Online Counselling Services General Terms and Conditions of Service
Please read the following important terms and conditions (“Terms”) carefully. These Terms govern your access to and use of the Platform (defined in Section 2 below), and constitute a binding legal agreement among you, as a user of the Platform, and Online Counselling Services, counsellingathome.com and any other entities controlling, controlled by or under common control with the foregoing (collectively, “Online Counselling Services”, “we” or “us”). “Online Counselling Services” or the terms “we” or “us” or similar terms refer to Online Counselling Services Limited. “You” or “your” or similar terms refer to you as a user of our Platform (defined below).
Online Counselling Services is a telehealth platform in that we offer to connect people with our network of affiliated professional counsellors and mental health professionals (“Specialists”) to obtain online guidance, counselling and therapy services. Specialists may include, but are not limited to: therapists, counsellors, coaches, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. Specialists listed on Online Counselling Services are paid for their clinical services and have no financial interest in Online Counselling Services. Specialists listed on Online Counselling Services have an active membership of a governing body in the region listed on their profile.
USE OF THIS SERVICE IS NOT FOR EMERGENCIES. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY, OR IF AT ANY TIME YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CARE OR TREATMENT, CALL 000 OR GO TO THE NEAREST OPEN CLINIC OR EMERGENCY ROOM.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING OR CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE OR FEEL THAT YOU ARE A DANGER TO YOURSELF OR TO OTHERS, YOU MUST DISCONTINUE USE OF THIS SERVICE IMMEDIATELY, CALL 000, OR NOTIFY APPROPRIATE POLICE OR EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL.
- Applicability of These Terms.
Your access to and use of the Platform is conditioned on your compliance with these Terms. By becoming a registered user and/or accessing and/or using the Platform you agree to be bound by these Terms and all applicable laws and regulations governing the Platform. If you do not agree with these Terms, you are not authorised to access or use the Platform for any purpose. Additional terms and conditions applicable to specific areas of the Platform or to particular transactions are also posted in particular areas of the Platform and, together with these general Terms, govern your use of those areas. If you do not agree with any of these additional terms and conditions, you are not authorised to access or use those areas of the Platform.
- Our Platform
The Online Counselling Services telehealth platform includes, without limitation, the following services (collectively, the “Platform”):
(a) the facilitation of electronic communications with Specialists,
(b) the provision of appointment scheduling and reminders, and other services related to online counselling and therapy for both our registered users and Specialists, and
(c) the provision of other information about Online Counselling Services and our products and services through our website, https://www.counsellingathome.com (the “Platform”).
The platform does not include the provision of medical care, mental health services, or other professional services by online counselling services. Rather, Online Counselling Services is a technology provider that facilitates access to, and the billing and payment of, online counselling, therapy and guidance services (provided by Specialists) through the Online Counselling Services platform.
Specialists are not the employees or agents of Online Counselling Services. Each Specialist is responsible for obtaining your informed consent to any diagnosis or treatment, including without limitation, your consent to use telehealth in the course of any consultation conducted through the Platform, to the extent such consent is required by the applicable laws of the relevant jurisdiction.
- Delivery of Medical Advice.
While the Platform may provide access to certain general psychological and mental health information, and also may provide messaging functionality to contact your Specialist(s), the Platform cannot and is not intended to provide medical advice. We advise you to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding your personal health or medical conditions. Never disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on the Platform. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately.
To the extent advice is provided to you by a Specialist through the Platform, such advice is based on your personal health information as provided by you and the local standards of care for your presenting symptoms, based on your use of the Platform. Responses are not provided by Online Counselling Services, but are provided by your Specialist.
The content on the platform (other than a direct response from a qualified specialist) is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your medical professionals for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs or treatment may be appropriate for you. None of the information on the site represents or warrants that any particular drug or treatment is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.
- Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights.
The Platform, and all information and/or content that you see, hear, or otherwise experience on the Platform (collectively, “Content”) are protected by Australian and international copyright, trademark, and other laws. We own or have the license to use all of the intellectual property rights relating to Online Counselling Services, the Platform, and the Content, including, without limitation, all intellectual property rights protected as patent pending or patented inventions, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, or proprietary or confidential information, and whether or not they happened to be registered. You will not acquire any intellectual property rights in Online Counselling Services by your use of the Platform.
