A. The Terms
- Acceptance of Terms
Welcome to chatowl.com or affiliated domains (“Service” or “Site”) owned and operated by ChatOwl Inc (“ChatOwl”) with registered offices at 201 Spear Street, Suite 1100, San Francisco, CA 94105.
By using the Site, you (1) agree to be bound by the Terms; (2) represent that you are over the age of sixteen (16) and able to form legally binding contracts to the extent offered on the Site; (3) acknowledge that in your country of residence the Service might be subject to applicable export control laws and other sanctions and agree that you will comply with such obligations and (4) represent that you are neither located in a sanctioned country nor a prohibited person.
In the Terms, “User,” “you” and “your” refer to the individual that creates a ChatOwl account. “ChatOwl,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to ChatOwl. “Customer” refers to the person who asks a question on the Site. “Counselor” refers to the person who answers a question posted on the Site.
“ChatOwl” and the ChatOwl logo are registered national and international word and figurative trademarks of ChatOwl. The design of the Site is protected under the applicable design protection laws.
- Electronic communications and right to modify Terms
When you visit ChatOwl you consent to communicate with us or via us electronically, either by e-mail, VOIP or video conference or by posting notices on the Site. You agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. You agree to provide us with, and maintain in your ChatOwl account profile, your current and active email address.
ChatOwl may modify any of the Terms at any time by posting them on the Site. Changes shall automatically be effective upon posting; provided, however, that material changes to the Terms will be effective as to an existing User upon the earlier of the agreement of the User or thirty (30) days after notice to the existing User, either via email from firstname.lastname@example.org or another @chatowl.com email address to your email address on file with ChatOwl or via other means including but not limited to a pop-up or banner, message or other conspicuous notice on the ChatOwl website. If you affirmatively agree to the new terms, your agreement will be effective immediately. You agree to make any and all necessary arrangements so that you (and not your spam filter) receive all emails from these email addresses. Your continued use of the Service will signify your acceptance of the changes. If you do not accept the changes, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the Site. The latest Terms will be posted on the Site, and you should always review them prior to using the Site.
B. The site
- ChatOwl is a venue; third-party content
The Site is a venue for informational purposes to allow Customers and Counselors to meet and interact electronically. Users of the Site, not ChatOwl, provide the content in Communications (defined in Section 5 below). The Counselors determine which questions to answer; Counselors are not employees or agents of ChatOwl but are independent service providers using the Site to offer, or sell, or make otherwise available, their Counselor knowledge to Customers and are, as such, along with Customers, simply Users of the Site.
ChatOwl is not involved in the conversations between Customers and Counselors and does not refer Customers to or endorse or recommend particular Counselor. You understand and acknowledge that ChatOwl cannot and does not edit, modify, filter, screen, monitor, endorse or guarantee the content of Communications. ChatOwl shall not be liable for any acts or omissions of Counselors, content in Communications, the ability of Counselors to answer questions or the ability of Customers to pay for answers. Notwithstanding the foregoing, ChatOwl reserves the right, but is not obligated, to refuse to post or to remove any content and/or remove any User’s access to the Site.
EMERGENCY QUESTIONS AND CRISIS SITUATIONS (particularly regarding medical or mental health issues) should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals or to emergency services. The Site is not the appropriate venue to deal with such situations.
- Communications are not private or confidential
The Site is an Internet-based service which applies certain technical means to reasonably assure privacy. Information and materials submitted in the content of your Communications, requests for information, responses, profiles, signatures, qualifications, and comments may be disseminated in a one-to-one interaction or in a one-to-many-interaction (collectively “Communications”). It is not completely private or confidential, nor is it protected by attorney-client, doctor-patient, or any other privilege, and it may be read, collected, and used by others. To better protect your privacy, be diligent in disclosing sensitive information regarding your identity or contact information.
- No reliance on the term “Counselor”
The use of the term “Counselor” by ChatOwl and on the Site is only meant to describe Users who offer to answer questions on the Site, and not to guarantee any particular level of expertise of the Counselor.
ChatOwl does not itself verify the credentials or quality of service of the Counselors but relies on User feedback. ChatOwl makes efforts to verify, but cannot warrant or guarantee an Counserlor’s purported identity. For these reasons, ChatOwl cannot and does not represent, warrant or guarantee the truthfulness or accuracy of the creden-tials or identities of and provided by Users including Counserlors. You acknowledge that ChatOwl will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content received in Communications.
