Terms and Conditions

As of 8 May 2017

The online service "ProvenExpert.com" (hereinafter referred to as "ProvenExpert" or "the Service") is operated by Expert Systems GmbH, Quedlinburger Straße 1, 10589 Berlin, Germany, as represented by its managing director Remo Fyda (hereinafter referred to as "Expert Systems"). The Service enables companies, entrepreneurs, and service providers (hereinafter referred to as "Profile Owners") to have their services evaluated by end customers (hereinafter referred to as "Customers") by means of differentiated review guidelines. In doing so, the Service enables Customers to evaluate their level of customer satisfaction in detail. On the basis of the evaluations, and depending on the settings chosen by the Profile Owner, an overall score, which can be embedded in a ProvenExpert rating seal, can be generated. This, in turn, can be employed by the Profile Owner to promote his or her services.

1. Area of validity

The following Terms and Conditions contain the basic rules for the use of the online service ProvenExpert.com and apply for all future legal transactions and legal business dealings between the Profile Owner and Expert Systems. Terms and Conditions on the part of the Profile Owner which deviate from or expand on these Terms and Conditions shall only come into force when they have been explicitly confirmed in writing by Expert Systems.

2. Registration

2.1 Use of the Service by the Profile Owner requires registration of an account. This registration creates a contractual user agreement for the Service between the Profile Owner and Expert Systems. The registration and setup of a user account (hereinafter referred to as “profile” ) is free for the Profile Owner.

2.2 Registration is available exclusively to companies as defined in Sec. 14 of the German Civil Code (BGB). Registration is not permitted for persons under the legal age of majority or other natural persons with restricted legal competence. Registration is also not permitted for consumers as defined in Sec. 13 of the German Civil Code (BGB).

2.3 The generation and use of manipulated customer evaluations is in contradiction with the values of Expert Systems. Their use shall also not apply for service providers who generate evaluations or deal with them.

2.4 The Profile Owner is obligated to provide truthful and complete data during the registration process. The use of pseudonyms or aliases is not permitted. In the case of a change to the recorded data after completion of the registration, the Profile Owner shall update the information in his or her profile without delay.

2.5 By submitting the registration form, the Profile Owner issues an offer for a user agreement with Expert Systems, agrees to the Terms and Conditions, ensures that he or she is in possession of the power of representation required to issue an offer for a user agreement, and ensures that the information provided is truthful and that he or she is not prohibited from using the service according to the terms set out in section 2.2 and 2.3.

2.6 Multiple registrations and the creation of multiple profiles are not permitted.

2.7 During registration the Profile Owner creates a username and password within the scope of technical feasibility (hereinafter referred to as “Login Details”). Usernames which violate the rights — especially name and trademark rights — of third persons, which are otherwise unlawful, or which are contrary to accepted principles of morality are prohibited. The Profile Owner is obligated to keep his or her Login Details confidential and to protect them from being revealed to third parties. If the Profile Owner becomes aware that this confidentiality has been compromised or suspects that the login details are being used by third parties, he or she shall report this to Expert Systems without delay.

2.8 There is no inherent right to registration. Expert Systems reserves the right to refuse the Profile Owner's registration without providing reason.

2.9 Expert Systems is entitled to the immediate blocking of profiles. This is especially applicable in cases of infringement on the Terms of Use, for instance:

  • If false information is provided during registration;
  • If the Profile Owner belongs to or is associated with the group of persons specified in Sections 2.2. and 2.3,
  • If Login details are lost or there is reason to believe that they are being misused by third parties;
  • If the Profile Owner has violated the Terms and Conditions of Expert Systems, in particular if he or she is suspected of manipulating evaluations, as well as in the case of multiple registrations; and/or
  • In the case of any other important reason.

In the case the profile is blocked, the Profile Owner shall not be permitted to register an account with ProvenExpert.com again or create a new profile without the express prior consent of Expert Systems.