- Registered User Accounts
In order to access certain features of the Platform you will be required to become a registered user of the Platform by creating an Online Counselling Services account (“Account”). To create an Account, you must be of legal age (18 years of age) to form a binding contract. If you are not of legal age to form a binding contract, you may not register to use our Platform. When you register, you will be asked to choose a password. You are responsible for safeguarding and maintaining the confidentiality of your password and you agree not to disclose your password to any third party. You will be solely responsible for any activities or actions taken under your Account, whether or not you have authorised such activities or actions. You must notify us immediately if you know or suspect that any unauthorised person is using your password or your Account (for example, your password has been lost or stolen, someone has attempted to use the Platform through your account without your consent or your Account has been accessed without your permission). We strongly recommend that you do not use the Platform on public computers. We also recommend that you do not store your password through your web browser or other software.
You agree that the information that you provide to us at all times, including during registration and in any information you upload to your Online Counselling Services online profile maintained by or through the Platform (whether required by us or not) will be true, accurate, current, and complete. This information includes, but is not limited to, name, address, age, phone number, email addresses, and payment information. Changes can be made in your user profile and you are solely responsible for the accuracy and completeness of your information. By creating an Account, you expressly consent to the use of: (a) electronic means to complete these Terms and to provide you with any notices given pursuant to these Terms; and (b) electronic records to store information related to these Terms or your use of the Platform. Online Counselling Services cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with the above requirements.
- Your Online Counselling Services Profile.
It is the obligation of each of your specialists and Online Counselling Services to use and disclose any information included in your Online Counselling Services profile in accordance with applicable laws, including, without limitation, obtaining any consents or authorisations that may be required for your information to be shared with third parties. By registering for the services and designating your specialists(s), you agree to disclose the contents of your complete Online Counselling Services profile to your designated specialists(s).
All messages transmitted through Online Counselling Services secure messaging platform are saved and become part of your Online Counselling Services profile until you delete them.
- Your License to Use the Platform.
When you use our Platform you may access intellectual property rights that we or our licensors own or license. Subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of these Terms, Online Counselling Services grants you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable and wholly revocable license, without the right to sublicense, to access and use the Platform and to download and print any Content provided by Online Counselling Services solely for your personal and non-commercial purposes. You may not use, copy, adapt, modify, prepare derivative works based upon, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast or otherwise exploit the Platform or Content, except as expressly permitted in these Terms, without Online Counselling Services’s express prior written consent. No licenses or rights are granted to you by implication or otherwise under any intellectual property rights owned or controlled by Online Counselling Services or its licensors, except for the licenses and rights expressly granted in these Terms. Unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing by Online Counselling Services, the Platform is only permitted to be used within Australia.
- Eligibility Requirements to Access Member Portions of the Site.
Access to certain portions of the Platform and/or certain Content is restricted to registered users of our Platform. In order to access the member-only portions of the Platform, you must provide us with a current, valid email address so that we may contact you. By creating an Account, you agree to keep your email address updated.
There is no guarantee that you will be accepted as a registered user, or as a client by one of our Specialists. Even if you are accepted as a client by a Specialist, your Specialist may determine that online counselling services are not appropriate for some or all of your treatment needs, and accordingly may elect not to provide online counselling services to you through the Platform in your Specialist’s sole discretion.
- Payment Policies
You agree to promptly pay all fees and charges for Specialist services, and you authorise us to automatically deduct all applicable charges and fees from the payment account(s) you designate in your Online Counselling Services user profile or payment web page. You understand and agree that you will be responsible for a missed appointment fee equal to the fees you would have paid for the scheduled services if you do not cancel a scheduled appointment at least 48 hours in advance. You agree to be responsible for any telephone charges and/or Internet service fees you incur in accessing your account(s) through the Platform.
- Responsibility for Your Care; Verifying Credentials of Specialists.
Your medical care and your mental health care are solely the responsibility of you and your Specialist(s). Under the Platform, mental health advice and services are provided exclusively by Specialists.
All Specialists available through the Platform represent that they have degrees, licenses and/or certifications, as applicable, in the areas of counselling, psychology, marriage and family therapy, and/or clinical social work. Online Counselling Services attempts to confirm the credentials of all Specialists and to validate that they are in good standing with their respective professional body. However, Online Counselling Services is not responsible for credentialing Specialists, makes no representation regarding the accuracy of Specialists’ credentials, and expressly disclaims any liability for fraudulent credentials or claims by Specialists. In addition, changes in your Specialist’s professional status could occur between the time we perform an initial credential check and the time you select your Specialist. We recommend that you separately confirm that your Specialist is in good standing with his or her respective professional body(s).