- Information not advice; no professional-client relationship
Answers of Counserlors on the Site are to be used by Customers for general information purposes only, not as a substi-tute for in-person evaluation or specific counselor (medical, legal, veterinary, tax, financial, etc.) advice. For example, Counselors in the «Legal» category will provide only general information about the law, and will not provide legal advice nor propose a specific course of action for a Customer. When using the Site, Counserlors do not form attorney-client or doctor-patient relationships with Users of the Site. The laws, regulations, other governing authorities, standards, practices and procedures that apply to your particular question may differ depending on your location and information typically discovered through in-person evaluations or visits. Counserlors in some categories may be licensed, certified, educated, employed by or have experience in only particular jurisdictions.
No professional-client relationships shall be formed on the Site or shall be deemed to be otherwise brokered by ChatOwl or the Services.
C. User accounts
- User accounts; restricted activities; suspension or termination of Service
USER ACCOUNTS When you register as a User on the Site, you have to establish a user name and password for access to your online account, as well as to create a personal profile. Alternatively, you may log on, or may be required to log on, by using single-sign-on procedures via popular social networks. By using such login procedures, you agree that ChatOwl collects the personal information which you make available for the ChatOwl application on your respec-tive social network site. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your user name, password and account data, may use this account only personally, may not share this information or your account with anyone else, and will be solely responsible for all acts or omissions that occur under your account. You will immediately notify ChatOwl of any unauthorized use of your password or account. You should only create one account on the Site, and if your ChatOwl account has been suspended or terminated, you may not open another account on the Site. You agree to keep your contact and billing information (including but not limited to email address) up-to-date, and to comply with all billing procedures, including providing and maintaining accurate, truthful and lawful billing, credit card and profile information for active ChatOwl accounts.
RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES You agree that any content you provide on the Site and in Communications and your use of the Site shall not: (1) be fraudulent, inaccurate or misleading; (2) infringe any third party’s proprietary rights or rights of publicity or privacy; (3) be illegal or violate any international, national, state or local law, statute, ordinance, regulation or ethical code applicable in your country of residence or in Switzerland; (4) be competitive with ChatOwl or the Site; (5) be defamatory, trade libelous, unlawfully threatening or unlawfully harassing; (6) be obscene or contain child pornography or material otherwise adult in nature or harmful to minors; (7) be offensive, abusive, discrimi-natory, harassing, blasphemous or racist; (8) contain any viruses, Trojan horses, or other computer programming routines that may damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information; (9) create liability for us or cause us to lose (in whole or in part) the services of our ISPs, payment service providers or other suppliers; (10) link directly or indirectly to or include descriptions of goods or services that are prohibited under the Terms or you do not have a right to link to or include and (11) not circum-vent, reverse-engineer, attack or in any other way jeopardise the technical safety, authentication or other provi-sions of the Site.
You may not consummate any transaction that was initiated using our Service that, by paying to us a fee, could cause us to violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation. Furthermore, you may not resell or make any commercial use of our Service or the content on the Site without ChatOwl’s prior written consent. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under fifteen (15) years of age, and if we become aware that a minor under the age of fifteen (15) has submitted personal information to us, we will promptly remove it from our systems.
SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF SERVICE You may terminate your usage of the Site and your account at your sole discretion and at any time by written no-tice via e-mail to email@example.com. Terminations typically will be effective within seven (7) business days after our receipt of your termination notice, at which time your account will be closed and you will no longer enjoy ac-cess to your former account. Any fees accrued as of the effective date of termination will be payable according to the Terms. Any usage fees paid upfront for a certain subscription period will forfeit to the favor of ChatOwl.
At any time, without notice, for any or no reason, ChatOwl reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, to modify and discontinue any portion or all of the Service, and to restrict, suspend and terminate Users’ accounts.
- Charges; rating the Counselors; ChatOwl Account; refund and cancellation policy
ChatOwl’s platform allows Customers to find Counserlors in subject-matter categories, facilitates communication with Counselors via chat, VOIP, video conference, emails and online message boards, and enables delivery of answers to your questions, among other services. Counselors typically respond to Customers’ questions in an online conversa-tion via VOIP, video conference or chat. They may request further information before answering your question. ChatOwl does not guarantee that you will find a Counserlor which is competent to answer your questions, or that you will be satisfied with your communication with an Counserlor.
For the usage of the Service on the Site, in general a charge per Communication (e.g. fixed amount) or a charge per time period of the duration of the Communication (e.g. fee per hour, fee per minute), or any other charge model, is being charged to the Customer by ChatOwl. The charges are defined by the Counserlors and must be acknowledged by the Customer before initiating a Communication. The charges are due unconditionally, i.e. re-gardless of the fact whether the Counserlor was able to answer a question or whether the Customer is satisfied with the result, the quality or the outcome of the Communication.
