Code of Practice
The Association of Publishers of Online Documents (“the APOD”) has been established to promote the sale of online legal and business document templates. APOD shall seek to educate the general and business public in the value and credibility of online legal and business documents, and shall promote and represent the interests of the APOD and its members in this respect.
1. Scope of the Code
- The Code shall cover only all the online provision of legal and business documents of the APOD and the Members within the United Kingdom.
- The provisions of the Code shall not prevail over any legislation which may now or in the future be relevant to the commercial activities of APOD or its’ Members.
- The Code shall be applied by the APOD and its Members in spirit as well as in the strict letter.
2. Contractual Information
- All Members shall clearly display detailed pricing information on their websites and shall not be entitled to add any previously undisclosed or hidden costs on to sums payable by customers. All pricing information should be clearly associated with the document or document package
Delivery Time and Charges
- The provisions of this section shall only apply to those Members that offer a hard-copy/CD document (“Deliverables”) service.
- All delivery charges and estimated delivery times shall be clearly displayed on the Members’ websites.
- All Deliverables shall be dispatched to customers using standard first class postage or courier service unless a customer expressly requests an alternative delivery method in which case delivery shall be a matter of agreement between the Member and the customer and shall not be subject to this sub-section .
Terms and Conditions of Sale
- All Members shall have a clearly written set of terms and conditions of sale on their website which comply with the law. Such terms and conditions must be easily accessible.
3. Methods of Trading and Promotion
- All advertising undertaken by APOD shall relate only to the provision of online sale of legal and business documents of Association Members.
- No advertising undertaken by APOD shall be in any way deprecatory to solicitors or any other form of legal practitioner.
- All advertising undertaken by Members shall be entirely accurate, honest and not misleading.
Relationship between Members
- No Member shall knowingly, recklessly or maliciously engage in any behaviour which may injure the professional reputation or business operations of another Member.
4. Quality Control
- All documents and document templates shall be drawn by a suitably qualified professional or team of professionals.
Referrals to other Members
- In cases where a particular Member cannot assist a customer due to lack of expertise in a particular area or the absence of a specific document in their portfolio that Member shall refer the customer to another Member if that Member has or might have the required expertise or documents.
- In any event, referrals to other Members shall be reported to APOD within 3 working days.
- APOD and all Members shall have in place a comprehensive complaints procedure which shall be clearly worded and easily accessible though their respective websites.
- All Members shall be required to keep a record of complaints and the resolutions of those complaints for at least 6 months from the date of that complaint.
5. Conformity with the Code
- A Member may propose changes to the Code at any time at an EGM or AGM of APOD. Such changes shall be implemented into the Code only on the unanimous approval of all Members.
- If any Member is, in the opinion of APOD, in breach of the provisions or principles of the Code that Member shall be informed of the alleged breach and shall be given the opportunity to defend themselves before the committee of APOD in accordance with the provisions of the Association Agreement.
- Members in breach of the Code may, under the provisions of the Association Agreement, be liable to suspension or expulsion from the Association.
Display of Code
All Members shall be required to display the following items on the home page of their websites:
- The logo of APOD;
- A hyperlink to the website of APOD;