- Specialist Profiles.
As part of Online Counselling Services’s telehealth platform, Online Counselling Services may provide profile pages for Specialists to enable them to post relevant information about their education, training, experience, and areas of specialisation. Specialists are solely and exclusively responsible for the content of their respective profiles, and Online Counselling Services expressly disclaims any and all liability for the content of the Specialist profiles, including, without limitation, the accuracy or reliability of any information contained therein.
Secure electronic messaging is always preferred to insecure email, but under specific circumstances, insecure email communication containing protected health information (“PHI”) may take place between you and Online Counselling Services.
You should consider that standard email is not a secure means of communication. There is some risk that any PHI contained in email may be disclosed to, or intercepted, printed, or stored by, unauthorised third parties. Online Counselling Services cannot ensure the security or confidentiality of messages sent by email. Online Counselling Services may also contact you to cancel, schedule or reschedule appointments via phone. By providing your contact information and agreeing to these Terms, you give your consent to Online Counselling Services to leave voice messages or speak with third parties at the phone numbers provided by you. Such contact by Online Counselling Services will not divulge your personal health information and will be limited to confirmation or rescheduling of appointments with Providers. If you wish to opt out of such communications, please contact customer services at email@example.com to request “Confidential Communications” and all reasonable requests shall be accommodated.
- User Supplied Material.
If you supply any comments, information, or material via the Platform, you represent and warrant to us that you have the legal right to supply such material and that it will not violate any law or the rights of any person or entity. Except for any individually identifiable health information you submit to us, all information or material you supply to us through the Platform shall be deemed and shall remain our property, and you hereby assign to Online Counselling Services all right, title, and interest in and to any such information or material, without any restriction or obligation to you.
- Restrictions on Conduct.
The Platform may be used and accessed for lawful purposes only. You agree to abide by all applicable local, national and foreign laws, treaties and regulations in connection with your use of the Platform.
In addition, without limitation, you agree that you will not do any of the following while using or accessing the Platform:
(a) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content to which you do not have the lawful right to copy, transmit and display (including any Content that would violate any confidentiality or fiduciary obligations that you might have with respect to the Content);
(b) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any Content that infringes the intellectual property rights or violates the privacy rights of any third party (including without limitation copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other intellectual property right, or moral right or right of publicity);
(c) use the Platform to collect or store personal data about other users without their express permission;
(d) knowingly include or use any false or inaccurate information in any profile;
(e) upload, post, email or otherwise transmit any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, spam, chain letters, “pyramid schemes” or any other form of solicitation, as well as viruses or other computer code that may interrupt, destroy, limit the functionality of the Platform, or interfere with the access of any other user to the Platform;
(f) circumvent, disable, or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the Platform or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any Content;
(g) use any meta tags or other hidden text or metadata utilising the Online Counselling Services name, trademark, URL or product name;
(h) attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of any Online Counselling Services system or network or breach or impair or circumvent any security or authentication measures protecting the Platform;
(i) attempt to decipher, decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, or otherwise attempt to discover or determine the source code of any software or any proprietary algorithm used to provide the Platform;
(j) use the Platform in any way that competes with Online Counselling Services, including, without limitation, misrepresenting one’s identity or posing as a current or prospective client in order to solicit or recruit Specialists, directly or indirectly; or
(k) encourage or instruct any other person or entity to do any of the foregoing.
- Termination and Cancellation.
Online Counselling Services is continually evolving and innovating. We may change our Platform, the Content we offer, and the products or services you may access at any time. We may discontinue offering our Platform or Site and we may suspend or terminate your right to use our Platform or Site at any time, in the event that you breach these Terms, for any reason, or for no reason at all, in our sole discretion, and without prior notice to you. After such termination, Online Counselling Services will have no further obligation to provide the Platform.
Upon termination of your right to use our Platform or Site or our termination of the Platform or Site, all licenses and other rights granted to you by these Terms will immediately terminate.
You may terminate your Account at any time and for any reason by deactivating your account through your Profile. Upon any termination by you, your Account will no longer be accessible.
