General Terms and Conditions and Right of Withdrawal

1. Scope of the Terms and Conditions

1.1.

The subject of these General Terms and Conditions (hereinafter referred to as ‛Terms and Conditions’) is the use of connectAuPair and the websites, functions and services offered by connectAuPair, independent of the domains, systems, platforms and devices (e.g. desktops or portable devices) used to operate connectAuPair.

1.2.

connect Technologies GmbH, Fellbacher Weg 34, 89522 Heidenheim, Germany, https://connectaupair.world/contact is the service provider of connectAuPair; (hereinafter referred to as ‘connectAuPair’, ‘we’ or ‘us’).

1.3.

These Terms and Conditions govern the legal relationships between connectAuPair users as well as their relationship to connectAuPair. The term ‘user’ includes both au pairs, host families and agencies and is used for all genders.

1.4.

Within the meaning of these Terms and Conditions and the Instruction on the Right of Withdrawal, a consumer is any natural person who enters into a legal transaction for purposes that predominantly are outside his trade, business or profession (Section 13 BGB - German Civil Code).

1.5.

An entrepreneur is a natural or legal person or a legally responsible partnership that when concluding legal transactions is exercising their commercial or independent professional activity (Section 14 BGB - German Civil Code). Agencies are understood to be entrepreneurs within the framework of these Terms and Conditions.

1.6.

Users agree to these Terms and Conditions by using connectAuPair.

1.7.

Any deviating user provisions shall not be recognised unless connectAuPair expressly agrees to their validity in writing.

2. Services offered

2.1.

connectAuPair operates an online portal for existing and prospective au pairs and host families as well as for agencies authorised to act as an au pair intermediary. The main functions are:

  • A database to search for host families/au pairs/agencies
  • A database with country information
  • A messaging system
  • A community

2.2.

The precise scope of the connectAuPair services is listed in the current description of services which is available at https://connectaupair.world/services/.

2.3.

connectAuPair reserves the right to amend the services or offer different services if this is acceptable for the user, and

  • it is to the user's advantage; 
  • if the amendment serves to establish concordance of the services with applicable law, in particular when the applicable legal situation changes; 
  • if the amendment serves connectAuPair’s compliance with mandatory legal or administrative decisions; 
  • if the respective amendment is necessary in order to eliminate any existing security vulnerabilities;
  • if the amendment is of a purely technical or procedural nature with no significant impact on the user. Amendments with merely insignificant influence on previous functions do not constitute amendments in services in this sense. This applies in particular to amendments of a purely visual nature and the simple amendment of the order of functions.

3. Intermediary between au pairs and host families

3.1.

In contrast to traditional au pair agencies, connectAuPair does not act as an intermediary between au pairs and host families. The only intermediary service is performed by the registered users of connectAuPair themselves. In other words, au pairs and host families registered on connectAuPair contact the respective au pair or host family themselves and arrange everything else themselves.

3.2.

Alternatively, au pairs and host families can also use the services of a connectAuPair registered agency with whom an appropriate agreement is then concluded.

3.3.

In such cases, the agreements are concluded only between the users (i.e. between the au pairs, host families and, where applicable, agencies). connectAuPair is not a contractual party in this case and does not bear any guarantee, liability or responsibility for the information communicated by the respective contractual parties and the success of the intermediation. Any liability of connectAuPair for reasons for which it is responsible itself shall remain subject to these Terms and Conditions.

3.4.

Users must obtain information themselves from the relevant authorities if they may legally take on an au pair or if they may be taken on as an au pair in a host family in the chosen host country. The legal regulations of the respective host countries must be observed.

4. Registration and conclusion of agreements

4.1.

The contractual relationship between users and connectAuPair materialises with the completion of the registration process, which itself must also be confirmed. After entering the data, the email address specified is sent a confirmation link within three days which can be used to confirm registration. Unconfirmed applications are deleted after 30 days.

4.2.

In order to be able to use all connectAuPair services, each user must register as either an au pair, host family or agency.

4.3.

