charge an administration fee. This only applies when things go wrong. We appreciate that mistakes can be made, so we do not normally charge an admin fee the first time. We will try and resolve the matter so it does not happen again. However, if, for example, you persistently send BACS or fast payment payments with an incorrect reference, and ignore our letters on the matter, we will charge the admin fee. Believe it or not, some people even pay this admin fee, by BACS, without a correct reference, incurring yet another admin fee. We would far rather resolve the matter and help you send payments correctly than charge admin fees.

We may charge you an administration fee of £5.00+VAT for the following, on each occasion:-

  • If you pay by cheque, and the cheque is returned unpaid by the bank. We will also charge you any bank charges which our bankers charge for handling the cheque.
  • If you pay by BACS or fast payment (electronic banking, standing order) and the payment cannot be automatically processed. e.g. you do not include the correct payment reference with the payment. We understand mistakes can be made and will normally contact you the first time without making an admin charge for this.
  • If you pay by card, and later the card payment is clawed back or you attempt to claw back the payment. This applies even if we successfully defend the claw back claim, or the claw back is later returned, as it is to cover the admin work involved in doing so. We will also charge any fee that we are charged by our bank for the claw back.
  • If you pay by standing order, and later claw back the payment.
  • If you ask us to print a paper copy of an invoice or statement and post it to you. We send invoices and statements by email, and provide them online, free of charge.
  • If you make an unnecessary payment to us or an overpayment and require us to return it to you. We appreciate mistakes can be made, and will normally only charge this for unusual or repeated occurrences. If the payment involves any special bank charges, such as for a high value transfer, we will also charge these. We may deduct all such charges and fees from the repayment being sent to you. Any returned payments or balances will normally be made by 2 working day BACS transfer – if you need same-day payment an admin fee will be charged.
  • If you send unsolicited commercial emails to any of our system or staff email addresses contrary to Section 22 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, or expect us to take any actions relating to such spam then an admin fee applies, and we consider our admin fee to be part of our damages as per Section 30 of the regulations.

We also reserve the right to charge a small handling fee for payments in line with our processing costs. This is not normally charged, but there have been cases, for example, where someone paid a small bill using 30 cheques for 10p each so as to incur us bank charges in excess of the debt, hence reserving the right to charge a handling fee.

The admin fee is something of a nominal sum and we suspect our costs are higher on average but only charge £5.00 in the interests of good will. We can, if we wish, charge the full admin fee of £20.00+VAT if you continue to send payments with an incorrect reference or if your send payments that we cannot easily identify from the payment details or have to split between multiple accounts. We will advise you in advance if we start charging the full admin fee.

If you require us to use a third party invoice or payment management service then we will charge an admin fee for this and any additional costs. If you require us to complete surveys or other paperwork or carry out additional tests or procedures for compliance or other similar processes we will charge an hourly rate for this work, please ask for a quote.

Advance payment or over payment

If you send us money that you do not owe us, such as an over payment of a payment when there are no outstanding invoices, then we will hold this as money on your account. You can ask for the credit balance on your account back at any time and as such we do not consider the payment to be an advance payment in respect of specific future goods or services (Value Added Tax Act 1994 section 6(4)). We do not pay interest on any credit balance. If we invoice you for any goods and services then we will, at that point in time, apply any credit balance on your account towards paying that invoice. Your credit balance is not considered a pre-payment for future goods or services.

If we ask for a deposit with your order, then this is placed on your account as an advance payment. If the order cannot be completed and your deposit is refundable then it will be refunded by 2 day BACS bank transfer to you on request. However, we will deduct from the refund any amounts you owe us at that point.

Late Payment

We understand and will exercise our statutory right to claim interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation if we are not paid according to agreed credit terms. Late payment interest and penalties are charged in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 as amended by The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013. This is a policy in line with The Better Payment Practice Campaign as promoted by H. M. Revenue & Customs. Note that this includes statutory compensation for late payments between £40 and £100 per late invoice in addition to interest charges at 8% above base lending rates, so it is wise to pay on time. All payments received are applied on account as the date they are received, clearing debts in strict order of due date. Late payment penalties apply to all commercial contracts in the UK, not just us.

For the purposes of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, where payment is required partly in advance and partly in arrears, such as a quarterly invoice on 30 day terms which is 30 days in arrears and the rest in advance, then the invoice shall be treated as two separate debts with part payment due for part of the period as per section 11(2) of the Act. Failure to pay for at least the period which is in arrears by the due date of the invoice will result in a liability for the £40 to £100 penalty applicable for late payment. If we give you time to pay (credit), we are doing this because we recognise that many businesses have a complex systems for signing off and paying invoices, and that people can be on holiday, or sick, etc. It is not because we wish to operate as a bank and lend money and it should not be used as a means to obtain goods and services when you can’t afford them. As such we do not expect you to deliberately wait to the last moment you think you can send payment and still be within terms. If you do, and miss the date even by one day we will not have any sympathy with such a policy and will charge late payment penalties as the law permits.

Changing terms and prices

You cannot change these terms and conditions. You cannot assign this agreement to anyone else without our agreement. We may change the terms and conditions and prices and any associated rules (such as the AUP). We will put the new versions on our web pages.  We may also assign the agreement to any other party after giving you one month’s notice.

For any one-off sale or the start of a new on-going service the terms and prices at the time of order apply even if recently changed. We will normally advise you of prices when you place the order.

Changes that are to your detriment

For on-going services, if we make a change that is to your detriment (including increasing the price of on-going services) then you have some additional options.

  • You can simply accept the changes to terms or prices: If you do not dispute the change within one month after the change is published on the web site, or in the case of a price change of an on-going service then within one month of the new price shown on an invoice, then we consider you have accepted the change. To accept the change you do not have to do anything.
  • You can dispute the change and cease your service: During that one month you can dispute the change. If you are within a minimum term for a service we can either agree to apply the previous terms and prices until the end of the minimum term, or we can allow you to cease the service early without penalty, at our choice on a case by case basis. If you are not within a minimum term you can cease the service within one month, and have the previous terms and price apply until the cease (re-issuing the previous invoice if necessary) but you must request this adjustment within 3 months.

