1. This is an agreement between you and Maru Africa regarding your use of Maru Africa’s products, services, computers, interactive information, communications and server management service. All such usage shall be subject to the terms and conditions contained in this agreement and the policies set out below as read with the product specific terms and conditions applicable to the relevant product or service(collectively, “the / this Agreement”)
  2. This Agreement applies to all accounts, sub-accounts, and alternative account names associated with your principal account. The Account Holder is responsible for the use of each account, whether used under any name or by any person, and for ensuring full compliance with this Agreement by all users of that account.
  3. In circumstances of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (“the CPA”) being applicable to this Agreement, the provisions of the CPA shall prevail in the event of a conflict between any provision of this Agreement and the provisions of the CPA
  • Acceptable use policy
  • General and Acceptable Use
  • Unacceptable Use
  • Interpretation
  • System and Network Security
  • Spamming
  • Determination of a breach of this Policy
  • Consequences of breach of this Policy
  • Modification
  • Reporting Network Abuse
  • Website Take Downs
  • Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability
  • Responsibility for content and Account Holder indemnities
  • Variation of services
  • Non-transferability of services
  • Passwords
  • Assignment of IP addresses
  • General provisions
  • Maru Africa billing terms
  • General
  • Effect of Non Payment
  • Payment Methods and fees
  • Refunds
  • Cancellations
  • Downgrades
  • Dispute Resolution
  • General Dispute Resolution
  • Referral of Complaints to ICASA
  • Billing Dispute resolution
  • Purpose of this Procedure
  • Definitions
  • Billing Dispute resolution General
  • Customer’s obligations to first use this Procedure
  • Time period within which Billing Disputes can be initiated
  • Circumstances under which payment of a Disputed Amount may be withheld
  • Billing Dispute Notice
  • Response to Billing Dispute Notice
  • Referral to Senior Management
  • Resolution, Agreement or Determination
  • Effect of this Procedure on continued service provision
  • Confidentiality
  • Overage Disputes
  • Realm Disputes
  • Reconciliation or Historical Information/Reporting
  • Referral of Billing Disputes to ICASA
  • Use of Account Holder information for promotional purposes

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY.
Acceptable use policy

  1. By using our services, you agree to comply with our Policies and Procedures, including this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

General and Acceptable Use

  1. You are expected to use the Internet and other networks and services access through the services with respect, courtesy, and responsibility, giving due regard to the rights of other Internet users. We expect you to have a basic knowledge of how the Internet functions, the types of uses which are generally acceptable, and the types of uses which are to be avoided. Common sense is the best guide as to what is considered acceptable use.

Unacceptable Use

  1. Illegality in any form, including but not limited to activities such as unauthorised distribution or copying of copyrighted material, violation of export restrictions, harassment, fraud, trafficking in obscene material, child sexual abuse imagery, drug dealing, and other illegal activities.
  2. Maru Africa’s services and servers may be used only for lawful purposes. Transmission, distribution or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization, and material that is obscene, defamatory, constitutes a legal threat or violates export control laws. Examples of unacceptable content or links: “Pirated software”, “Hackers programs or archives”, “Warez Sites”, “Irc Bots”, “Illegal Mp3’s” etc.
  3. Due to the nature of a shared web hosting environment, Maru Africa reserves the right to ask customers to upgrade or correct issues pertaining to upgrade their shared web hosting package, or to correct issues on their shared web hosting package, should it adversely affect the network or server performance for the majority of our hosting customers.
  4. The Maru Africa shared web hosting platform is intended for hosting a website with relevant content and function for a personal or small home business without the concern of traffic overages. The use of the service should not be indicative for large scale enterprises or applications where a dedicated server would be more suited.
  5. Maru Africa prohibits the use of the shared web-hosting service disk space to be utilised for purposes other than its intended function: content hosting, personal and small enterprise email and relevant web files.
  6. The use of shared or dedicated hosting services for hosting torrent boxes and/or running proxies is strictly prohibited. Servers continuously running a risk of supporting these types of services will be disabled and cancelled from our network.
  7. Posting of defamatory, scandalous, violent or private information about a person without their consent, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, or violating trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights.
  8. Any unacceptable use of the services constitutes a material breach of these Terms and Conditions of Use and Maru Africa fully and strictly reserves its rights in this regard.

