Terms Of Service And PoliciesWe at 3 Step Internet believe, very simply, that "business in good faith" is the best way to work with our clients, and we have made it our company policy. But we also understand that things work better with some mutually understood rules of conduct. If nothing else, we owe it to our clients to effectively communicate what they can expect of us, and in return our clients need to know what we expect of them. You could say that, even in a service business, "good fences make good neighbors". This document is intended to provide those definitions in an easily read and understood form.
The policies described here apply to all of our clients.
Support and Consulting
New clients receive a predefined amount of support, usually 3 hours, that is typically used for training in website administration, setting up email, and so forth. Thereafter, all 3 Step Internet staff time spent on client accounts is billable at our option, unless we have come to a specific alternative agreement beforehand. Time spent in client-requested development of specifications for enhancements and services is included in the corresponding estimate, and will be billed separately if the project does not go forward.
Residual "bugs" and other defects in workmanship, meaning that performance does not meet published specifications, will be addressed promptly and corrected without additional charge.
You, our client, are responsible for the ownership of all content, photos and claims made on your active web site. You need to pay particular attention to photos, music, text and other content sourced from manufacturer or partner materials. When in doubt, you should contact the source of the material for permission or your attorney for advice. 3 Step Internet specifically does not recommend that you copy product photos or even text from competitor sites or random sites on the web. Stock photos must be purchased and licensed according to their use. Stock photo licensing fees are passed through at cost when purchased by 3 Step Internet on your behalf.
Content Management System Rights and License
To better serve our customers, most of our sites are implemented using a proprietary content management system (CMS) called "3ngine". Non-exclusive license to use 3ngine to present a site is is granted as part of our hosting agreement, but this does not imply any rights to the 3ngine code itself. Further, the 3ngine usage license itself discontinues when a hosting agreement is suspended or terminated.
The client owns all content specific to a his site, in the form in which it was entered, not the form in which it is rendered by the CMS. This includes any custom applications developed specifically for a given client and not integrated into the CMS. If a client elects to move his site to another host, we will provide a copy of all site content source (text, page-level HTML, graphics, photos, etc). But we will not distribute the 3ngine code to another host, nor the dynamic run-time functionality it provides (tickers, galleries, events calendar, credit card processing, etc). Reimplementation of site content in another hosting environment is entirely the responsibility of the owner.
Security and Private Information
3 Step Internet uses industry standard 128-bit encryption and SSL certificates for security of private data such as credit card numbers. As a further precaution, clients whose sites use real-time credit card processing will note that we do not save their customer’s credit card numbers on our servers at all. For clients that opt not to use real-time credit card processing we use an encryption algorithm to store the credit card data in our SQL database and transfer this data to our clients only via SSL web admin or SSL-secured e-mail. All credit card data is deleted automatically after agreed storage duration.
Downtime and Lost Sales
3 Step Internet is not responsible for lost sales or lost opportunities resulting from human error, equipment, software, facility or connectivity downtime. Our maximum liability for any web site that we have created or that we host is limited to the development and hosting fees paid for our services.
Search Engine Rankings
Although it is the goal of every web developer to obtain coveted search engine rankings for their customers, 3 Step Internet cannot guarantee the results of any coding or techniques aimed at improving search engine rankings. Furthermore, any good rankings that exist before a redesign, or that are attained through SEO efforts are not guaranteed to remain for any length of time. Even for a web site that remains unchanged, search engine rankings can shift any time at the whim of the search engine companies. No claim by any employee of 3 Step Internet, and no request by any client should be misinterpreted as an agreement or promise to attain specific rankings.
Our standard payment terms are net due upon receipt. We reserve the right to suspend website and / or email services, or withhold delivery of other work, on accounts with past due balances. Unless other arrangements are made, invoices open for more than 15 days are considered past due.
3 Step Internet does not offer industry or geographic exclusivity to clients unless expressly offered in writing as part of a strategic agreement.
Primary Account Contact
During a project, you must specify a contact person who will be responsible for decisions regarding design, functionality and approval of any “out of scope” expenses.
Web Site Hosting
3 Step Internet hosting is provided on servers which are monitored 24/7 and have generator backup in case of power outages. Although server downtime is extremely rare, 3 Step Internet does not guarantee or warrant that our web servers will have 100% up-time, and is not liable for any actual or consequential damages or lost profits resulting from any downtime. In the unlikely event of server downtime, clients are entitled to request a pro-rated, per-minute refund of their hosting fees for that month and that month only. Hosting fees are billed semi-annually or annual according to agreement.
Data Backup Liability Limits
3 Step Internet has gone to great expense to ensure the integrity of web site data. However, the most certain way to protect your own data is to request a CD-ROM with your full web site code on it. The cost is nominal, and reliability is maximum. In the event of malicious activity such as a virus or worm, catastrophic hardware failure, fire, natural disaster, terrorist event or time of war, 3 Step Internet cannot ensure preservation of any data.
Proprietary Software Licensing
3 Step Internet web-based applications are the result of thousands of hours in research and development over a period of years. Until the agreed-upon fees are paid in full, a client has no claim to any source code, software license, ftp account, or website files. After the license fee is paid, the client will possess a license for the use of our content management engine and the source code unique to that site. You cannot sell, run multiple versions of, reproduce or license use to any other party without the express written permission of 3 Step Internet.
E-Mail & Networking Assistance
As part of any hosting contract, our clients can request the setup of e-mail addresses and passwords. POP3 settings are provided on request for each hosted domain. Technical support for Outlook, Outlook Express, e-mail and any assistance with business networking or systems outside of 3 Step Internet’s control are billed hourly at standard hourly rates.