When price changes take effect

Our standard current price, as published on our web site or as advised to you individually, applies at the time the invoice is raised for the service. The price applies for the whole of the period invoiced. This means, for example, if you have quarterly billing then the advance charged price for on-going services is fixed for the whole quarter invoiced even if we change prices during that quarter.

In some cases a special price may apply for a period known in advance or a price change may be published in advanced with an applicable date. In such cases advance billed charges may be split at the date the price change is known to happen.

The key point here is that the price shown on the invoice is not changed retrospectively once the invoice is issued.

Some customers can be batch billed where proforma invoices are raised during the month and these are then included in one big invoice at the end of the month. In these cases the price is the one applicable when the proforma invoice is created. This means the price is the same whether batch billed or normally billed.

For telephone services the price is that applicable at the time of the call. To be exact: the named rate for the call is the rate applicable for the number dialled as at the time the call starts. The price for that named rate is the one applicable at the time the call ends. The call is broken in to parts for peak, off-peak, and weekend as applicable.

How we communicate

General information, notices and status updates, are made available on our web pages from time to time, including any changes to these terms.

We may use email to communicate changes, including any changes to terms and conditions or policies or other important information. You must check our web pages, or read email to ensure you are aware of such information. If you have a domain from us, you must accept and read email directed to postmaster at your domain. If we have emailed postmaster at your domain, or the last email address you told us, then notice is considered to have been served. We consider an email to have been sent once passed to and accepted by any of the mail servers defined for handling email for your email address. It is up to you to choose mail servers that do not throw away email that they have accepted.

You may contact us using our published email, fax, SMS, telephone or postal information. You are responsible for ensuring any communication actually reaches us, and we consider your communication valid on the date and time it reaches us and not when it was posted or sent. Invoices and late payment reminders are normally sent by email to the address you have advised to us for your accounts department. You can change the email address to which they are sent whenever you like by contacting us.

Customer services and being rude, etc

It is hereby formally agreed that the total compensation due for any poor customer services experience is zero.

We expect our staff to always be helpful and polite, and we expect customers to do likewise. Internally, we set ourselves high standards for customer services. However this is explicitly not part of the contract. If we, or you, are rude or unhelpful then there is specifically zero compensation for this either way in the contract. We may terminate a call or chat if we feel you are being rude, and we would be happy for you to do the same if we are rude. We are happy for you to provide feedback on such cases and we will endeavour to address them (again that is not part of the contract). Just to be clear – we are not agreeing to compensate you for causing stress or inconvenience either, sorry. What we offer is to provide the services agreed to the level of reliability agreed in return for the price agreed – simple.

The complaints handling procedure is itself a free service we offer, and whilst we are happy to take complaints about the complaints handling procedure, we consider this to be a customer service issue.

Resolving disputes and arbitration

If you have a dispute we will try and resolve your dispute promptly and fairly. Please remember that the contract terms are key in deciding if you are right or wrong, and that you have agreed a limit of liability even if we are wrong. Please read the limitations of liability section carefully before considering taking any formal action.

Either of us can make use of the courts to resolve a dispute. It is agreed that English law applies and any dispute will be resolved in the English courts if possible. It is agreed that if the claim is within the scope of the small claims fast track process then the small claims courts will be used to resolve the dispute and so minimise costs and risk for either side.

Of course, none of this stops us providing a good will credit to you if there are mistakes or inconvenience, should we wish. Such agood will credit will be in exchange for your agreeing that the dispute is fully resolved and that you will not take a matter to arbitration or courts.

Liquidation, etc.

If you go in to liquidation, administration, bankruptcy or in anyway stop being liable to pay your outstanding invoices, then we may terminate all services being provided immediately. All goods which have not been paid for in full are ours, and we have the right to collect them from you.

The person(s) dealing with your company (e.g. liquidator) may ask us to continue to provide services. For example, they may want to sell a business as a going concern, or sell assets such as domain names. If they do, then they will have to pay all outstanding charges for those services and agree to pay ongoing charges in advance. This is particularly important for domain names. If we terminate domain names then they can be immediately registered by anyone else (including us) and become their asset.

If you take over the business of a company that has gone in to liquidation and wish to take over services urgently, we may charge a fee for expediting the connection of such services which we decide on a case by case basis.

Misc

If we don’t enforce our contract terms at any point it doesn’t mean we won’t later.

If we don’t charge you for something right away it doesn’t mean we won’t charge for it later.

These terms are not intended to benefit any third party as per Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

A gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes. A megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes. A kilobyte is 1,000 bytes. A megabit/second is 1,000,000 bits per second. See http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html for details. Also xkcd if you find it confusing.

We may anonymously quote comments from any emails or comments we receive unless you specifically say we can’t, e.g. for our testimonials page. We will normally ask first.

It should not really need saying as it would most probably apply under tort law anyway, but if you deliberately do something knowing it will cost us money, over and above the normal costs for providing the goods or services we supply you, then you have to compensate us for that extra cost – for example, if you ask the BT engineer installing your line to do some extra work and we get billed by BT for that.

Terms & Conditions for purchase of Goods

This document describes the terms which cover the purchase of goods by you from us. If buying goods and services at the same time then each is a separate contract. It is in addition to our general terms.

Delivery

Normally, delivery is by our choice of courier or by us in person. If you prefer, you can arrange for collection during office hours using your courier. For small items we normally use Royal Mail Special Delivery, and for larger items we will typically use a local courier.

If you need delivery by a particular time, then we will attempt to meet that requirement. We do not accept responsibility for delays caused by the courier, or for delays because the address provided by you is incorrect. We will use our best endeavours to meet a specific delivery requirement, but time is not of the essence. We limit our liability for any delay to the charge we have made for the carriage.