Interpretation

  1. The provisions of this Policy are intended as guidelines and are not meant to be exhaustive. Generally, conduct that violates law, regulation, or the accepted norms of the Internet community, whether or not expressly mentioned in this Policy, is prohibited. Maru Africa reserves the right at all times to prohibit activities that damage its commercial reputation and goodwill.

System and Network Security

  1. Violations of system or network security are prohibited and may result in criminal and civil liability. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:
  • 1.   unauthorised access, use, probe, or scan of a systems security or authentication measures, data or traffic;
  • 2.   interference with service to any user, host or network including, without limitation, mailbombing, flooding, deliberate attempts to overload a system and broadcast attacks;
  • 3.   forging of any TCP-IP packet header or any part of the header information in an e- mail or a newsgroup posting; and
  • 4.   employing posts or programs which consume excessive CPU time or storage space, permits the use of mail services, mail forwarding capabilities, POP accounts, or autoresponders other than for their own account; or resale of access to CGI scripts installed on our servers.

Spamming

  1. Sending unsolicited mail messages, including, without limitation, commercial advertising and informational announcements, is expressly prohibited. A user shall not use another site’s mail server to relay mail without the express permission of the site or distributing, advertising or promoting products or software or services that have the primary purpose of encouraging or facilitating unsolicited commercial E-mail or spam.
  2. It is contrary to Maru Africa’s policy for customers to use our servers to effect or participate in any of the following activities:
  • 1.   To post to any Usenet or other newsgroup, forum, e-mail mailing list or other similar group or list articles which are off-topic according to the charter or other owner-published FAQ or description of the group or list;
  • 2.   To send unsolicited mass e-mailings, if such unsolicited e-mailings provoke complaints from the recipients;
  • 3.   To engage in any of the foregoing activities using the service of another provider, but channelling such activities through a Maru Africa provided server, or using a Maru Africa provided server as a maildrop for responses;
  • 4.   To falsify user information provided to Maru Africa or to other users of the service in connection with the use of a Maru Africa service.

Determination of a breach of this Policy

  1. Maru Africa will be the sole arbiters and have a sole and unfettered discretion in determining what constitutes a violation of this Policy.

Consequences of breach of this Policy

  1. When Maru Africa becomes aware of an alleged violation of its AUP (Acceptable Use Policy), Maru Africa will initiate an investigation (within 24-48 hours). During the investigation, Maru Africa may restrict your access in order to prevent further possible unauthorised activity. If you are found in violation of our SPAM policy, Maru Africa may, at its sole discretion, restrict, suspend, or terminate your account and/or pursue other civil remedies. Also, Maru Africa reserves the right to pursue civil remedies for any costs associated with the investigation of a substantiated policy violation. If such violation is a criminal offence, Maru Africa will notify the appropriate law enforcement department of such violation.
  2. Maru Africa does not issue service credits for any outages incurred through service disablement resulting from Policy violations.
  3. You shall be held liable for any and all costs incurred by Maru Africa as a result of your violation of these terms and conditions. This is including but is not limited to, attorney fees and costs resulting from Postmaster responses to complaints from and the cleanup of unsolicited commercial mailings and/or unauthorised bulk mailings and/or news server violations.
  4. First violations will result in a Cleanup Fee of R1500 and your account will be reviewed for possible immediate termination.
  5. A second violation will result in Cleanup Fee of R3500 and immediate termination of your account.
  6. The Customer who violates this policy agrees to also pay Investigation Fees of no more than R1500 per hour that Maru Africa personnel must spend to investigate any violations.