3. Services from Expert Systems

3.1 Expert Systems shall grant the Profile Owner access to the Service for the duration of the user agreement. The Service enables the Profile Owner to collect, manage, aggregate (number of evaluations, overall score), and display evaluations, as well as integrate the ProvenExpert rating seal into his or her website. The features and content included in the various service plans offered by Expert Systems, as well as the prices for each, are displayed in the current pricing and service overview from Expert Systems.

3.2 There are six ways to collect and submit evaluations: (1) by means of a Service feature which allows Profile Owners to invite customers to participate in customer surveys via email; (2) by sending access codes to customers, which the customers can use to submit evaluations via the Service; (3) by means of survey links published by the Profile Owner (e.g. sharing the link on social networks); (4) by integrating a customer survey into the Profile Owner's Facebook page via a Facebook survey app; (5) by means of the customer submitting a request to the Profile Owner via a contact form and asking him or her to activate the option to submit evaluations (activation is carried out by the Profile Owner him or herself), or (6) by means of the Profile Owner permitting profile visitors to leave evaluations by changing his or her profile settings.

3.3 At first, evaluations are only made available to the Profile Owner for internal use. The Profile Owner can designate whether to publish no evaluations, individual evaluations, or all evaluations in his or her profile. If the Profile Owner chooses to publish all evaluations, an overall score will be generated (ranging from a minimum of 1 star to a maximum of 5 stars) which can be viewed on the Profile Owner's profile page and displayed on the Profile Owner's website in the form of a ProvenExpert rating seal (hereinafter referred to as “the ProvenExpert seal”). The overall score consists of all evaluations received in the previous 24 months (FREE plan) or an unlimited period of time, unless otherwise stated in the respective service plan. Should the Profile Owner choose to publish a limited number of evaluations, no overall score will be generated. In this case, only the published evaluations will be displayed on the profile page, and the ProvenExpert rating seal shall display in this case the total number of published evaluations.

3.4 Expert Systems enables the Profile Owner to aggregate evaluations (quantity and overall score) from other customer review websites. The following guidelines apply:

  • The evaluations to be aggregated must conform to the field of business activities reported by the Profile Owner at the time of registration.
  • Only evaluations from customer review websites that verify customer reviews may be aggregated. Expert Systems will test the verification process to ensure this.

In order to maintain our standards of quality, the evaluations to be aggregated will be manually added by Expert Systems and checked to verify their authenticity. Expert Systems retains the right not to aggregate evaluations or to remove aggregated evaluations without providing reason should the evaluations violate our usage guidelines.

The Profile Owner does not have claim to the aggregation of evaluations from websites which are not contained in our list of supported customer review platforms. Expert Systems retains the right not to make the evaluation aggregation feature available for certain websites should these require unreasonable technical effort or investments of time.

3.5 Expert Systems grants the Profile Owner the non-transferable, non-sublicensable right to use the ProvenExpert seal for the purpose of advertising his or her services for the duration of this user agreement. The license is subject to the condition that the Profile Owner fulfills the duties resulting from this user agreement (in particular those duties resulting from sections 2 and section 4).

3.6 The customer evaluations collected via ProvenExpert may be requested in the form of a CSV file for free during the duration of the user agreement and may continue to be used by the user following the end of the user agreement. The request can be submitted via email to support@provenexpert.com.

3.7 The Profile Owner acknowledges that 100% availability of the Service is technically unfeasible. However, Expert Systems shall endeavor to make the Service available as constantly as possible. In particular, issues relating to maintenance, security, or capacity requirements, as well as events beyond the control of Expert Systems (such as disruptions of public communications, loss of power, etc.) may result in brief disruptions or temporary cessation of the Service. Expert Systems retains the right to fully or partially cease operation of the Service at any time and, where applicable, refund user fees already paid.