Carriage is at your risk. This means it is your loss if the goods are damaged or lost on the way. You can pay for insurance to cover that risk if you wish. Please make this clear when ordering.

You must inspect goods and notify us of any discrepancy or damage within 24 hours of receipt.

All goods are offered subject to availability.

Title

The title in all goods supplied remains with us until fully paid. This means we own the goods until you have paid us in full.

If the payment is not honoured (e.g. bounced cheque) or otherwise cancelled or reversed at any time then we do not consider the payment to have been made and the goods continue to be our property until good payment is made.

While the goods belong to us you must look after them and retain any packaging. While we own the goods, once payment becomes over due, you grant us (or our agents) the right to enter your premises and reclaim the goods at any reasonable time. If you sell the goods you must include terms which make it clear that the prospective new owner does not gain ownership (title) until you have paid us and that they must also look after the goods and allow access to reclaim the goods in the same way and have the same conditions on anyone to which they sell or transfer the goods.

Returns

We try to ensure descriptions we provide are accurate and clear, but manufactures are constantly making improvements or cosmetic changes. We also describe the purpose for which goods are sold. If you want to use the goods for some other purpose, you must satisfy yourself in advance that the goods will meet that purpose.

There are a number of reasons why goods we have supplied may be unsatisfactory. If goods do not meet the description in some significant way that is to your detriment, or the goods are clearly not fit for the purpose we have described, of if the goods have arrived damaged or faulty (other than due to damage in transit) then we will accept their return for a refund of the price paid for the items affected, providing you notify us within 7 days of receipt.

You must look after the goods before returning them, and ensure they are returned in the condition your received them, with packaging.

If you do not notify us within 7 working days that you wish to return the goods, then you have accepted them.

If goods develop a fault within one year, then we will offer a repair or replacement at our choice, but it is your responsibility to return faulty goods to us for repair. Some goods include a manufacturer’s warranty, and where this would be at least as convenient for you to make use of, we will expect you to make use of such a facility rather than returning goods to us for repair. We do not offer a replacement during repair of faulty goods unless you have separately arranged an on-going maintenance contract which provides this. As such you have a choice of levels of service in the event of a fault with goods supplied.

To clarify, with the exception of death or personal injury resulting from our negligence, the full extent of liability that we have to you as a result of any fault in goods we have supplied is for us to repair or replace the goods, or, in some cases, a full refund of the price paid for the goods.

Return of goods is at your expense. If you wish us to collect the goods, we will arrange this and charge you at cost for doing so. The exception to this is if the goods are returned under the Sale of Goods and Services Act.

We consider any charge we make for sending goods to you to be a separate service which we are supplying, subject to cancellation rules for services, which means you cannot cancel postage or courier once we have supplied that service. Specifically, this means we do not refund postage, just the cost of the goods supplied when they are returned.

 

Terms & Conditions for purchase of Services

This document describes the terms which cover the purchase of services by you from us. If buying goods and services at the same time then each is a separate contract.

Length of on-going service

All of the ongoing services we offer (for example: Internet services; telephone services; maintenance; etc.) are provided for each billing period as agreed (typically monthly, but other billing cycles are available) on an automatically renewing basis. You receive an invoice at (or just before) the start of the period and at that point we have agreed to provide service for the period and you have agreed to pay for service for that period. In some cases this can be adjusted later where there is a notice period of termination, but where there is no notice period we operate on a no-refund basis, i.e. we have made an agreement with you at the start of the period to provide service and be paid for that whole period.

If you do not ask us to terminate service we will start a new period on your next billing date.

Starting service, and minimum terms

When you order service, we will try and provide it as soon as possible unless you say otherwise. If you need a service provided on a specific date, please make this clear with your order. We will then try to provide the service on that date or as close as possible. Service provision dates cannot be guaranteed and the date is not a formal part of our agreement, so we have no liability if we fail to meet a specific date. You will only be billed for each separate service from the date it is in fact provided (even if you are not using it yet).

Your initial bill for an ongoing service will be for at least 28 days service and may be as much as a whole billing period plus 27 days so as to align with the billing cycle. If the service has a notice period, then when you give us notice we will bill (or credit) so that you are charged only for the notice period. Where there is no notice period we operate on a no-refund basis for invoices already issued. Most services have no minimum term, but the notice period or initial invoice is effectively a minimum term.

In the case of broadband orders (new or migration) we consider one of the services we are providing is one of arranging for broadband to be installed and as such that service is provided once we have submitted the necessary orders to our circuit suppliers (typically BT plc) to connect your line and they have accepted that order from us. For telecoms service, we consider the service provided at the point we have assigned a number to you which is usually at the point you confirm the order. Please bear in mind the service may be provided before the point you happen to start using the service. This also applies in the same way to arranging for an installation of a telephone line.

We reserve the right to reject or cancel your order, refunding any payments made at that point and making your contract void. This may be because we cannot provide the service, or where we have made a business decision not to provide service to you.

Migrating a service to us

In some cases you can move a service from another provider to us. If you do this then you will be terminating the service you have with your previous provider for that service. We recommend you always check carefully with your previous provider whether you are liable for any termination charges, minimum notice charges, minimum term charges or any other costs as a result of terminating service with them. We are not liable for any costs you have to your previous provider resulting from migration.

Changing prices

For ongoing services such as Internet, domains, etc, the price for service is fixed at the start of each billing period for the whole of that period. We will publish changes to our general prices on our web site, and the current prices apply at the time the invoice is issued. We understand that you may not notice a price increase until you have received an invoice at the new price. We wish to be fair and reasonable in such cases. If you wish to terminate service because of a price increase, and advise us of this during the first period at the increased price, then we will adjust the amount chargeable for that period to be the previously applicable price so that you are not disadvantaged by a price increase of which you were not aware in advance. This price adjustment only applies if you terminate the service.