Any natural person can register as an au pair who would like to find out more information about the au pair programme because they wish to become an au pair, are looking for a host family or are already an au pair and would like to take part in the community. Our entire range of offers is available free of charge for au pairs. However, connectAuPair reserves the right to introduce a fee for additional functions in the future (e.g. premium services).

4.4.

Any natural person can register as a host family who would like to find out more information about the au pair programme, because they wish to become a host family, are looking for an au pair either for themselves or their family or are already a host family and would like to take part in the community.

4.5.

After registering, host families shall initially be granted free access to the entire scope of functions. In order to continue to use connectAuPair services after the test period expires, membership must be purchased at the currently valid price according to the price overview available at https://connectaupair.world/services/.

4.6.

Any agency can register as an agency if they have the appropriate authorisation to act as an intermediary for au pairs. connectAuPair reserves the right to inspect this authorisation.

4.7.

Depending on the scope of services provided, agencies pay various fees in accordance with the service and price overview for agencies (https://connectaupair.world/agencyservices).

4.8.

Every registration must be made by the respective person themselves. If connectAuPair allows, agencies can also register their own customers if they have agreed to being registered.

4.9.

Every user may only register once – a person is not allowed to register multiple times.

4.10.

The contractual relationship to connectAuPair is not transferable to other persons or companies.

4.11.

No right to registration exists. connectAuPair reserves the right to deny registrations for objective reasons and, in the case of agencies, without prior feedback and without giving reasons. The use of connectAuPair can additionally be linked to certain requirements, for example, the inspection of registration data or contact and address information by way of submitting appropriate documents.

4.12.

The use of fee-based services takes place by communicating the services used and the respective costs. Users can correct their information before completing the order by clicking on their browser’s ‘back’ button to return to the ordering steps. Mandatory information is indicated as such. A fee-based membership can be taken out or extended by clicking on the ‘Take out fee-based membership’ or ‘Extend fee-based membership’ buttons.

4.13.

connectAuPair sends users the contractual text, i.e. a confirmation of registration or booking in addition to the Terms and Conditions and the Data Privacy Policy, to the email address provided by them. In addition, connectAuPair saves the contractual text but does not make it accessible to users online.

5. Minors

5.1.

Only persons of full age can register on connectAuPair.

5.2.

Minors who are 16 years of age or older can also register as au pairs provided they have the approval of their legal guardian(s) (generally parents) and if they possess the required cognitive faculty and maturity to understand the meaning of the collection, processing and saving of their personal data in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and connectAuPair’s Data Privacy Policy.

6. Misuse and contractual penalty

6.1.

Registration is only allowed for the purposes of using connectAuPair services as described in these Terms and Conditions or otherwise communicated.

6.2.

Registration for other purposes (e.g. other advertising or promotion of your own services or products, etc.) is strictly forbidden.

6.3.

Systematically reading out or collecting user data for the purpose of collecting addresses for the commercial and ideal targeting of users, which is not associated with using connectAuPair's services, is also forbidden.

6.4.

Should a user that is an entrepreneur (including employees of companies) violate the aforementioned restrictions of this section ‘Misuse and contractual penalty’ of these Terms and Conditions, they shall owe connectAuPair a contractual penalty of €5,000 for every individual case of registration. This contractual penalty must be paid independently of any actual damages occurred. connectAuPair reserves the right to assert claims for damages in addition to the contractual penalty.

7. Managing address and contact data

7.1.

Users ensure that all personal information transmitted is true and that all information and content transferred is legally admissible and free from any third-party rights. Users may not masquerade as other persons or companies or otherwise fake their identity.

7.2.

The user’s address and contact data must always be kept up to date. Drawbacks that occur to the user due to incorrect information shall be borne by the user. Drawbacks that occur to connectAuPair due to the incorrect provision of information shall be borne by the user if the incorrect information lies within their area of responsibility.

7.3.

It is up to the user to exercise the utmost care when using their access data and to take every measure to ensure the confidential and secure handling of data and prevention of disclosure to third parties. The user is responsible for the misuse of access data if they cannot show and prove that it is not due to their own fault. The user is obliged to inform connectAuPair without delay should they suspect that a third party possesses knowledge of access data and/or is misusing a user account.

