1.1. Verband der Vereine Creditreform e.V, Hellersbergstr. 12, 41460 Neuss/Germany (later in here referred to as provider) is provider of the internet portal FirmenWissen (later in here referred to as FirmenWissen) available under the domains www.firmenwissen.de, www.firmenwissen.com and associated sub-domains.
1.2 The present terms of website use/service apply to the use of services offered via the internet portal by the internet user (later in here referred to as user).
1.3 Differing terms of service of the user will not be accepted by the provider, unless explicitly agreed to in writing. The permission to the use of the portal and its services does not represent the acceptance of the terms of service of the user.
2. Subject of agreement
2.1 FirmenWissen offers the retrieval of company details from data bases with costs as well as other services provided on a homogeneous internet platform. The services of FirmenWissen are especially addressed to the use within business-to-business interactions of small and medium-sized companies. Regardless of the fact that the business information available via FirmenWissen serve predominantly corporate purposes, FirmenWissen may also be available to end users.
2.2 The data base contents available via FirmenWissen as well as other services are described in the online help section and are, among others, as follows:
- company profiles
- financial profiles
- addresses for direct marketing activities
- possibility of registering a company
- company entry Pro/ company entry Plus to the FirmenWissen-operated online company register
- solvency information
2.3 FirmenWissen themselves are not owner of the data provided here. The data originate from partner companies commissioning FirmenWissen as data processor in charge with re-marketing via the platform www.firmenwissen.de, www.firmenwissen.com and associated sub-domains according to Sec. 11 German Data Protection Act (BDSG). Amongst our data providers are local Creditreform offices from Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as Creditreform Rating AG.
2.4 The provider reserves the right to change the portal or the data base offer optically, technically or with regard to contents. If the provider should significantly restrict the services agreed at the time of conclusion of a premium usage contract, the user has the right to immediate, extraordinary cancellation of the contract according to No. 10.4 of these terms of service.
3. No right to permanent technical availability of FirmenWissen
The provider is eager to permanently maintain the technical availability of FirmenWissen. However, due the imponderability of the internet structure and transmission rate FirmenWissen is provided without guaranteeing a certain technical availability. The provider points out that service is technically not available in case of interruptions due to maintenance works, data saving measures as well as in case of interruptions due to force majeure and unforeseeable circumstances, e.g. fire, strike, lock-out, unpreventable computer virus infections etc.
4. No additional revision of third-party contents
The provider points out that the contents provided by partner companies as well as by single users within the scope of making company entries to the FirmenWissen company register according to No. 2.3 of these terms of website use/service are considered by the provider as third-party information/contents. Those contents will not be additionally revised. Therefore the provider is not responsible for the legal permissibility of such contents.
5. No guarantee for correctness, completeness and permissibility of contents
5.1 The provider does not guarantee that the commercial information retrievable via FirmenWissen is always correct, complete and up to date or, in particular, is in accordance to public registers, such as the commercial register, the register of associations etc. The retrievable content is provided on the basis of information stored in the data base at the time of retrieving and without additional revision concerning topicality. Further, the provider does not guarantee that the data base contents are in accordance to the results desired by the user.
6. Conclusion of contract
6.1 The mere research on data bases available via FirmenWissen, and/or display of match lists is possible free of charge without concluding an additional contract.
6.2 Requirement for research with costs is the conclusion of a contract with the provider. The contract is concluded by successful registration as premium user (premium contract), as pre-paid user or by making a single retrieval as shop customer without additional registration. Registered users and shop customers will have various usage possibilities of FirmenWissen (see No. 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6) and conditions (see No. 9)
6.3 Non-registered users(so-called shop customers)
There is the possibility to place single data retrievals with FirmenWissen without registration as a so-called shop customer. The retrieval of address downloads and entries to the FirmenWissen company register are excluded from single data queries.