How well the Internet service works

We will ensure, with reasonable skill and care, that the service works as we have said it will. If we expect a problem or have to suspend part of the service for some operational reason, then we will let you know in advance if possible – usually via our web site and/or newsgroups.

The Internet is a large network of interconnecting computers managed by different organizations. We cannot be responsible for anything not in our control. We will not refund or compensate you for any break in service or any consequential costs that may arise because the service did not work when you needed it.

It is also important to note that we cannot guarantee the speed (transfer rate, packet loss or latency) of the Internet. In some cases (such as broadband) the speed of the link to your site is measured at your modem/router, but this speed is subject to other factors and contention, within the BT network and the Internet itself. Such matters are beyond our control and as such we accept no liability.

Fixing faults

Faults can be within our equipment or within back-haul networks or lines that we contract suppliers (such as BT) to provide to us. Most Internet service faults are outside our control. Our suppliers for some lines aim to rectify faults within 40 hours but we do not guarantee this. We will endeavour to arrange for line faults to be rectified as quickly as possible and follow all escalation procedures as appropriate with suppliers. We may choose to work on faults outside normal office hours, but so not guarantee to do so.

You will have to co-operate with our support staff and carry out simple steps including: checking for a dial tone; connecting your router directly to the master socket; swapping routers between sockets if you have multiple lines; and disconnecting other wiring or equipment. If equipment is supplied as part of the service (e.g. a modem/router) you must be prepared to test using that equipment even if you normally use something else. If you don’t help us do these basic checks then the fault repair process stops waiting for you, and you continue to be liable to pay for the service even though it is not working.

We normally have to take steps to eliminate your own wiring as the cause of a fault, hence asking you to carry out simple tests like this. If you do not have a master socket with removable faceplate (NTE5) then you may have to have one fitted by your line supplier (at your cost) to eliminate your wiring, or risk charges for an engineer visit.

If an engineer is arranged, you have to ensure that he has access during the agreed time slot. You must also follow any directions we give you in dealing with the engineers. Failure to do so could mean that we are charged when we would not be, and in such cases we will pass on these charges to you.

If, after notifying us of a fault, we are unable to rectify the fault after 3 working days you may opt to terminate service. If you do so within 14 days of reporting the fault we will refund pro rata the amount charged for service for the period from date the fault was reported, and not charge the normal notice period or cease charge. This is your full recourse for us failing to fix a fault promptly. This does not apply where service is suspended for a breach of these terms.

Filtering Internet Access

We don’t provide a filtering service to restrict or limit access to anything on the Internet. When you take services from us you are opting out of any filtering services. The Internet has a lot of good and useful things, but it also has a lot of unpleasant and offensive things. Don’t blame us for what you find on the Internet. If you want to filter access to the Internet for yourself or others using the service then there are a range of products available for most computer systems to provide that filtering, and it is up to you to obtain and install these.

Free services

Our Internet access services provide basic Internet connectivity – the ability to send and receive packets. That is the service you are paying for. There are a number of ancillary services we provide free of charge. Some of these are listed explicitly on your bill, such as a free UK domain, DNS, email and web services with broadband.

Some services are not listed, such as DNS resolvers, outgoing mail smart hosts, NAT64 gateway, and so on. These are services we provide free of charge to our Internet access customers. Any service we don’t specifically charge for and is over and above the sending and receiving of IP packets is an added extra at no cost. Even though not listed specifically on your bill they are free services.

The main reason these are free is that you could run them yourself. You can run your own mail servers and your own DNS resolvers. Using our services is an added bonus.

What this means is that any failure in these ancillary services does not give rise to compensation as the service is free, and compensation is limited to what you paid for the service.

Restricting, Suspending and Terminating service

If you have not paid us within terms or are in breach of any other terms or our acceptable use policy, then we may take steps to restrict, suspend or terminate your service as we see fit. Until your service is terminated, you must still pay the full price for the use of the service as if it was working normally.

Some tariffs have strict credit control and usage limits where service is automatically restricted.

  • Restriction of service means that we make some parts of the service unavailable or operate at a lower speed. This would normally only be done where the restriction will help reduce the effect of some breach of terms (such as a breach of our acceptable use policy). However, if we are unable to contact you, we may use this as a means to get your attention.
  • Suspension of service means that we stop your service working, however, we still have the service available to be resumed quickly. Before resuming service we will normally require you to bring your account fully up to date (pay us), or make assurances that a breach of our acceptable use policy has been addressed (e.g. virus-checking your computers).
  • Termination of service means we stop supplying your service completely. At this point you are no longer liable for further ongoing charges, but must still pay any outstanding invoices and any termination charges that apply. For some services, such as domains, termination may allow others to take the domain from you. If you wish to reconnect after termination you will have to ensure your account is up to date, and pay any connection charges that apply and may have to wait for several days before service can be reconnected.

Abuse of the Internet

Our Acceptable Use Policy specifies the rules you must follow. The service can be suspended or terminated without refund, if you do not follow the rules in the AUP, at our sole discretion. We will try to give you a warning of any issues relating to the AUP and an opportunity to rectify such problems to continue service – however severe breaches may result in immediate suspensin without advance warning.

Liability for use of the Internet

We provide a service which allows information to be passed to and from your computer systems. In using the service you must accept that we have no responsibility for the information carried, even if it is held on our servers in transit (for example as news or email), or is placed on our servers (such as web pages, and bulletin boards). If you take offence to any information you receive, you should take up the matter with the sender, or choose not to receive the information (e.g. to not visit offending web sites, etc). Wherever practical we will assist you in locating the sender if you require help. We will also co-operate with the police or other authorities in providing information to trace any criminal offence that may be committed via our services.

You must take responsibility for your use of the Internet. If anything you do, or fail to do, results in any liability for us, then you will compensate us completely. This includes any liability for anything you place on any of our servers (e.g. web, email, news). This includes compensation for all consequential losses, loss of time, loss of reputation, loss of future or expected profits, etc, as well as any fines or consequences imposed on us or our Directors and company officers or staff personally, if we or they are found liable for your actions or inaction.

