Sometimes, as a working relationship develops, Terms and Conditions changes might become necessary or simply preferable through mutual agreement.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with changing the terms of your collaboration, if both parties agree to do so, and a basic example of this might be if your credit control policy includes a lower credit limit for new clients, but you want to allow trusted customers to run up a bigger bill once you know they will pay on time.
But how do you make Terms and Conditions changes in the correct way, without creating the potential for dispute later on?
In many cases it is sensible to simply issue an entirely new set of Ts & Cs – they may be based on the same Terms and Conditions agreement template as the previous Ts & Cs were, but with the new agreed terms filled in, in place of the old arrangement.
The benefit of this is that it is very clear what is being agreed to, rather than trying to change individual parts of an existing agreement that may cross-reference those parts elsewhere in its text.
When your customers – and yourself – agree to a whole new set of terms, you can make sure that means total commitment to everything written within, with no grey areas regarding how the new and old portions apply to one another.
But it is still important to ensure the old Ts & Cs no longer apply, as conflicting agreements can raise the possibility of a dispute later on.
As such, make absolutely certain that you revoke the previous agreement, and that you get informed consent from the customer to do this.
If you want to be able to enforce Terms and Conditions changes without the consent of your customers, make sure your original Terms and Conditions agreement template includes a clause allowing you to do so.
Most contracts you ever sign with big brands will have a measure of this kind; for example, a statement that the terms can be changed at any time, with or without a notice period, and that the client will have the choice to either accept the new terms, or end the contract.
You can always negotiate later with anyone who does not agree to the changes you want to make; the important thing is to make sure you are not locked into one set of Ts & Cs for the indefinite future, without the option of making changes with or without your clients’ consent.