7.4.

connectAuPair reserves the right to verify the accuracy of the information in individual cases and request the relevant documents from users where necessary.

7.5.

In the case of incomplete registration, connectAuPair is entitled to delete the user account within one week.

8. Responsibility for content and information

8.1.

The term ‘content’ following hereinafter is to be understood as all content and information introduced by users such as photos, images, text, reviews, information about events, locations, persons and links.

8.2.

connectAuPair is not responsible for the content introduced and sent by users and disassociates itself from this content. connectAuPair is likewise not responsible for linked content and also disassociates itself from this content.

8.3.

Users, and not connectAuPair, are responsible for user opinions, comments and reviews.

8.4.

Users and other right holders can object to connectAuPair about content by specifying the content and the criteria they find fault with and demand its correction or deletion. connectAuPair may forward the objection to the users responsible for the relevant content and request that they make a statement within a reasonable period of time. The publication of content reported as inappropriate can be made undone until it has been checked.

9. User obligations

9.1.

Users ensure that the content they upload or create is true, legally admissible and free from third-party rights.

9.2.

In particular, the following content is inadmissible: stalking, threats, insults, claiming false facts; content that could affect or endanger children or youth in their development or education; content that violates copyright laws, trademark laws, competition laws and data privacy laws; racist, xenophobic, violence-inciting, hate-inciting, pornographic, degrading and immoral content; content that affects persons' health; chain emails, mass messages with or without promotional content (spamming); links to websites with this content; lotteries, competitions, prize draws or comparable promotions; publishing the private information of other persons (e.g. email addresses), whereby we ask users to also handle their own data carefully; commercial advertising or promotional references to connectAuPair competitors.

9.3.

connectAuPair is entitled to remove inappropriate content that in particular does not refer to the au pair-related services offered (e.g. general political or religious topics).

9.4.

If users can directly contact other users, this contact option cannot be used for advertising purposes. Contacted users may also not be bothered (e.g. by making repeated requests with no response or if they have expressed the desire not to be contacted). In order to avoid harassment of this kind, users are able to block other users. connectAuPair reserves the right to limit this function in general and in individual cases if users should feel justifiably harassed despite the option of blocking other users.

9.5.

connectAuPair reserves the right not to publish content or to publish content retroactively if there are specific indications that the content violates legal regulations, official prohibitions, third-party rights or good manners. connectAuPair is however not obliged to examine the content in advance.

9.6.

connectAuPair reserves the right to restrict and ban affiliate and similar advertising links created, in terms of quantity and function.

9.7.

Users are obliged to comply with the respective legal requirements regarding information (e.g. legal notice statement if required).

10. Sanctions

10.1.

As the integrity and functionality of the network for connectAuPair is of utmost importance, sanctions are imposed upon users if and to the extent that connectAuPair sees specific grounds that a user is violating legal regulations, third-party rights, good manners and/or these conditions of use.

10.2.

Upon selecting the sanction to be imposed, connectAuPair will factor into its decision the entitled interests of the user concerned and shall also consider whether this was an error not owing to the user’s fault or if the violation was culpably committed. connectAuPair can use the following range ofsanctions: a) Partial and full deletion of the user's content, b) User warning, c) Limitation/restriction when using connectAuPair, d) Temporary user suspension, e) Permanent suspension/termination of a user, coupled with a ban from using connectAuPair where necessary.

11. Release

11.1.

The user releases connectAuPair from all claims that third parties assert against connectAuPair due to a violation of their rights by users.

11.2.

In this respect, the user must also bear the costs of any legal defence including lawyer and court fees in the statutory amount. The user does not release connectAuPair from claims if the user is not responsible for the violation of rights.

12. Authorisation of use

12.1.

connectAuPair would like to point out that users may only use the online service for individual purposes stated in the contract agreement, which includes these Terms and Conditions. Transfer to third parties, whether against payment or not, is not permitted.