Who can use the Internet service

The service is provided to you as the customer, but you can provide Internet access service to third parties if you wish. You remain responsible for all charges for usage of the service, whoever uses it. We do ask that you advise us if you are providing services to anyone else.

You must ensure that any passwords we supply for use with the service are kept confidential, and must notify us immediately if you realise they have been compromised.

In any event, you are responsible for all those that do make use of the service using your connection, account or domain, in any way that could adversely affect us, and we advise that you ensure all users are aware of these terms and the acceptable use policy.

Changing the service

We have a policy of continuous improvement, and may, from time to time, add, modify or remove parts of the service. We may temporarily disconnect service for system maintenance or to make changes to the service we provide. We will publish details of such changes on our web pages in advance or by email. We will not pay any compensation for such changes even if they require periods of service suspension. If you do not like the change we have made you have the option not to renew the on-going service for the next period.

If we make a change that requires any change to the configuration of your computers or systems, then you are responsible for making those changes in order to continue using the service. Where possible we will allow the previous configuration of your system to operate at the same time as the new configuration, for a period of time. This will allow you to make necessary changes at your convenience.

You may be allocated IP addresses for use of the service. These do not belong to you, but we may register your details with IP management authorities (RIPE). We may change your allocated IP addresses for operational reasons and you must make or arrange the necessary changes at your site to accommodate such changes at your cost.

Some services, such as broadband, are sold as shared services. We require customers to make responsible use of a shared service, We reserve the right to manage the way in which the service is shared to ensure the best operation for our customers as a whole.

Third party terms

In provision of the service you may be bound to terms of third parties. This is because some of the contracts we enter in to require us to impose terms on those using the services. In some cases a separate contract is formed between you and a third party – e.g. a domain registration, where we act simply as an agent in registering a domain. These include :-

  • Any terms imposed by our Internet transit providers – please ask us for a copy. We may change providers from time to time.
  • Any terms imposed by British Telecommunications plc – please ask us for a copy.
  • Any terms imposed by Internet registries, including RIPE for IP addresses, and Nominet for UK domains.

Nominet DNSSEC terms

Nominet have a number of terms, and in the case of Nominet we act as your agent in dealing with Nominet for UK domain registration. Nominet have new terms specifically for DNSSEC:-

  • The way in which DNSSEC works and the affect that its use can have on the stability of domain name records;
  • That Nominet accepts no liability in relation to the operation or use of DNSSEC records and that registrants accept all risk in relation to the use of DNSSEC in relation to their domain names; and
  • That Nominet will take reasonable steps to correct any error in the DNSSEC records, where such an error is as a result of a mistake on Nominet’s part, but will otherwise accept no liability for the error
  • To the extent that you register domain names for yourself, you also confirm that you understand and accept the risks of using DNSSEC and that Nominet accepts no liability in relation to the operation or use of DNSSEC

You agree to indemnify Nominet in relation to all liabilities, costs, expenses, damages and losses (including any direct or indirect consequential losses, loss of profit, loss of reputation and all interest, penalties and legal and other professional costs and expenses) suffered or incurred by Nominet as a result of your failure to notify your customers of the above information.

Agents

Anyone buying services from us for use by someone else (e.g. an IT consultant) must ensure the end user is aware of, and bound by, such third party terms by which we are bound. Such persons must also adhere to the principles of any code of practice (e.g. OFCOM broadband migration CoP) in the same way we would, passing on any requests to us promptly. For example, in the same way we work, any such person may not withhold a migration code for broadband or refuse an IPS tag change for a UK domain just because money is owed to them by the customer. If they do, then we reserve the right to deal directly with their customer in such matters.

Termination

Terminating your service is stopping providing the service after we have started providing it. Stopping an order before we have provided it is cancellation and described below. Note that we may have started providing a service before you have chosen to start actually using it.

Some services have a notice period for termination. Our standard notice requirement is one month at month end and must be provided in writing – email is acceptable. You can order termination at any time and we will aim to provide services to the end of the notice period. Even if service is stopped before the end of the notice period (e.g. migrated away or because the phone line stopped on broadband service) charges still apply to the end of the period. If you give us notice when you have already been invoiced for service beyond the end of the notice period we will credit that extra charge. If you terminate service without notice (e.g. terminate a phone line for broadband) then that is taken as giving notice at that point and a charge for the notice period applies. If you request a migration code then that is giving notice. If you do not use the migration code then charges resume and service continues. Only one period of notice can be in force concurrently on any service.

Some services also have a minimum term. If terminating service before the minimum term then you are at that point charged for service to the end of the minimum term (or end of notice period if later).

Where there is no notice period for termination we operate on a no-refund basis for the invoices already issued. This applies on some of our older broadband services as well as low cost services such as domain and email.

Terminating a broadband service could mean that it is several days before another service provider can provide service as it will take time for BT to process the request we make to them to terminate the circuit to your premises. If you terminate the associated phone service then the broadband will be terminated – we get no advance notice of this from BT and we have no option to cancel this, even if you manage to stop the phone line cease going through. If you have an associated telephone service which we provide that is also terminated when you cease your broadband.

In some cases there is also a charge for disconnecting a service.

You have to tell us when to stop

Because you have to pay for on-going services until you ask us to stop, it is important to ensure we have received and actioned your request to terminate. If you ask us to terminate service then it will be for you to prove that we received and actioned your request in the event of a dispute. Normally this is not a problem, but if we have not actioned your request and you cannot prove we said that we would, then charges apply based on the date we did finally receive your request. This is particularly relevant if you post a request to terminate an on-going service. We recommend you request termination using our on-line ordering system as this provides immediate on-screen confirmation and a digitally signed email confirming your request so that you have clear proof. The on-line system also automates the whole process to avoid human error.

