TERMS OF SERVICE - for users of our paid list hosting services

We at Sling Shot Media, LLC have one overriding goal - to give you the exceptional service you deserve.

Our outstanding customer service is the very heartbeat of our organization. It far exceeds accepted industry standards.

Our staff, as you'll soon find, will be fully responsive to your needs at all times. They will go to great lengths to make certain that the operation of your list is not only a trouble-free experience for you, but a pleasurable one as well. If you're ever not satisfied with any aspect of our service, we'll go out of our way to try and change things. 

The users of our various hosting packages range from private individuals to non-profit organizations, small business owners and publicly traded companies. But whether you are representing a large corporation or are the owner of the smallest list on our books, you're a VIP in our eyes.

It's precisely because of this fact that we ask you to accept a minimal number of easy conditions when enrolling for one of our services. They are intended primarily for YOUR benefit, to ensure that you, along with our other valued clients, are able to carry out all of your functions as a list owner without annoying hitches or hindrances.

First, however, let's elaborate on the terms we impose upon ourselves - the guarantees that we offer all who register for one of our list hosting packages.

Our Guarantee

  • You can try our service risk-free for 30 days. If you're not totally satisfied, just tell us and we'll issue you a refund for any unused services.

  • We leave no stone unturned to ensure that all of our sophisticated technical equipment operates at optimal efficiency every single minute of the day and night, every single day of the year, without any exception. Maintaining maximum connectivity and ensuring the integrity of your personal data are matters of vital concern to us.

Our dedicated servers, utilized for our paid services, co-located in Richmond, VA, are monitored around the clock for service interruptions. Our NT servers are automatically rebooted every day (if you're familiar with NT servers, you'll know why this is a good thing). We achievement connection through no less than 13 Internet backbones and we back up all data on our server daily. We're proud that, since we commenced operations in May 1998, we have enjoyed more than 99.9999% up-time.

As part of our service guarantee to our esteemed clients, we offer a one week free extension of service for any disruption of service exceeding four hours.

Exceptions: You will, of course, understand that our uptime guarantee applies only under normal Internet access conditions. In circumstances beyond our jurisdiction, such as problems with the Internet infrastructure itself, or natural disasters affecting our access, this guarantee does not apply. The web forms provided on our sites for the convenience of our clients are also not covered by our guarantees. 

Now that you know what we guarantee, we want you to understand what we expect from you.

Your Responsibilities as a Publisher

Our Terms of Service cover four components: (a) spam, (b) content, (c) payment and (d) right of refusal of service.

I. Our policy on spam

We are confident that, as an educated and intelligent Internet user, you will fully understand our position on unsolicited commercial email, or spam. We also know you will do all in your power to help us implement our policy, for the benefit of us all.

An informal survey of Internet service providers in early 1999 revealed that spam is costing the Internet services industry tens of millions of dollars every month in bandwidth, customer service and systems administrations. Our own tolerance for this pernicious practice is zero.

But just in case you still need convincing why you, as an email publisher, should also take an active role in trying to wipe out spam, we invite you to ponder this uncomfortable fact: spam is damaging consumers' opinions of the email medium. As people's mailboxes get more and more clogged up with unsolicited messages, they will become less and less receptive even to productive uses of email. When this happens, e-publishers are among those who may suffer the most.

For our part, we'll do all we can to protect both our list owners and their subscribers from the plague of unwanted commercial messages. Our servers may not be the source, intermediary or destination address involved in the transmission of spam, flames or mail bombs. Your list address or any URL pointing to information about your list hosted with us may not be referenced in any unsolicited commercial messages distributed via e-mail, newsgroups or facsimile. We will ban all offending parties (or even entire domains) from our system, and where necessary, bill them for all costs involved.

We never have access to any list we host on behalf of our clients on our servers. We regard your list as strictly confidential and it would be unthinkable for us to hire it or divulge its contents to any third party. Click here for more on our privacy policy.

To complement our continual vigilance and vigorous measures against unsolicited commercial email, we ask you, our valued customer, to help us as well by strictly adopting the following procedures at all times:

1. All Lists Must Be 100% Opt-in

We ask our clients to ensure that every single one of the addresses on their mailing lists is opt-in.

Since the precise meaning of this term seems to be open to a number of different interpretations in Internet circles, we will define exactly what we mean by this: The owner of every address on an opt-in list must have personally and unambiguously requested that his or her name be placed there.