12.2.

Users may only use the connectAuPair service via the input masks and interfaces provided by connectAuPair.

12.3.

Actions that are capable of affecting the functionality of the connectAuPair online service, software and infrastructure are prohibited (e.g. scripts, robots, crawlers). In particular, excessive strain is prohibited that is beyond the regular intensity and frequency of use compared to normal use of the service and interfaces (e.g. software that generates unnecessary access on a constant basis due to technical errors).

13. Granting of usage rights by users

13.1.

The granting of the aforementioned rights only serves the operation of connectAuPair and the provision of the contractual services.

13.2.

Provided free of charge and not confined to a location, the users grant connectAuPair the nonexclusive right to reproduce, make publicly accessible and process the legally protected content they post in addition to further disclosing these rights to third parties, such as technical service providers or other connectAuPair users.

13.3.

The rights are granted with no time restriction until they are revoked by the user. The revocation is exercised in particular by deleting the profile.

13.4.

Before uploading or authoring content, the user must ensure that he is entitled to the necessary rights to use the content.

14. Fees and payment conditions

14.1.

A list of the fee-based premium services and the price list for the use of these services can be found at https://connectaupair.world/services/.

14.2.

All prices include VAT.

14.3.

User payments are made through the payment methods accepted by connectAuPair that are communicated to the user separately at: https://connectaupair.world/services/.

14.4.

connectAuPair creates an electronic invoice for every payment transaction which is provided to the user to download.

14.5.

Unless otherwise agreed, invoices are due immediately.

14.6.

Fees are due in advance for the respective accounting period.

14.7.

If and so long as the user defaults on payment, connectAuPair can suspend their services if the suspension is not unreasonable for the user, was not inappropriate and the user was warned with an advance period of at least seven working days, and the user is not entitled to any rights of retention towards connectAuPair.

14.8.

connectAuPair can email or send any warnings by postal mail to the address submitted to them by the user.

14.9.

Costs arising from the reversal of a payment transaction due to lack of funds or incorrect information provided by users as well as from the warning of due receivables are charged to users, whereby only the actual costs directly incurred by connectAuPair (material costs and third-party fees, postage costs or return debit fees) shall be factored in. The user is entitled to prove that no costs or lower costs were incurred.

14.10.

The user may only offset claims made by connectAuPair with undisputed or legally enforceable claims of connectAuPair, unless it concerns the user's claim for defects.

14.11.

The period for sending advance notices by way of connectAuPair GmbH to the user as part of the SEPA direct debit procedure is five days for the first direct debit and two days for subsequent direct debits.

15. Availability and system integrity

15.1.

The right to use connectAuPair services exists as part of the current state of technology. connectAuPair expressly advises users that it is technically impossible to make websites and other services available at all times. Temporary restrictions can arise, for example, due to technical faults such as a power outage or hardware/software errors. Limitations or impairments of the services rendered by connectAuPair may arise due to circumstances that are outside connectAuPair's area of influence. This includes, in particular, third-party actions that are not performed on behalf of connectAuPair, technical Internet conditions that cannot be influenced by connectAuPair and force majeure. If such circumstances impact the availability or functionality of the service rendered by connectAuPair, this shall have no effect on the contractual compliance of the service rendered by connectAuPair.

15.2.

connectAuPair restricts its services if it is required in terms of capacity limits, the security or integrity of the service or software or to perform technical measures, and the restriction serves to ensure the proper or improved provision of services (e.g. maintenance work). In doing so, connectAuPair considers the users’ entitled interests in a suitable manner such as, if feasible, through advance information. connectAuPair will perform maintenance work during low traffic periods where possible.

15.3.

The user is obliged not to use any software, scripts or other mechanisms or take any measures that could affect the functioning or performance of the infrastructure used by connectAuPair. In addition, the user may not use any software, scripts or other mechanisms or take any measures that could lead to an excessive or unreasonable strain on the connectAuPair infrastructure.

16. Termination

16.1.

The termination of free services is possible for the user at any time and for connectAuPair within a period of one week, however, this must be done in accordance with the applicable consumer laws.