Any suspension, termination, or cancellation will not affect your obligations to Online Counselling Services under these Terms which by their nature are intended to survive such suspension, termination, or cancellation. For example, but not by way of limitation, upon any such suspension, termination, or cancellation the provisions of Section 4 (Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights), Section 16 (Third Party Websites; Advertisements), Section 17 (Disclaimer of Warranties), Section 18 (Indemnification), Section 19 (Limitation of Liability), Section 21 (General Terms), Section 22 (Arbitration) and Section 23 (Governing Law and Forum for Disputes) shall survive and remain in full force and effect, but the provisions of Section 7 (Your License to Use the Platform) shall be suspended, terminated or cancelled, as the case may be.
- Third-Party Websites; Advertisements.
We may make available, on our our Platform, links to third-party websites or resources from third parties on the Platform. Online Counselling Services is not responsible or liable for the availability or accuracy of, and Online Counselling Services does not endorse, sponsor, or recommend such websites or resources, or the content, products, or services on or available from such websites or resources. When we make available such third-party links or resources on the Platform, you must look solely to the third party with respect to the content, products, or services they provide. We do not endorse and are not responsible for any of the content, products, or services provided by others. Your use of the websites or resources of third parties is at your own risk. Online Counselling Services and its affiliates will not be liable for any of your losses arising out of or relating to the websites or resources of third parties.
- Disclaimer of Warranties.
Your use of the Platform and Content is at your sole discretion and risk. The Platform and Content, and all materials, information, products and services included therein, are provided on an “As Is” and “As Available” basis without warranties of any kind.
Online Counselling Services and its licensors and affiliates expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, express, implied, or statutory, relating to the services and content, including without limitation the warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement of proprietary rights, course of dealing, or course of performance. Online Counselling Services and its licensors and affiliates make no warranty that the content you access on our website or using our service satisfies the laws and regulations requiring the disclosure of information for prescription drugs.
In addition, Online Counselling Services and its licensors and affiliates disclaim any warranties regarding security, accuracy, reliability, timeliness and performance of the services or that the services will be error free or that any errors will be corrected. No advice or information provided to you by Online Counselling Services will create any warranty that is not expressly stated in these terms of service.
We make no representations concerning, and do not guarantee, the accuracy of the services, including, but not limited to, any information provided through the services or their applicability to your individual circumstances. Our services and site content are developed for use in australia and online counselling services and its licensors and affiliates make no representation or warranty concerning the platform or platform content when they are used in any other country.
Some jurisdictions do not permit us to exclude warranties in these ways, so it is possible that these exclusions will not apply to our agreement with you. In such event the exclusions shall apply to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
You will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Online Counselling Services, Online Counselling Services’s licensors and affiliates and our respective directors, officers, employees, contractors, agents and representatives, from and against any and all claims, causes of action, demands, liabilities, losses, costs or expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses) arising out of or relating to any of the following matters:
(a) your access to or use of the Platform or the Content;
(b) your violation of any of the provisions of these Terms of Service;
(c) any activity related to your Account by you or any other person accessing the Site or Platform through your account, including, without limitation, negligent or wrongful conduct; or
(d) your violation of any third party right, including ,without limitation, any intellectual property right, publicity, confidentiality, property or privacy right.
Online Counselling Services reserves the right, at our own expense, to assume the exclusive defence and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will cooperate with us in asserting any available defences.
- Limitation of Liability.
In no event will Online Counselling Services or Online Counselling Services’s licensors or affiliates be liable to you for any damages whatsoever, including without limitation, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages, or lost profits, arising out of or in connection with your use of the services, the site, or the content, whether the damages are foreseeable and whether or not Online Counselling Services has been advised of the possibility of such damages in advance. If you are dissatisfied with the services, the site or the content, or the terms, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the platform.
Nothing herein shall limit the potential professional liability of our specialists or other licensed health care professionals arising from or related to medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment they provide to you, except as provided under applicable state laws. In many jurisdictions, specialists are required to report confidential information if they have reason to believe that a client is likely to harm others or himself/herself. In no event shall online counselling services be liable for the disclosure of your confidential information by a specialist from whom you receive mental health services. Online Counselling Services is not liable to any person or user for any harm caused by the negligence or misconduct of a specialists providing mental health services. In no event will the cumulative liability of Online Counselling Services or Online Counselling Services’s licensors or affiliates to you, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise, exceed $1000.