Modification

  1. Maru Africa may, at times with reasonable notice to Customers, revise or amend its current Shared and Dedicated Hosting offerings relating to price, features, traffic allocations and disk sizes.
  2. Maru Africa reserves the right to add, delete, or modify any provision of this Policy at any time without notice.

Reporting Network Abuse

  1. Any party seeking to report any violations Maru Africa’s policy may contact via e-mail: abuse@maru.africa

Website Take Downs

  1. All queries related to website takedowns may be directed to the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), which Maru Africa has appointed as its agent for the purposes of receipt of take down notices in accordance with Chapter 11 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002:
    Website: www.ispa.org.za
    Email: takedown@ispa.org.za

Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability

  1. You agree that our entire liability, and your exclusive remedy, with respect to any Services(s) provided under this Agreement and any breach of this Agreement is solely limited to the amount you paid for such Service(s). We and our contractors shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages resulting from the use or inability to use any of the Services or for the cost of procurement of substitute services.
  2. We disclaim any and all loss or liability resulting from, but not limited to:
  • 1.   loss or liability resulting from access delays or access interruptions;
  • 2.   loss or liability resulting from data non-delivery or data misdelivery;
  • 3.   loss or liability resulting from acts of God;
  • 4.   loss or liability resulting from the unauthorised use or misuse of your account identifier or password;
  • 5.   loss or liability resulting from errors, omissions, or misstatements in any and all information or services(s) provided under this Agreement;
  • 6.   loss or liability resulting from the interruption of your Service.
  1. You agree that we will not be liable for any loss of registration and use of your domain name, or for interruption of business, or any indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind (including lost profits) regardless of the form of action whether in contract, tort (including negligence), or otherwise, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages.
  2. Subject always to the provisions of the CPA, to the extent that it is applicable, Maru Africa’s services are provided on an as is, as available, basis without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. Maru Africa expressly disclaims any representation or warranty that the Maru Africa services will be error-free, secure or uninterrupted.
  3. No oral advice or written information given by Maru Africa, its employees, licensors of the like, will create a warranty; nor may you rely on any such information or advice as if it were a warranty. The terms of this section will survive any termination of this Agreement.
  4. Maru Africa will use its best efforts to maintain a full time Internet presence for the Account Holder. You hereby acknowledge that the network may, at various time intervals, be down due, but not restricted to, utility interruption, equipment failure, natural disaster, acts of God, or human error.
  5. The terms of this Section will survive any termination of this Agreement.

Responsibility for content and Account Holder indemnities

  1. You agree to indemnify and hold Maru Africa harmless from any and all Claims resulting from or connected with any activities conducted by you. You and Maru Africa will promptly notify the other upon receipt of any Claim or legal action arising out of activities conducted pursuant to this Agreement.
  2. You agree not to store, transmit, link to, advertise or make available any images containing pornography through the Virtual Web Hosting service. Maru Africa reserves the right to refuse service if any of the content within, or any links from, your website is deemed illegal, misleading, or obscene, or is otherwise in breach of these terms or Maru Africa’s then current Acceptable Use Policy, in the sole and absolute opinion of Maru Africa.
  3. Maru Africa will not change passwords to any account without proof of identification, which is satisfactory to Maru Africa, which may include written authorization with signature. In the event of any partnership break-up, divorce or other legal problems that include you, you understand that Maru Africa will remain neutral and may put the account on hold until the situation has been resolved. Under no circumstances will Maru Africa be liable for any losses incurred by you during this time of determination of ownership, or otherwise. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Maru Africa from any and all Claims arising from such ownership disputes.
  4. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Maru Africa and any other Account Holder from any and all Claims resulting from your use of the services provided by Maru Africa. The terms of this Section will survive any termination of this Agreement.
  5. You agree not to harm Maru Africa, its reputation, computer systems, programming and/or other persons using Maru Africa’s services.
  6. The terms of this Section will survive any termination of this Agreement.