16.2.

The termination of fee-based services is possible within a period of two weeks after the contractual term expires.

16.3.

The right of immediate termination without notice of due cause remains unaffected for both parties. Due cause for examination by connectAuPair exists in particular if:

  • the user commits serious violations of obligations within the meaning of these Terms and Conditions where, in particular, there is non-contractual use of connectAuPair or user data for one's own advertising purposes.
  • an insolvency procedure in respect to the user's assets has been proposed or intialised or the intialisation is rejected due to lack of assets or
  • connectAuPair discontinues its activity.

16.4.

Extraordinary termination must always be preceded by a warning. connectAuPair may do away with the warning if it considers the warning to be unreasonable. This is the case, in particular, when the user’s behaviour gives cause to expect continued misconduct despite warning.

16.5.

connectAuPair retains the right to verify the user’s identity during termination within a reasonable scope, for example, by sending a confirmation email to the email address specified in the user's management area.

16.6.

In the case of successful termination, it’s up to users to secure their data before the end of the agreement. Fundamentally speaking, all user content is deleted. Posts or comments can be excluded from this in the interest of other users, so that conversations, tips, etc. are not lost or deleted. In this case, the user's name is anonymised. Users are entitled to request the deletion of their remaining personal data.

17. Deactivation and deletion of user profiles and messages

17.1.

Users may also deactivate their profile at any time, therefore disabling all other users from seeing them.

17.2.

Deactivated profiles remain saved for at least twelve months and can be reactivated during this period. After this period expires, connectAuPair retains the option of declaring termination and subsequently deleting the profile and the data it contains, including any conversations existing in the messaging system in this profile. In the case of fee-based services, the profiles shall not be deleted until the contractual term of the fee-based services expires.

18. Repayment of contributions

18.1.

In the event of the termination of fee-based services before the contractual term is terminated by the user or a contractual penalty or a justified account suspension due to a violation of these Terms and Conditions, the user has no claim to reimbursement of the whole or partial membership fees.

18.2.

Any amounts paid by entrepreneurs to connectAuPair shall not be reimbursed if it was retained as a contractual penalty.

19. Right of withdrawal for consumers

A consumer means every natural person who enters into a legal transaction for purposes that predominantly are outside his trade, business or profession.

Right of withdrawal

You have the right to withdraw from this contract within 14 days without giving any reason. The withdrawal period will expire after 14 days from the day of the conclusion of the contract. To exercise the right of withdrawal, you must inform us (connect Technologies GmbH, Fellbacher Weg 34, 89522 Heidenheim, Germany, email cancellation@connectAuPair.world, Tel 49 7321 3532483) of your decision to withdraw from this contract by an unequivocal statement (e.g. a letter sent by post, fax or e-mail). You may use the attached model withdrawal form, but it is not obligatory.
To meet the withdrawal deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right of withdrawal before the withdrawal period has expired.

Effects of withdrawal

If you withdraw from this contract, we shall reimburse to you all payments received from you, including the costs of delivery (with the exception of the supplementary costs resulting from your choice of a type of delivery other than the least expensive type of standard delivery offered by us), without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which we are informed about your decision to withdraw from this contract. We will carry out such reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of such reimbursement. If you requested to begin the performance of services during the withdrawal period, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been provided until you have communicated us your withdrawal from this contract, in comparison with the full coverage of the contract.

Model withdrawal form

(complete and return this form only if you wish to withdraw from the contract)

  • To connect Technologies GmbH, Fellbacher Weg 34, 89522 Heidenheim, Germany, email cancellation@connectAuPair.world.
  • I/We (*) hereby give notice that I/We (*) withdraw from my/our (*) contract of sale of the following goods (*)/for the provision of the following service (*),
  • Ordered on (*)/received on (*),
  • Name of consumer(s),
  • Address of consumer(s),
  • Signature of consumer(s) (only if this form is notified on paper),
  • Date

----------------------------------

(*) Delete as appropriate.

