With Launch of Deals, Facebook Introduces New Legal Terms for Users, Merchants

Along with the rollout of its new Deals group coupon service for businesses, Facebook has updated its overarching legal terms for all users and organizations in order to cover what Deal participants are agreeing to. The “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” document now includes two new lines under Section 7, referring users to a new Deal Terms document and organization to Merchant Deal Terms.

Both new sets of terms look pretty straightforward (we’ve pasted them in below). People who participate in Deals may have their full names, as they appear on Facebook, shared with the Deals merchant, as well as their email addresses; users will also be bound by any additional terms of the deal. Facebook also says it “may send you information about additional Deals you may be interested in.” It’s not clear what the format of those additional messages would be, but Facebook has generally been conservative about promoting advertising to users so as to maintain a high-quality user experience. While people can’t currently opt out of receiving additional information about Deals, we’d also be surprised to see Facebook abuse the access it is granting itself here.

On the merchant side, the terms are straightforward. Deals need to comply with Facebook’s general Advertising Guidelines, the discounts must be from the regular selling price, they can’t “enroll customers into automatic renewal programs or memberships” and a variety of other terms.

Here are the full version of both new sets of terms, dated April 21, 2011.

Deals Terms

  1. If you purchase a Deal on or through Facebook:
    1. Your full name may be shared with the partner or merchant;
    2. Your email address may be shared with the partner or merchant for use only in connection with your purchase;
    3. You will be bound by the additional terms provided by the partner or merchant offering the Deal; and
    4. We may send you information about additional Deals you may be interested in.
  2. If you are under the age of 18, you will obtain permission from your parent or guardian before purchasing a Deal.
  3. The Deal may include a Promotional Redemption Deadline before which you must redeem your voucher. See “Refunds” below.
  4. Deals are not redeemable for cash except where required by law.
  5. Deals may not be used to purchase gift certificates or gift cards and may not be combined with other offers.
  6. Deals may not be purchased and resold.
  7. Neither Facebook nor any partner or merchant involved in providing the Deal is responsible for lost or stolen vouchers.
  8. Altered, manipulated, or defaced vouchers are void.
  9. By “Deal” we mean the opportunity to purchase vouchers with promotional value or discounts, where the vouchers are offered and redeemable by a third party merchant featured in the Deal.

Refunds

  1. The sale of Deals on or through Facebook is subject to our Payments Terms.
  2. Refunds are available for unredeemed vouchers for up to 30 days from the date of purchase. If a deal you’ve purchased becomes unavailable before it can be provided to you, you will receive a credit of the paid price which can be used to purchase future Deals.
  3. If a partner or merchant refuses to honor your voucher after the Promotional Redemption Deadline has passed, Facebook will credit you the paid price.
  4. To determine whether you are eligible to receive a refund, you may:
  • Access the “Your Deals” tab in your account;
  • Click “Help”;
  • Select “Dispute this Deal and request a refund” and click “Continue”; and
  • Select a reason from the drop-down menu and fill out the additional info box with your request details.

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Merchant Deals Terms

  1. Deals offered on Facebook must comply with our Advertising Guidelines.
  2. Your deal may include a Promotional Redemption Deadline before which you must honor the full promotional value of the Deal.
    1. The Promotional Redemption Deadline must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in all materials, including on the voucher itself.
    2. As the merchant, you are responsible for understanding the applicable laws and honoring all vouchers as required by law, including any refund or cash-out obligations.
  3. After the Promotional Redemption Deadline, you must fully honor the paid value of the voucher for at least the minimum time required by appliacble laws.
  4. Deals must be based on the regular selling price for the offered goods or services.
  5. Once a deal has begun, it may not be altered or edited.
  6. Deals may not include the following:
    1. Products or services that cannot be advertised on Facebook according to the Advertising Guidelines.
    2. Products or services that, upon redemption, enroll customers into automatic renewal programs or memberships.
    3. Products that are subject in your jurisdiction to minimum selling price or other restrictions that are inconsistent with offering the Deal on Facebook.  This includes, but is not limited to, gasoline, dairy, gambling, or alcohol unless explicitly authorized by Facebook.
  7. By “Deal” we mean the opportunity to purchase vouchers with promotional value or discounts, where the vouchers are offered and redeemable by a third party merchant featured in the Deal.

 

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