Important

If you cannot show we received and actioned your request to cease a service you still have to pay until we do. If you continue to receive invoices and pay them for a service you think you have ceased, this is taken as confirmation that you accept that you did not, in fact, cease the service, and so they will not be refunded. You have to dispute invoices promptly.

Migrating service away from us

You can migrate a broadband service away from us using a migration code. This is issued free of charge. Only when the migration has been completed is your service with us terminated.

When you order the migration code on a service with a termination notice period you are invoiced to the end of the notice period (or credited if already invoiced beyond that point). If the migration code is not used then billing resumes as normal when the migration code and notice period expires. If you decide to obtain a new migration code after the previous one has expired then a new notice period starts at that point.

If you want to leave us, we recommend that you migrate broadband service to another provider if possible, rather than terminating service, as this avoids termination costs and delays.

Cancelling the service

Cancelling an order is asking us not to provide your service before we have actually provided it. Once we have provided service, even if you are not yet using the service, you cannot cancel your order but you may terminate your service as described above, or in some cases migrate the service.

We cannot guarantee the date that we will provide a service, especially if it relies on the work of a third party such as BT plc. We will keep trying to provide your service if at all possible until you ask us to cancel the order. If we have still not provided the service by 7 days after the agreed date then we will not make any cancellation charge if you cancel at that point.

If you cancel a service for any other reason then we will make a cancellation charge. This cancellation charge is never more than the charge we would make for terminating service the day after it was provided. For training or on-site engineering this will normally be 50% of the service charge. For broadband we expect payment of the first period invoiced for the service or notice period, and all connection/setup/cease charges. If you are considering cancelling the service, please ask us to quote for the cancellation charge that would apply in your case.

Cancelling an order for broadband service could mean that it is several days before another service provider can provide service as it will take time for BT to process the request we make to them to cancel the circuit to your premises.

Backups

You are responsible for ensuring that you have backups of your web site or other data you store on any of our servers. In the event of any data being lost or restored from our backups we will notify you as soon as practical (within 2 working days) so that you can check your web site is up to date and upload any necessary files. We are not responsible for data lost for any reason. If you are unhappy with the service we provide, you have the option not to renew the service in the next period.

Data Protection

Contact details for fixed IP address assignments are published in the RIPE database and can be checked via http://www.ripe.net/. Contact details for domain registrations may be published on various whois servers by the registry.

It is a formal condition that you accept that such details may be published and fully indemnify us against any claim related to publications of such details. Where practical we will co-operate with your requests to publish alternative or restricted contact details.

Firewalls

Connecting to the Internet, whether by modem, ISDN, or broadband, means that your computer is part of a world wide network of computers. It is possible that your computer is providing file shares, or other services on the Internet connection which may allow it to be hacked . You are responsible for the security of your computers. We are not responsible for any breach of security via the Internet. We recommend you ensure your machine is configured correctly, or has firewalling software or a separate firewall to protect you from the Internet. This is particularly important if you have a permanent connection such as broadband.

Engineering

Any quote for engineering work, consultancy, training, or software development is not a firm quote for an hourly or daily rate, but an estimate of the time it will take to carry out the work. Should the work look likely to exceed the estimate we will discuss options with you, and you can opt to pay for additional time or stop development at that point. Any work carried out must be paid for at the agreed hourly or daily rate.  Any liability is limited to the pro-rata amount paid for any work carried out which is unsatisfactory.

Software

In some cases we supply software developed or modified by us. Unless agreed otherwise, in writing, we retain all rights to the software including rights to source code. Your purchase is simply for a licence to make use of the software in accordance with our instructions. As with all software it is impossible to guarantee 100% reliable operation. Any defects notified within a one year warranty period will be rectified with reasonable skill, care and speed but no consequential liability can be accepted for any losses due to such a failure. Rectifying a problem may simply mean changing the instructions for use. You must provide us with any remote access and passwords we may require to rectify problems and test changes on your systems. Some systems include third party software which may be subject to its own licence conditions. Any free software which may be included is separate and is not provided as part of any contract with you, and for which no liability can be accepted by us. For any software which is included that is published under a GNU public licence, or similar, we have an obligation to supply source code on request – just ask.

Usage metering

We make every effort to ensure we accurately meter usage – whether usage of email storage, web storage, calls made, data tranferred on Internet links or hosted servers or anything else. The metering we do is the basis for any bills we raise for usage. Unless you can clearly demonstrate that our usage metering is inaccurate in our favour then you have to pay based on our measurements. We may provide some details of usage on an on-going basis before bills are generated, but do not guarantee to do so. Where there may be a considerable charge for unexpected high usage (e.g. server hosting) it is recommended that you put in place monitoring of your own links. You must also bear in mind that you are responsible for all usage of the service and also for security of any computers – as such usage resulting from being hacked in some way is still payable.

Voice over IP services

Our Voice over IP services (telephony) are regulated by OFCOM. In order to ensure we are fully compliant it is necessary for you to adhere to certain terms and conditions for use of our service. There are also several statements we need to make to ensure you are aware of limitations in our services.

We charge an ongoing fee for assignment of a number, but no ongoing fee for ability to receive or make calls, both of which need a number. Call charges apply. We aim to provide a service at all times, but there may be times when the service is not available (e.g. when your IP connection to our call server is not working or IP connection from our call server to external carriers is not working). At these times we are not providing a service to call numbers in the national calling plan and as such we are not, at that time, required to route 999/112 calls either. As such, 999/112 calls will only work when the service is working. You agree you will not rely on our service for 999/112 calls. Whilst we have to accept liability for death or personal injury following any negligence, you agree to indemnify us against any claim made against us in relation to unavailability of our VoIP service at any time including unavailability of 999/112.