Exclusion or early expiration of the right of withdrawal

The right of withdrawal does not exist for agreements to provide services relating to recreational activities if the agreement provides for a specific date or period for provision of the service.

20. Limitation of liability

20.1.

The following exclusions and limitations of liability apply to connectAuPair's liability for damages regardless of other legal requirements for claims.

20.2.

connectAuPair is liable without limitation if the cause for damages is due to intent or gross negligence.

20.3.

In addition, connectAuPair is liable for the simple negligent violation of important obligations whose violation endangers the achievement of the contractual purpose or for the violation of obligations whose fulfilment first enables the proper execution of the agreement and on whose compliance you regularly rely. In this case, connectAuPair is only liable for foreseeable damages typical to the agreement. connectAuPair is not liable for the simple negligent violation of obligations other than those named in the above clauses. 

20.4.

The aforementioned limitations of liability shall not apply to injury to life, limb or health, for a defect after the assumption of a guarantee for a quality of the contractual product and for the fraudulent concealment of deficiencies. Liability pursuant to the (German) Product Liability Act shall remain unaffected.

20.5.

To the extent that connectAuPair’s liability is excluded or limited, this shall apply equally to the personal liability of employees, representatives and vicarious agents.

20.6.

connectAuPair would like to point out that information (e.g. on host countries), sample agreements or similar aids are created to the best of our knowledge. They are also of a non-binding nature and users must verify their application and validity in individual cases. This does not apply to legally mandatory user information such as legal notices, data privacy information or agreement information in the case of the conclusion of agreements.

21. Confidentiality and data privacy

21.1.

Protecting user data is connectAuPair’s top priority. Disclosure or submission of user data to third parties is prevented as far as legally possible.

21.2.

The contractual parties undertake to treat all confidential information they become aware of in the process of executing this agreement as confidential and to use this information solely for the contractually agreed purpose in accordance with data protection regulations. This also applies in particular for the data of other users.

21.3.

The rights and obligations in this section on privacy are not affected by this agreement being terminated.

21.4.

Other data protection regulations and instructions can be found in our Data Privacy Policy (https://connectaupair.world/privacypolicy/).

22. Amendments to the Terms and Conditions

22.1.

connectAuPair reserves the right to amend the Terms and Conditions at any time with effect for the future, unless such an amendment is unreasonable for the user. An amendment shall only take place for the following factual reasons:

  • if the amendment serves to establish concordance of the Terms and Conditions with applicable law, in particular when the applicable legal situation changes;
  • if the amendment serves connectAuPair’s compliance with mandatory legal or administrative decisions;
  • if completely new connectAuPair services or service elements or connectAuPair technical or organisation processes require a description in the Terms and Conditions and the existing contractual relationship with the user is not affected to the user’s detriment;
  • if the change is only advantageous for the user.

22.2.

In such a case, using the email address provided to connectAuPair, connectAuPair shall email the user the amended Terms and Conditions at least four weeks before they come into force. 

22.3.

Should the user not object to the new Terms and Conditions within a period of four weeks after receiving the email, the amended Terms and Conditions shall be deemed accepted by the user. connectAuPair shall inform the user of the consequences of a failure to object to the communication of the amendment.

22.4.

Users can also agree to the amended Terms and Conditions through an explicit declaration of consent.

23. Final provisions

23.1.

connectAuPair can send information and explanations affecting the contractual relationship with the user to the address the user submitted to connectAuPair. The user will regularly check this email address.

23.2.

The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies as long as no mandatory consumer protection regulations stand in opposition.

23.3.

The contractual languages are English and German. If contractual information is provided in other languages, the information is only for explanatory purposes and is not binding. The user is explicitly informed of this alongside the respective languages.

23.4.

The place of jurisdiction shall be connectAuPair’s headquarters, provided the user is a merchant, legal entity under public law or special fund under public law or the user has no general place of jurisdiction in the Federal Republic of Germany. connectAuPair reserves the right to select another acceptable place of jurisdiction.

23.5.

Complaint procedure via online dispute resolution for consumers (ODR) http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/