The conclusion of a contract concerning single retrievals requires the user to enter mandatory personal details into the displayed form after choosing the requested set of data and the single-retrieval-option. The next step enables the user to correct the provided details. By clicking the button designed for document purchase the user places a binding offer with the provider concerning the chosen set of data. The contract is concluded when the provider accepts the offer by immediately enabling the download of the requested set of data. Additional single retrievals within the same browser session do not require the selection of the single-retrieval-option or entering personal details again.
6.4 Registered users (so-called premium users)
Compared to shop customers, premium users may retrieve all products available to them for reduced fares against payment of a monthly basic fee.
The conclusion of a premium contract requires the successful registration with FirmenWissen. This also requires entering mandatory personal details, billing address, user identification details and preferred payment methods into the respective form available on the website of FirmenWissen (new user). The next step enables the user to correct the provided details before submitting the registration data to the provider by clicking the respective button. The receipt of the registration data will be confirmed to the user via e-mail including a binding offer to register and thereby concluding the premium contract according to the present terms of website use/service. To finish the registration, the activation of the user identification is required by clicking the activation link in the confirmation e-mail. By activating the account by the user the registration is finished. By activating the link the user also bindingly accepts the offer towards concluding a premium contract. Thereby the registration is completed and the premium contract is concluded.
6.5 Registered users (so-called pre-paid users)
Pre-Paid users may choose between three models. Choosing model L, the user pre-pays a starting amount of 1,250 EUR and receives a 20 % discount on the online offers Company Profile, Financial Profile, Balances/Income Statement, Company Address - and Solvency, if additional agreed upon - over a contractual period of 1 year. Choosing the model XL, the user pre-pays a starting amount of 2,500 EUR and receives a 30 % discount on the above mentioned offers over a contractual period of 1 year. Choosing model XXL, he user pre-pays a starting amount of 5,000 EUR and receives a 40 % discount on the above mentioned offers over a contractual period of 1 year. A regular fee is not applied to any of these models. The contract is concluded by transferring the starting amount onto the bank account of the provider, the contractual term begins with the receipt of log-in data.
6.6 Creditreform members
Members of the association Creditreform may use the entire offer of services by FirmenWissen. Along with single retrievals, they may also register with their 12-digit Creditreform user identification as premium users.
The contract concerning data retrieval as shop customers and/or the conclusion of a premium or pre-paid contract takes place as described under No. 6.3, 6.4, and 6.5.
6.7 Company entry Pro / Company entry Plus for registered users
Premium users, considered as entrepreneurs according to Sec. 14 German Civil Code(BGB), have the additional possibility to book the services Company entry Pro / Company entry Plus within the FirmenWissen company register. These data are available to shop users and premium users in addition to the company profiles retrievable via FirmenWissen.
The conclusion of the contract requires the creation of a company account within the respective area of FirmenWissen (My FirmenWissen). By filling out and submitting the booking form designed for the individual company entry, the user places a binding offer with the provider towards the use of the service Company entry. The contract is concluded when the provider accepts the offer by immediate activation of the company entry.
6.8 The contract text will not be stored by the provider.
6.9 On registration, within the scope of a company entry or when submitting other data to the provider, the user is obligated to enter correct and complete details. If actual facts change after entering the data, the user is obligated to update the respective data and/or to inform the provider about the changes.
7. Usage rights towards provided data
The provider points out that all exclusive usage rights towards all own data and contents provided via FirmenWissen lie with the provider. The user is granted the right to use the data provided within the scope of the concluded contract for own purposes, especially to store, print out or otherwise copy them. The provider points out that a transmission of the data to third parties, the use of the data to compile own or third-party-operated electronic archives is prohibited.
8. Usage rights of the providers
In case of using the services Company entry Pro / Company Entry Plus, the user grants the provider the right to publish and display the data provided by the user on FirmenWissen, especially contact persons including the respective contact details (name, function, e-mail address, phone number). The user makes sure the he/she is entitled to pass on personal data for informational and commercial purposes to third parties.
9. Payment and terms of payment
9.1 The retrieval of available services via FirmenWissen takes place against costs.
9.2 The amount of the payment for data retrievals and/or use of other services is according to prices displayed in the current price list of the provider (http://www.firmenwissen.de/cms/preise.html). All prices are plus statutory VAT valid at the time of retrieval.