4. Obligations and warranty of the Profile Owner

4.1 The Profile Owner ensures that the information provided during registration is complete and valid. Should a profile image be used, the Profile Owner ensures by uploading the image that he or she is authorized to use the photo or graphic within the framework of the Service, and that no third-party rights, in particular copyrights or personal rights, are violated. This also applies to content placed by the Profile Owner. These may not contain any content which is insulting, glorifies violence, is extremist, racist, sexist, discriminating, minor-endangering, pornographic, or that infringes the law in any other way.

4.2 Only customers who have truthfully used the services of the Profile Owner to a significant extent shall be permitted to submit evaluations or, within the scope of a customer survey, may be invited to submit evaluations. The Profile Owner ensures that the customers contacted via the Service within the scope of a customer survey have previously consented to receiving the email in question. The Profile Owner is solely responsible for obtaining the consent of the customer.

4.3 The ProvenExpert seal may in no way be modified by the Profile Owner. It is also not permitted to make content available on the website where the ProvenExpert seal is integrated that is illegal or immoral, discriminatory, racist, sexist, insulting, or pornographic in nature, or that glorifies violence.

4.4. The Profile Owner is solely responsible for verifying that evaluations and the ProvenExpert seal are used for advertising purposes in a manner that complies with all aspects of the law. Expert Systems is not liable for damages caused by unlawful use of evaluations or the ProvenExpert seal for advertising purposes.

4.5 Improper use of the ProvenExpert evaluation system, including the ProvenExpert rating seal, is not permitted.

4.6 ProvenExpert rating seals may only be integrated into web pages operated by the Profile Owner that contain content offerings upon which the customer evaluations are based.

4.7 Directly or indirectly modifying, editing, or copying ProvenExpert rating seals, as well as using content from them or creating a summary of their contents, is not permitted. This includes separating them into their component parts or creating derived products from them.

4.8 All rights, titles, and entitlements to the ProvenExpert rating seals, including all intellectual property rights, shall remain the exclusive property of ProvenExpert.

4.9 The customer ensures that emails he or she sends via the Service do not violate any applicable law or infringe the rights of third persons (name rights, trademark rights, copyrights, personal rights, etc.), and that he or she is in possession of written consent from the addressee to receive commercial emails. The customer is obligated not to send or allow the sending of unsolicited emails containing invitations to participate in surveys or submit evaluations unless the express consent of the recipient concerned has been given.

4.10 Expert Systems does not intend to provide a platform for political activities of any kind with the Service. Therefore it is not permitted to send via the Service content related to political activities, such as party meetings, demonstrations, flyer campaigns, or petition actions. This also applies should an email merely contain a hyperlink leading to a website containing content of this kind.

5. Payment

5.1 Should the Profile Owner choose a service plan requiring payment, the claim to payment shall come into effect upon conclusion of the contract unless otherwise agreed. Payment shall be due on a monthly basis or in advance for the period of one year, depending on the service plan chosen.

5.2 The contractual period of the subscription is divided into minimum period and renewal periods. Both depend on the respective offer selected by the customer.

5.3 After expiry of the minimum period or renewal period, the contractual period is automatically extended to the specified renewal period of the selected offer unless the agreement is terminated by either party at least 14 working days prior to the expiry of the contractual period.

5.4 Invoices and payment reminders are sent via email by Expert Systems to the email address provided by the Profile Owner. The invoice is deemed received on the date of dispatch of the invoice email. The Profile Owner shall be in default of payment without warning 14 days following receipt of the invoice should payment of the invoice not be settled within this period.

5.5 Students are entitled to use ProvenExpert's PREMIUM account free of charge and in its entirety as long as they are enrolled in a full-time program of study at a German institution of higher education and are not on leave or suspended. The same applies to use of the platform for student companies, as long as at least one of the company founders (who is not merely a passive participant or merely providing capital) or at least one of the directors of the company is enrolled in a full-time program of study at a German institute of higher education.