As part of their profile on the Site, the Customers open and maintain an individual payment account (“ChatOwl ACCOUNT”) which can be credited by the Customer manually or by a recurring charge order against the payment source provided by the Customer in his profile. Customers authorize ChatOwl to charge Communication charges against their ChatOwl account. Before enabling a Communication, ChatOwl may require that a fitting mini-mum balance is credited and maintained with the ChatOwl account; the User may be offered an automatic top-up option. If the balance of the ChatOwl is used, ChatOwl may interrupt a Communication without warning.
When closing an account, the User may choose to have a remaining balance in his ChatOwl account refunded to his credit card or other payment option; a transfer to a third party is not permissible. If a User is inactive on ChatOwl for more than two (2) years, ChatOwl is entitled to close a User account and to refund the balance of a ChatOwl account to the credit card or other payment source registered with the User profile. If such refund fails and if the User does not react to at least three consecutive announcements by email to the User’s registered email address(es) over a period of minimum three (3) months, ChatOwl is entitled to cancel the User account and the balance amount will forfeit in favor of ChatOwl.
Once the interaction with the Counselor closes, you will be asked to rate the Counselor. If you provide a rating of 1-2 stars (which is considered an unsatisfactory rating), you will be asked to provide the Counselor with feedback about why you are unsatisfied, so the Counselor may try to help you better.
If ChatOwl believes, in its sole discretion, that any funds were earned under suspicious circumstances or that funds were derived from a suspect account, ChatOwl will continue to investigate the situation until an ade-quate resolution has been reached, as determined by us, and which may require the involvement of certain third parties, including any applicable credit card company. ChatOwl will make commercially reasonable efforts not to exceed a ninety-day (90) hold on your account as we and/or a third-party investigate.
- Receipt of special offers and other communications
ChatOwl maintains the right to initiate special incentive pricing, User promotions, and other programs. These may be limited, at ChatOwl’s sole discretion, to defined and limited Users or non-users. Any promotional mon-ies or credits placed into Customer accounts by ChatOwl for use towards answers on the Site remain the prop-erty of ChatOwl (they never become the property of Users and never become refundable to the User), and un-less otherwise stated on the Site or in an email to a User, will be usable only for a limited period of time at the discretion of ChatOwl.
D. Legal Statements
Users are responsible for their acts and omissions and content placed on the Site. Because the Site is a venue, in the event that you have a dispute with one or more Users, you release ChatOwl (and our parents, subsidiaries, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, joint ventures, consultants, successors and assigns) from any and all claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way connected with such disputes.
- Proprietary rights of content
You acknowledge that ChatOwl and its licensors and suppliers own the rights to the Site and the content displayed on the Site other than in Communications. You shall not modify, reverse en-gineer, decompile, disassemble, or attempt to derive the source code of the Site, or assist any other person or en-tity in doing so. You acknowledge that all content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, pho-tographs, video, graphics or other material contained in listings, sponsor advertisements or email-distributed, commercially produced information presented to you by the Service, by ChatOwl, ChatOwl Users, or ChatOwl advertisers or other content providers, is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents or other proprietary rights and laws. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or dis-tribute in any way content available through the Service, including code and software for commercial purposes. For permission to use third-party materials appearing on the Site, please contact the copyright owner. You do not acquire ownership rights to any content, document or other materials viewed through the Site. The posting of in-formation or materials on the Site does not constitute a waiver of any right in such information and materials.
With the exception of information provided directly and only to the Site administrator or any employee, officer or agent of ChatOwl, you agree that Communications, materials, ideas, comments and testimonials you submit on the Site or other venues, including but not limited to the ChatOwl blogs, the ChatOwl page on www.face-book.com, the ChatOwl venues on www.twitter.com, www.youtube.com, plus.google.com, WWW.FLICKR.COM, and others (“User Content”), will not be considered confidential and may be used by ChatOwl, in its sole discretion, without any obligation to compensate for use of or to return any submitted materials.
You grant to ChatOwl a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise the copyright, publicity, and database rights, including the right to use, repro-duce, display, edit, copy, modify, transmit, publicly perform, extract and create derivative works thereof, that you have in your Communications, in your User Profile and User Content, in any media now known or not currently known, with respect to any such Communications and other User Content.