Acceptable Use Policy

To make these rules easy to read the terms we (us, our, etc), and you (your, etc.), are used as per our terms and conditions. Using the Internet requires that certain rules are followed. These rules are not laws (which must also be obeyed), but conventions that have developed throughout the Internet to ensure everything runs smoothly. These rules are often informal, and are usually managed by the users themselves (for example, in news groups). However, the Internet only works if the people using it co-operate to use the Internet sensibly. Sometimes the rules change as new exploits or problems occur in the Internet. This Acceptable Use Policy defines the main rules which are sensible to follow, but is by no means a complete list. If these rules are broken, the offending account can be suspended and/or terminated. At the end of the day, it is not about breaking specific rules – it is about being a nuisance on the Internet to the extent that you affect the service we can offer, directly or indirectly. If you continue to be a nuisance on the Internet we can opt not to renew your contract and so terminate your service. This may seem harsh, but remember that you can choose not to renew your service at any point you like, and you don’t have to give us a reason at all. The agreement works both ways. These rules are part of the terms and conditions.

Broadband

Permanently connected customers that provide their own web servers, email servers, news servers or any other type of servers are totally responsible for those servers and their content. You should ensure that you are aware of any laws regarding the material you are providing, including copyright laws. If you are breaking the law we will co-operate with the authorities, and may also disconnect your service. Please also note that the service is a shared service. This is a key part of the pricing model in that the links BT provide are shared with other users (and other ISPs), and our service is dimensioned accordingly. You are expected to make responsible use of the service in light of the fact that it is shared with other users and your actions affect others. As such continuous transfer of data well in excess of your fair share for several days will be considered excessive use and we may request you make sensible usage of the service to ensure no adverse affect on our users as a whole. If you do not, we may simply not renew your service next month.

Abuse

Whilst any applicable laws must be obeyed, we do not restrict what you say or how you use the Internet. It is not a breach of our AUP for you to be sent abusing, defamatory or offensive material via email or news – this is a matter between you and the sender. As we do not provide a news service, we do not consider ourselves liable under the Defamation Act for any news postings you make or collect. Our role in such matters is (as much as the law permits) much like the post office, who does not accept liability for an abusive personal letter sent via the post. As a customer you must accept that we are carriers of information with no responsibility for its content whether stored in transit or not. If we are found to be liable for anything you do using the service, you must indemnify us in full. If you are not happy with this arrangement, then please do not take the service. We expect you to take responsibility for your actions. As such, abuse on the Internet is not in itself a reason for suspension of service. However abuse of the Internet is unacceptable. Abuse ofthe Internet means anything that could affect the operation of the Internet, affect the service we can offer to our customers or affect a large number of Internet users. This includes any action that could cause our Internet feeds to be disconnected or restricted, including breaking the acceptable use policy of our peers or causing any sanctions to be made against us. We will, wherever possibly, give you reasonable warning of any problems, and a reasonable time to rectify problems before we consider any action (such as suspension of service). In exceptional circumstances this may not be possible. If you have a machine causing problems we will expect you to sort the problem or disconnect the machine within a working day.

News postings

We do not operate a news service on ADSL. There are a number of free and chargeable news providers available which you can use, and you must adhere to their terms and conditions. Every news group, and in some cases whole hierarchies, have their own rules. It is important to look at the last week or so of postings to a group to find out how it works before you post something yourself. You will often find a weekly FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) posted in a group – please read it.  Also, it is well worth checking news search engines to see if the question you have has been asked before. This applies particularly to bulk posting of adverts, either individually or cross-posted to multiple groups. Please note that ‘get rich’ schemes are generally illegal. You should only ever post binaries (i.e. anything other than plain text) to a newsgroup if it has binaries in the name, and only then if the name does not have .d on the end. Do not post in HTML unless the group specifically permits this. You should use a valid email address on any postings you send.

Email

You should use your email address on all email you send. There are no limits on email sent or received, but bulk emailing of unsolicited advertisements is not acceptable. Recent UK legislation may also affect this practice, and if you are in doubt, check with a solicitor specialising in the field. You are responsible for anything emailed from any of your machines.

Making up domains

When sending email or news postings it is important not to simply make up email addresses. Generally, you should use a valid email address that you own. In some cases such as mailing lists or news postings you may not wish to use your normal email address as this could lead to spam or junk mail being sent, and this is a valid concern. In such cases you should use an alternative email address which you own. We provide as many domains as you like, and this allows unlimited email addresses. You can set mail filters to reject email to specific addresses if you like, and use one of these. One trick may be to change your address that you use on news postings every month and allow email only from the current address. This is more polite as it does allow people to email replies to your postings but also allows you to cut down on junk mail. If you really want to post using a completely invalid email address, then use something ending in .invalid (as per RFC 2606). A good ploy may be to use your normal email address with .invalid added to the end. Remember that your posting will have a trace of the IP addresses used, and so using a made up email address will not make you untraceable. You must never use someone else’s email address without their permission or any address that may be someone else’s in the future – so essentially, don’t make up email addresses. Why? Obviously you should not use an address that may be someone else’s, but there are other reasons not to make up addresses which may be less obvious. Whenever a made up address is used, a name server will be queried, and for an address which is completely made up this could query the top level name servers. There are only a few dozen of these, and all valid queries result in caching of answers. Invalid queries will cause the top level name servers to be asked every time and put a lot of load on them. Everything you do on the Internet relies on these name servers, so it is best to ensure they keep running smoothly.

Web pages

Web pages held on our servers must not contain anything which is illegal. Any such information, including copyright material illegally copied, that is brought to our attention will be deleted. Repeated violations will result in suspension of web page service. It is also unacceptable to promote illegal activities. Note that your web pages can be read all over the world and laws vary from country to country. Web space on our servers is provided for use as part of a set of web pages, and not as a general repository for data. Files may be deleted if we believe that they do not form part of your web site (e.g. using our web space as a backup file store).

Other

Any legitimate complaint we receive will be considered and may cause suspension of any account at our sole discretion. When considering a complaint, the effect on the Internet and to our ability to provide services to all our customers is considered. Abuse in this context is abuse of the Internet and not abuse on the Internet, so don’t bother complaining to us because someone calls you a rude word in email or on a newsgroup (although, feel free to complain to the sender – but this does not usually help). If you have any complaint about any other customer, please contact us.