9.3. In addition to the payment for a single data or service retrieval, Premium users pay a monthly basic fee of 5,83 EUR, incl. VAT, on choosing an annual subscription (No. 10.1), an annual basic fee of 57,12 EUR, incl. VAT. Creditreform members having concluded a premium contract are not obligated to pay a monthly basic fee.
9.4 All payments are due after the retrieval of the individual service. In addition, basic fees to be paid within the scope of premium contracts are to be paid after the conclusion of the contract for 3 months in advance, on choosing the annual subscription (No. 10.1) for 12 months in advance.
9.5 Payments are possible by direct debit, by online payment via PayPal and instant transfer or by credit card. In addition, premium users have the possibility to pay via bank transfer on receipt of invoice. Every user receives an electronic invoice including the bank details of the provider. On request, users will be sent an invoice on paper via mail service.
9.6 Premium users choosing direct debit payment or credit card payment are obligated to immediately inform the provided in case the bank details change.
9.7 In case of return debit note, the user is to bear additional costs occurring to the provider to the extend that he/she is responsible for.
10. Contractual term and cancellation
10.1 Premium contract
On contract conclusion, the premium user may choose between an unlimited contractual term or an annual subscription.
Contracts with unlimited contractual terms may be cancelled quarterly, beginning with the conclusion of the contract.
On choice of annual subscription the minimum contractual term is 12 months, beginning with the conclusion of the contract. If not cancelled 3 months before expiry of the minimum contractual term, the contractual term automatically extends to further 12 months.
10.2 Pre-paid contract
The pre-paid contract has contractual term of 12 months. The term extends to further 12 months in the moment the pre-paid user pays the individual starting amount again. If the pre-paid user does not pay a further starting amount, the discount for the agreed model is forfeit. The user automatically switches to the premium contract and can use the still existing credit until the end of the contractual term according to the price list (http://www.firmenwissen.de/cms/preise.html) applied to premium conditions.
10.3 Company entry Pro / Company entry Plus
The contract concerning company entries has a minimum contractual term of 12 months, beginning with the initial activation of the company entry. If not cancelled 3 months before the end of the minimum contractual term or the extended term, the contractual term extends to a further 12 months.
10.4 The possibilities to extraordinary cancellation of premium contracts or contracts concerning company entries remain unchallenged. Important reasons for extraordinary cancellations are:
(a) for the user: The significant limitation of available services via FirmenWissen with regard to content (see No. 2.4 of these terms of website use/service); in case of justified extraordinary cancellation due to significant limitation of the portal the premium user has the right to refund of the payment possibly made in advance after cancellation.
(b) for the provider: A violation of 6.9 and 12.2 of these terms of website use/service.
10.5 In case of cancellations user IDs and customer numbers will be blocked.
10.6 Cancellations may be handed in in writing by letter to the postal address of the provider Verband der Vereine Creditreform e.V., Hellersbergstr. 12, 41460 Neuss, or electronically using the FirmenWissen contact form (http://www.firmenwissen.de/kontakt.html), by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax under 0049/(0)2131/109-109, The user ID is to be attached to the cancellation.
11. Data protection
11.1 Person-related data of the user
The user will be informed according to Sec. 33 German Data Protection Act (BDSG) that the provider will store person-related data and processes them within the scope of contract concluded with the user. As long as the user retrieves third-party data, the provider transmits name, address and account number of the user as well as the amount of charged fees for retrievals to the third party. A transmission to other third parties does not take place.
11.2 Legitimate interests concerning credit worthiness information
The transmission of person-related data requires a legitimate interest of the user towards the requested information, and that there are no issues contrary to interests of the involved party worthy of protection (Sec, 29, para. 3, sent. 4 German Data Protection Act). On retrieval person related data, the user is obligated to correctly state his/her legitimate interest using the drop-down-menu. According to Sec, 29, para. 3, sent. 4 German Data Protection Act the user is obligated to record the legitimate interest as well as credible reasons for all retrievals and to keep them available for 12 months. The federation of the associations Creditreform e.V. is legally obligated to randomly monitor such records.