- No Endorsement of non-ChatOwl entity; no relationship with Users
ChatOwl may endeavor to offer to its Users products and services offered by non-ChatOwl entities. Place-ment of information, logos, links or names of such non-ChatOwl entities on the Site does not constitute an en-dorsement or warranty of these entities, their products or services. You take full responsibility for a decision to visit or patronize any such entity and hold ChatOwl harmless from any liability arising from such actions. You further acknowledge that no relationship (such as partnership, agent, joint venturer, or employee) is created be-tween you and ChatOwl or between any User (including Customers and Counselors) and ChatOwl by formation of this Agreement (or any of the Related Agreements) or by your participation on the Site.
- Information control and storage
We do not systematically control the information provided by Users, which you may find to be offensive, harmful, inaccurate, or deceptive. Please use caution and common sense when using the Site. There are also risks of deal-ing with underage persons or people acting under false pretenses. Additionally, there may be risks dealing with international trade and foreign nationals. By using this Site, you agree to accept such risks and that ChatOwl is not responsible for the acts or omissions of Users on the Site. The amount of storage space per User is currently limited. You agree that ChatOwl is not responsible or liable for the deletion or failure to store content and/or other information.
- Exclusion of warranties
ChatOwl services and related documentation are provided “as is” and, to the degree permissible by law, without any warranty of any kind either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of mer-chantability and fitness for a particular purpose. No information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from us through this Site shall create any warranty, representation or guarantee not expressly stated in these Terms. ChatOwl does not represent or warrant that the Service will be uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available, are free of viruses or other harmful components. ChatOwl does not warrant or represent that the use or the results of the use of the materials available through the Service, Counselors, third parties or a linked site will be correct, accurate, timely, reliable or otherwise. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusions may not apply to you. You may also have other rights that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Use of this Site is at Users’ sole risk. ChatOwl will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a User’s reli-ance on information obtained through the Site, from third parties (such as Counselors or others) or a linked site, or User’s reliance on any product or service obtained from a third party (such as Counselors or others) or a linked site.
No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from ChatOwl or through or from the ChatOwl Services shall create any warranty.
- Limitation of liabilities
The liability of ChatOwl, its parents, subsidiaries, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, joint venturers, consultants, successors or assigns is excluded to the degree permissible by law. This includes any indi-rect, special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages (including but not limited to loss of busi-ness, profits, data, use, revenue or other economic advantage), arising out of or in connection with our Site, our Services or the Terms.
You agree to indemnify and hold ChatOwl, its parents, subsidiaries, officers, directors, shareholders, employ-ees, agents, joint venturers, consultants, successors and assigns harmless from and against all losses, costs, liabili-ties and expenses including reasonable attorneys’ fees, asserted by any third-party that are in any way due to or arising out of your use of or conduct on the Site.
- Media releases and third-party press about ChatOwl
The Site may contain media releases and other information about ChatOwl. While this information was believed to be accurate as of the date prepared, we disclaim any duty or obligation to update this information or any media releases. Information about companies other than ours contained in the media release or otherwise, should not be relied upon as being provided or endorsed by ChatOwl. Likewise, third-party press about ChatOwl or the Site should not be relied upon as being provided or endorsed by ChatOwl.
- Agreement; assignment; severability; miscellaneous
If any provision(s) of the Terms is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to law, then such provi-sion(s) shall be construed, as nearly as possible, to reflect the intentions of the parties and the other provisions shall remain in full force and effect. ChatOwl’s failure to exercise or enforce any of the Terms shall not consti-tute a waiver of ChatOwl’s right to exercise or enforce the Terms as to the same or another instance. Headings in this and Related Agreements are for purposes of reference only and shall not limit or otherwise affect the mean-ing of the Terms.
You agree that ChatOwl may assign the Terms to any other entity of its choosing, with or without notice to you. You may not assign the Terms to any other party for any reason, including but not limited to because your interac-tion with other users of the Site, the pricing offered, and fraud mechanisms in place, are based upon individual usage. ChatOwl shall not be deemed to have waived any of its rights or remedies unless such waiver is in writ-ing and signed by an officer of ChatOwl. No delay or omission on the part of ChatOwl in exercising any rights or remedies shall operate as a waiver of such rights or remedies or any other rights or remedies on future occa-sions. The section titles in the Terms are solely used for the convenience of the parties and have no legal or con-tractual significance.
Sections 5, 9 (with respect to amounts remaining in your account as of termination), 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20 will survive any termination of this Agreement.
- Applicable law
By using Chatowl, you agree that the applicable federal law and the laws of the state of California, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Terms and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and Chatowl.