Some things to watch out for…

  • Don’t run an open mail relay (allowing others to send mail via your mail server)
  • Don’t run an open web proxy (allowing others to access web pages via your server)
  • Keep machines virus-checked, and remove any viruses found promptly
  • Don’t try and break in to other peoples machines or scan addresses or ports
  • Don’t send SPAM or UCE (junk mail)

Usage based tariffs, terms and conditions

This document describes in detail the exact way that we meter and change for usage based tariffs and the rules that apply.

Definitions

Usage-Based Tariffs are those broadband Internet tariffs published with a specific monthly prepaid usage level usage is any data sent from you to the Internet Downlink usage is any data sent from the Internet to you, whether requested by you or not. This includes network attacks, spam, unwanted emails, etc. It also includes any traffic from other broadband lines or our network and servers. Line is a specific ADSL (telephone) or SDSL line on which we make available broadband Internet service Login is the username (in the form username@realm) used by your broadband router to connect to our service. This may have a suffix such as .1, .2, etc. All of these variations are considered to be part of the same login. A usage-based tariff applies to a login not a line. Gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes of data Metered usage is downlink usage between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (including bank holidays). Prepaid usage is the amount of usage that is pre-paid as part of your tariff each month Top-up usage is the amount of usage that you have specifically purchased in addition to any pre-paid usage Top-up usage brought forward is an amount of unused top-up usage that has been carried forward from the month in which it was purchased to the next month because it was not used. Over-usage is the amount of usage (including any over-usage carried forward from a previous month) that exceeds the usage level for that month (including pre-paid usage, top-up usage brought forward and top-up usage purchased).

How usage is measured

When a broadband router connects to our service is starts a session for the specific login used. Where there are multiple lines, then each has a separate session. For each session we record information on the usage of that session. The usage is recorded separately for each clock hour. We may provide details of usage hour by hour and line by line at our discretion and dependant on the service type and tariff.

Rules

Metered usage is considered to first use the pre-paid usage, then any top-up usage brought forward and then any top-up usage purchased that month. Any pre-paid usage not used at the end of the month is lost. It is not refunded or carried forward. Any top-up usage that is not used is carried forward to the next month. This does not include top-up usage that was brought forward from the previous month – i.e. a top-up will last to the end of the following month and then be lost if not used. Billing is available as either fixed rate (default) or variable (if specifically requested). You can ask to be changed between these two billing schemes as you wish. This applies per login and from the next bill. Some tariffs are only available on variable rate billing. For logins on fixed rate billing, if you have any over-usage, then this can be carried forward to the next month. There is a limit on what we consider is reasonable (the carry over limit) which you can carry over to the next month without penalty. This is currently 10GB, but may be changed from time to time. For logins on fixed rate billing, if you have any over usage which is over our carry over limit, then you may be contacted by our staff to discuss the matter. You will be asked to pay for top-up to cover the excessive usage, and we may also suggest changing to a more appropriate tariff. Ultimately the tariffs have specified usage, and if you will not select a more appropriate tariff or pay for top-ups then we may terminate service. For logins on variable rate billing, all over usage is billed on your next bill at our top-up rates automatically. Note that the carry over limit is not relevant as all over-usage is billed. When you exceed your usage level you will be sent an email advising you of this. Lines can be any available speed, and this does not affect the cost of the service. You can change tariff at any time. Any change of tariff takes effect at the point the next bill is produced and applies for the whole of the period covered by the bill Usage levels are calculated monthly from the 1st of the month. This applies even if billed quarterly for service where the monthly prepaid usage level is applied to each of the three months covered by the bill. Usage cannot be transferred between logins in any way.

Regrades

Existing customers changing to usage based tariffs can do so for no charge. The change takes effect on the next bill. Changing to usage based charging does not automatically change the underlying line speed or home/office grade of the line. A regrade fee applies to any speed or grade changes requested, which can be at the same time or a later time. Customers migrating from another ISP will migrate on the same speed and grade as with their previous ISP. A regrade fee applies to any speed or grade changes requested. Where an existing customer, or a migrating customer has a BT-supplied router (older services), then they will need to purchase a router and regrade to the equivalent wires only services. If a speed change is also required at the same time, then this will be a separate regrade stage. A regrade fee applies for each stage. The speed of the service will be subject to line quality and length, and in some cases a regrade will not be possible to a higher speed. In such cases there is no regrade fee.

Billing

Our usage-based tariffs define the cost for specific grades of service on a line and a prepaid usage level included in the price. Where a login has one line then the bill will show a single line item for the specified tariff for the period of time covered. Where a login has multiple lines, one of the lines will be shown as above, and the additional lines will be shown with a lower extra line tariff for the period covered (this is a different price for Standard or Premium lines) In some cases, e.g. with multiple line logins where lines are started and stopped within the month, your bill may be for extra line rate for each line and a separate charge for the prepaid usage applicable. The total charged will be the same whichever way this is shown on the bill. Your initial bill may include part of a month. In this case your prepaid usage will be applied pro-rata for the part of the month. e.g. If you are on a 3GB/month tariff starting service in the middle of a month then you will be billed 1.5 months service and have 1.5GB prepaid usage in one month and the full 3GB prepaid usage in the next. Some tariffs have a minimum initial bill, such as six months, and as such you bill be for between 6 and 7 months to align to the end of a month.

Termination and refunds

You can terminate service at any time (there are some exceptions such as minimum term on SDSL lines). You are not refunded for any prepaid usage or line charges already invoiced. As such, if you are planning to terminate service it is best to do a few days before your next bill is due. Under used prepaid usage or top-up usage or top-up usage carried forward at the end of your service is not credited or refunded. It is also not transferable to any other login. We reserve the right to charge for any over usage at the point of termination at our top-up rates.