12. Rules of use
12.1 Any use or exploitation of the FirmenWissen platform otherwise that for the intended purpose is prohibited. In particular, the collection and storage of data from the data bases as well as the full, partial use or use of extracts of the retrieved data in the internet for commercial address exploitation or as basis or resource to compile or complete participant, address or other files as well as to search data bases in the internet for the above mentioned or other commercial purposes is prohibited.
12.2 The user is not allowed to use mechanisms, software or scripts in connection with the use of FirmenWissen. However, the user may use interfaces or software provided by FirmenWissen on the FirmenWissen platform.
12.3 Blocking, overwriting, modification, copying, especially copying with the aid of robot/crawler search engine technologies, unless necessary for the orderly use of the services of FirmenWissen, is prohibited. For example, the copying with the aid of robot/crawler search engine technologies is not necessary for the orderly use of the services of FirmenWissen and therefore strictly prohibited.
12.4 Further, the user is to omit everything that is suitable to impair the functionality of the FirmenWissen infra structure or, in particular, to excessively overload it.
12.5 Log-in data are to be kept strictly confidential and protected against third-party access. To enable third-party users to access the portal with own log-in data is prohibited.
12.6 The user is obligated not to use the portal in an abusive way. In particular
- not to make contents available via FirmenWissen that violate copyrights, name rights, trade mark right or patent right and or third-party rights, that are of pornographic contents in the sense of criminal law, that incite to criminal acts or contain statements that are libellous or sexist or are otherwise illegal or against public policy;
- not to use installations, programs or other instruments, e.g. viruses etc.,or take measures which can lead to changes of the websites of FirmenWissen;
- not to attempt to bypass the access limitation intended by FirmenWissen;
- not to forward chain letters or mass transmissions to FirmenWissen or other users, e.g. junk/spam mail.
13. Indemnification, blocking of contents
In case of violation of legal obligations and/or duties according to No. 6.9 and 12.2 of these terms of website use/service by the user, the user is obligated not to commit a further violation as well as to indemnify the provider from all claims resulting from the violation of legal obligations and/or asserted by third parties due to abusive use of the websites of FirmenWissen. Other rights of the provider resulting from the user's conduct, especially the right to block contents or to cancel the contract, remain unchallenged.
14.1 The provider is liable for harm to life, body and health according to legal regulations and according to the Product Liability Act.
14.2. For other damages the provider is liable exclusively according to the following regulations:
- (a) According to legal regulations the provider is liable for
- (aa) damages caused by fraudulent act,
- (bb) for damages caused by intention or gross negligence.
- (b) The liability of the provider for damages is limited to the typical, foreseeable damage whose occurrence was to be anticipated on conclusion of contracts of the present kind, for damages caused by light negligent violation of essential contractual duties.
Essential contractual duties are those duties of the provider necessary for the achievement of the contractual purpose or that make the orderly execution of the contract possible in the first place, and on whose compliance the use can normally trust.
14.3 The regulations of No. 14.1 and 14.2 also apply to the behaviour of vicarious agents of the provider.
14.4 Any further-going liability of the provider is excluded.
15. Final regulations
15.1 The assignment of claims existing against one of the contractual parties is excluded.
15.2 The user only has the right to off-set in so far his/her counter claims are unchallenged and established as final and absolute. The execution of the right to lien by the user not subject of the contract concluded with the provider, is excluded.
15.3 Changes and amendments of a contract require written form. This also applies to the obligation of written form itself. Telecommunication transmissions are considered as written form.
15.4 The contractual language is German.
15.5 Place of jurisdiction for all legal disputes arising in connection with the use of FirmenWissen is Neuss as long as the user is a salesman, legal person or legal asset under public law.
15.6 The law of the Federal Republic of Germany is applied under exclusion of CISG law.