No exception to this rule can be allowed. This means that you cannot subscribe people to your list merely because they are customers of yours, they have corresponded with you in the past or have requested information from you by email or on your website. "Opt-in" implies that you have their explicit permission to send them your publication.

However, if you do have a list of people with whom you have had a prior relationship, but have not yet formally subscribed to your publication, we can assist you, through our managed services, to convert it into a genuine opt-in list. Your revised list may be a smaller one, but it will be more tightly focused since the people that remain will have a real interest in your publication or the product or service you are promoting.

We also cannot allow you to use unsolicited email messages to advertise any publication hosted on our servers to to invite new subscriptions. We will gladly advise you regarding effective and ethical methods of promoting your list. 

Should we discover that any list owner using our hosting services willfully adds addresses to his or her subscriber list without the explicit permission of the owner of those addresses, we will immediately terminate our contract with the offending list owner. The same action will be taken in the case of list owners who use unsolicited email to promote their lists. When we are forced to do this, we will not reimburse such clients for any unused services that have been paid for. We also reserve the right to bill the offending party for any damages caused as a result of these unethical actions.

2. Protecting Your Subscribers from Spam

It's not enough to concern ourselves only with our own reputation and interests. Both we, as your list hosting company, and you, as the list owner, have to actively involve ourselves to protect your subscribers, who are surely valuable to you, from the inconvenience and harassment of unsolicited commercial email.

First and foremost, it's your responsibility as a list owner to ensure that your subscriber list is protected so that no unauthorized party can ever have access to it. Our list hosting software makes this a simple task. We strongly advise that all list owners leave their settings as initialized to ensure that no problems occur.

Secondly, it's also your duty to take whatever steps are necessary to protect your subscribers from being harassed by spam messages. For obvious reasons, the problem is more acute in the case of two-way discussion lists, where subscribers are invited to post messages, complying with certain requirements, to the list.

Owners of discussion lists should take the following precautions:

  • Send a welcome or introductory message to all new subscribers, in which you clearly indicate what subjects are acceptable for discussion on your list, and on the other hand, what you regard as spam.

  • If your list is moderated, never share your password with others. If you accidentally publicize your password, please change it immediately or email customer service to have it changed for you.

  • Even if your list is unmoderated, please monitor posts to the list as much as possible and immediately remove any subscriber who ignores instructions by posting spam messages to the list. At the same time, forward a copy of the offending email message (with headers intact) to abuse@listhost.net. As we've already indicated, we won't hesitate to block proven "spammers" permanently from all the lists that we host.

  • It's also a good idea to have one or more active list subscribers serve as back-ups in case you are ever away for an extended time.

3. Privacy Policy

For all publicly accessible lists, we respectfully ask that all list owners provide a privacy policy in the welcome message new subscribers receive and/or on their web site.

II. Content

Our service may be used for lawful purposes only. Transmission of any information, data or material in violation of any United States Federal, State or City law or any Canadian law is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: material covered under International Copyright Law; material which may be considered to be threatening, obscene or promoting hate crimes or any violation of human rights; and material protected against public distribution under contractual or other laws.

Our service may not be used for promotion or condoning of pornography, nudity and/or adult-oriented merchandising.

In addition, our service may not be used to promote, advertise, or otherwise disseminate information about bulk email services or software.

Our service may not be used to promote, advertise, condone or represent any content falling into any of the above-described categories. This covers acceptance of advertising from sites that may violate our content policies or inclusion of links to sites that may violate our content policies.

We will be the sole arbiter as to what may constitute a violation of this provision of our Terms of Service.

III. Payment

It is the list owner's responsibility to ensure our billing department has the most current contact information on file and that preferred payment method is kept up-to-date.

All accounts must be prepaid in advance for services ordered. Failure to make payment by due date will result in administrative and financing charges. Failure to make payment after due notice will result in suspension of services and any accounts in arrears for 30 days or longer will be terminated.

In the case of a check being returned NSF, a credit card number being declined or a charge being declined, the list owner will be charged any fees incurred by SSM along with administrative costs for rebilling and financing charges. Future payment problems may result in a request to change method of payment. Failure to pay associated charges may result in termination of account.

IV. Refusal of Service

We reserve the right to cancel or refuse service at our sole discretion to any paid customer or any user of our service.

 

 

 

 

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