5.6 Proof of valid enrollment must be first provided no later than 4 weeks following registration of an account with ProvenExpert and must be thereafter present on a yearly basis. Proof is to be sent in the form of an electronic or paper copy of the certificate of enrollment. Should no proof of valid enrollment be provided within the designated period, the PREMIUM account will be changed to a FREE account. From this point on, the account may be switched to the BASIC, PLUS, or PREMIUM plan and is subject to each plan's respective conditions.

5.7 The Profile Owner has no right to settlement, unless such counter-claims have been recognized in an enforceable judgement by the courts or recognized by Expert Systems.

6. Termination

6.1 The Profile Owner may cancel this user agreement at any time without providing reason. The cancelation period for plans requiring payment — unless otherwise stated in the respective service plan — shall be two weeks prior to the end of the current contractual period. The right to cancel the contract for an important reason shall remain unaffected. The cancelation must be sent by email to info@provenexpert.com or by mail to:

Expert Systems GmbH
Quedlinburger Straße 1
10589 Berlin
Germany

6.2 Expert Systems may cancel the user agreement at any time in observance of a cancelation period of four weeks, unless otherwise stated in the respective service plan. The right to cancel the contract for an important reason shall remain unaffected. An important reason shall exist in particular if:

  • The Profile Owner is in default of payment for a total of two or more months.
  • The Profile Owner is in violation of the duties outlined in sections 2 and section 4 of this user agreement.

Claims to payment of the user fee until the expiration of the normal cancelation period shall remain unaffected by an extraordinary termination on the part of Expert Systems.

7. Liability

7.1 Expert Systems shall be liable to the Profile Owner for damages according to the legal definition insofar as these damages were caused by deliberate or gross negligence, were the result of failure to provide the guaranteed properties of the Service, were related to a culpable breach of the contractual obligations (see section 2), were the result of culpable injury to health, body or life, or in the case of liability according to product liability laws.

7.2 Principal contractual obligations (cardinal duties) are those contractual obligations whose correct performance is essential to making the contract at all possible, whose adherence can regularly be relied upon by the contractual partners, and whose breach impedes the injured party's ability to fulfil the purpose of the contract.

7.3 Apart from that, liability on the part of Proven Expert as well as liability for fulfillment and vicarious agents is excluded regardless of the legal reason.

8. Indemnification

8.1 The Profile Owner indemnifies Expert Systems from all claims by third parties for placed content or emails sent via the Service (in particular invitations to participate in customer surveys). The indemnification shall include in particular the costs for a necessary legal defense.

8.2 The Profile Owner is obligated to provide Expert Systems immediately, truthfully, and completely with all information required on the part of Expert Systems to verify the claims asserted and for a legal defense.

9. Amendments to the General Terms and Conditions

9.1 Expert Systems reserves the right to make changes to the Terms and Conditions at any time. The Profile Owner shall be informed of changes no later than one month before the changes are proposed to take effect (hereinafter referred to as “the Date of Change”) in text form (e.g. via email). The Profile Owner's consent shall be considered granted if he or she has not refused the changes before the Date of Change.

9.2 If the Profile Owner does not agree to the changes, he or she can cancel the user agreement with effect on the Date of Change and without incurring additional costs. The notice of change shall include in particular information concerning the right of refusal, the period for refusal, and the options available for cancelation. The changes to the user agreement will additionally be published on ProvenExpert.com.

10. Other

10.1 If the Profile Owner is a merchant, a corporate body under public law, or under fund assets governed by public law, Berlin shall be the exclusive place of jurisdiction for all claims arising directly or indirectly from the contract relationship.

10.2 Auf den Vertrag findet ausschließlich das Recht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland unter Ausschluss der Regeln des internationalen Privatrechts Anwendung.

10.3 In the case that one or more of the provisions in this agreement is or becomes ineffective in whole or in part, the remaining provisions shall be unaffected thereby. A partially or completely ineffective provision shall be replaced by an effective provision that is closest to the originally intended purpose from a business perspective.

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