Except as otherwise required by applicable law, any claim or cause of action arising out of or relating to your use of the platform or the content or our relationship with you, regardless of theory, must be brought within one (1) year after the occurrence of the event giving rise to the claim or cause of action or be forever barred. Some jurisdictions do not permit us to limit our liability in these ways, so it is possible that these limitations will not apply to our agreement with you. In such event the limitations shall apply to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
- Errors and Inaccuracies.
The information on the Platform including, without limitation, information regarding pricing, may contain typographical errors or other errors or inaccuracies, and may not be complete or current. Online Counselling Services reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions and to change or update information at any time without prior notice to you. Online Counselling Services will not, however, guarantee that any such errors, inaccuracies, or omissions will be corrected. Online Counselling Services reserves the right to refuse to fill any orders or provide Platform that are based on inaccurate or erroneous information on the Platform, including, without limitation, incorrect or out-of-date information regarding pricing, payment terms, or for any other lawful reason.
- General Terms.
These Terms of Service constitute the entire agreement between you and us relating to our Platform, and the Content, replacing any prior or contemporaneous agreements, whether written or oral, unless you have signed a separate written agreement with us relating to our Platform, or the Content. If there is any conflict between the Terms and a separate signed written agreement between you and us relating to our Platform or the Content, the signed written agreement will control. Only the executive officers of Online Counselling Services have the authority to sign a separate signed written agreement between you and us. There are no other third-party beneficiaries to this agreement. The failure by you or us to enforce any provision of the Terms will not constitute a waiver. If any court of law, having the jurisdiction to decide the matter, rules that any provision of the Terms is invalid or unenforceable, then the invalid or unenforceable provision shall be removed from the Terms or reformed by the court and given effect so as to best accomplish the essential purpose of the invalid or unenforceable provision, and all of the other provisions of the Terms shall continue to be valid and enforceable. Nothing contained in these Terms of Service shall limit the ability of a party to seek an injunction or other equitable relief without posting any bond. The titles of the Sections of the Terms are for convenience only and shall have no legal or contractual effect.
For any claim (excluding claims for injunctive or other equitable relief) where the total amount of the award sought is less than $10 000.00 AUD, the party requesting relief may elect to resolve the dispute in a cost effective manner through binding non-appearance-based arbitration.
The parties must comply with the following rules:
(b) the arbitration shall be conducted by telephone, online and/or be solely based on written submissions, the specific manner shall be chosen by the party initiating the arbitration;
(b) the arbitration shall not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties; and
(c) any judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Any dispute, controversy, or disagreement arising out of or relating to these Terms, the breach thereof, or the subject matter thereof, where the total amount of the award sought is $10 000.00 AUD or greater, shall be settled exclusively by binding arbitration. The arbitration shall be held in Australia, unless the parties mutually agree to have such proceeding in some other locale. To the extent of the subject matter of the arbitration, the arbitration shall be binding not only on all parties to these Terms, but on any other entity controlled by, in control of or under common control with the party to the extent that such affiliate joins in the arbitration, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
- Governing Law and Forum for Disputes.
These terms of service and our relationship with you shall be governed by the laws of Australia, excluding its choice of laws rules. You and Online Counselling Services each irrevocably agree that the exclusive venue for any action or proceeding arising out of or relating to these terms of service or our relationship with you, regardless of theory, shall be in an Australian court. You and Online Counselling Services each irrevocably consents to the personal jurisdiction of these courts and waives any and all objections to the exercise of jurisdiction by these courts and to this venue. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, you and Online Counselling Services agree that Online Counselling Services may commence and maintain an action or proceeding seeking injunctive or other equitable relief in any court of competent jurisdiction.
- Changes to These Terms.
We reserve the right to change our Terms at any time. Any changes that we make will become a part of our agreement with you when they are posted to our Platform. Your continued use of our Platform will constitute your agreement to the changes we have made. The last date these Terms were revised is set forth at the end of this document.
- Contacting Us.
We encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions concerning our Terms. Please note that email communications will not necessarily be secure; accordingly, you should not include credit card information or other sensitive personal information in your email correspondence with us.
Last Revised: 11 September, 2017