Let’s talk about something that might not be as exciting as creating your next hit course, but is just as crucial for your business: your online course’s terms & conditions. More specifically, an essential clause that should be included in every course terms and conditions out there: the arbitration clause. This clause is an important section that specifically sets the rules for what happens if a dispute arises from a customer.
In this post, we’ll dive into the essentials of arbitration clauses and break down their benefits for online courses. Even if the legal stuff is not your favorite, we’ll walk you through it in a way that makes it easy to understand so you can make sure your course terms and conditions are truly working to protect you!
What We'll Cover...
What is an Arbitration Clause?
An arbitration clause is a section in your terms & conditions that states both you and your customer agree to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than in court.
Think of it as a pre-agreement between you and your students: if a disagreement pops up, instead of heading to court, you’ll sort it out through a more informal, but equally effective, arbitration process.
Why does this matter for your online course? Well, it’s about steering clear of lengthy, public, and expensive court battles.
Instead of going before a judge, you have what’s called an arbitrator who decides the dispute.
Going the route of arbitration helps disputes get resolved quietly, quickly, and often more affordably. Plus, it’s less intimidating and stressful for everyone involved.
In the context of online courses, where transactions and interactions most often take place online, an arbitration clause adds a layer of protection ensuring any disagreements about the course content, payment, or access are handled in a manner that’s fair, but without the drama of a courtroom showdown.
Benefits of Including an Arbitration Clause in Your Online Course
The arbitration clause makes things simpler for everyone involved. Here are some of the ways including an arbitration clause can build in some peace of mind and help you avoid a long, expensive, drawn-out legal battle:
- Cost-Effective Conflict Resolution: Let’s face it, legal battles in court can burn a hole in your pocket. Arbitration, on the other hand, works differently. It often requires fewer resources, meaning you can save those extra dollars for putting back into your business or paying yourself.
- Speedy Solutions: Arbitration speeds up the resolution process, helping you settle disputes more quickly than the traditional court system (which takes its sweet time!). This means less time worrying about legal issues and more time focusing on growing your business.
- Privacy Matters: Unlike court cases, which are public record, arbitration is a private affair. This means the details of any dispute stay between you and the involved party. For an online course business, maintaining this confidentiality can be invaluable, especially when sensitive information or brand reputation is at stake.
- You’re in Control: With arbitration, you often have more say in the process. This includes choosing the arbiter and having a say in the rules of the proceeding.
Including an arbitration clause in online course terms isn’t just a legal formality. It’s a strategic move to protect your business, save time and money, and handle disputes with discretion and efficiency.
As you build your online course, remember that a well-crafted arbitration clause can be one of your most valuable assets.
At Plainly Legal™, our users have access to our Legal Doc Generator and can quickly, easily, and affordably generate their online course terms and conditions with option to choose arbitration or court!
Preventing Class Actions and Group Claims
Up to now, all the benefits we’ve mentioned apply to just about any agreement. But in the context of an online course (or any one-to-many offer), there is a very special reason to include an arbitration clause – to avoid class actions or group claims against you.
You’ve probably heard of class actions or group claims, where a bunch of people come together to file a collective lawsuit against a person or business. While there’s strength in numbers, this scenario can be a real pain for any business owner.
Here’s where your trusty arbitration clause steps in.
By incorporating this into your terms, you require disputes to be resolved individually through arbitration.
This means no class actions or mass claims against your course are allowed. It keeps your legal disputes one-on-one, manageable, less overwhelming, and far less expensive.
Why is this so important?
Think of it as frivolous claim insurance!
When students (or any large group of buyers) can join together to file a single action, a dispute that wouldn’t be worth pursuing individually might just become a good bet… and lawyers might suddenly get interested.
For an individual claim, on the other hand, the amount at stake will almost always be pretty stinking low, which means it won’t be worth pursuing.
Including an arbitration clause in your online course terms & conditions is a no-brainer for all course creators.
It provides a cost-effective, efficient, and private way to handle disputes, keeping things straightforward and within your control. By preventing class actions and group claims, the arbitration clause serves to deter more risky disputes, protecting you from legal storms that can cause major headaches for a growing brand.
With Plainly Legal™’s smart Legal Doc Generator, you can draft rock-solid online course terms and conditions in minutes with the option to choose arbitration or court as your preferred method of dispute resolution — because we believe you should have full control over your legal stuff.