Variation of services

  1. You agree that Maru Africa may establish limits concerning use of any Maru Africa service offered on any Maru Africa web site, including without limitation the maximum number of days that e-mail messages will be retained by any Maru Africa service, the maximum number of e-mail messages that may be sent from or received by an account on any Maru Africa service, the maximum size of an e-mail message that may be sent from or received by an account on any Maru Africa service, the maximum disk space that will be allotted on Maru Africa’s servers on your behalf either cumulatively or for any particular service. You agree that Maru Africa has no responsibility or liability for the deletion, corruption or failure to store any messages or other content maintained or transmitted by any Maru Africa service. You acknowledge that the features, parameters (for example, the amount of storage available to users) or existence of any Maru Africaservice may change at any time.
  2. Maru Africa reserves the right to select the server for your website for best performance. You understand that the services provided by Maru Africa are provided on a shared server. This means that one website cannot be permitted to overwhelm the server with heavy CPU usage, for example from the use of highly active CGI scripts or chat scripts. If yours website overwhelms the server and causes complaints from other users, you have outgrown the realm of shared servers, and will need to relocate your website. If you refuse to comply with this Section, then Maru Africa has the right to terminate the services provided to you without any refunds of the unused portion prepaid by you.

Non-transferability of services

  1. Your rights and privileges under this Agreement cannot be sold or transferred without the prior written consent of Maru Africa.

Passwords

  1. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password. In the event of a breach of security through your account, you will be liable for any unauthorized use of Maru Africa services, including any damages resulting therefrom, until you notify Maru Africa’s customer service.
  2. The responsibility of all passwords and other related sensitive information is assumed by you, should any additional fees arise from resource consumption due to poor credentials (such as, but not limited to blank passwords or “test” accounts) no fault shall be levied on Maru Africa.

Assignment of IP addresses

  1. If Maru Africa assigns you an Internet Protocol address in connection with your use of the Maru Africa services, the right to use that Internet Protocol address will remain with and belong only to Maru Africa, and you will have no right to use that Internet Protocol address except as allowed by Maru Africa in its sole and absolute discretion.

General provisions

  1. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and Maru Africa with respect to the Maru Africa services and supersedes all prior agreements between you and Maru Africa. Maru Africa reserves the right to amend this Agreement from time to time. Any new version of the Agreement will be displayed on our Website together with the date on which it will become effective, which will never be less than 30 (thirty) days after the date on which it is first published. It is your obligation to visit our web site on a regular basis in order to determine whether any amendments have been made. Any use by you of the Maru Africa services after the effective date of any such amendment, shall be deemed to constitute acceptance by you of such amendment.
  2. Maru Africa’s failure to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.
  3. In the event that a portion of this Agreement is held unenforceable, the unenforceable portion will be construed in accordance with applicable law as nearly as possible to reflect the original intentions of the parties, and the remainder of the provisions will remain in full force and effect. The terms of this Section will survive any termination of this Agreement.
  4. Save where otherwise provided for in this Agreement, if you:
  • 1 fail to pay any amount payable under this Agreement within ten days after receipt of written demand requiring such payment; or
  • 2 commit a breach of any provision (other than a payment obligation) of this Agreement and, if such breach is capable of remedy, fail to remedy such breach within thirty days after receipt of written demand requiring you to do so;
  • 3 are placed under liquidation, judicial management, business rescue proceedings or any similar disability, whether provisionally or finally and whether voluntarily or compulsorily;
  • 4 commit any act which if committed by a natural person would constitute an act of insolvency;
  • 5 become insolvent;
  • 6 compromise or attempt to compromise generally with any of your creditors;
  • 7 have a final judgment taken against you which is not satisfied within 30 days after the granting of such judgment,

then Maru Africa shall be entitled, without prejudice to any of its other rights under this Agreement and/or in law and by giving written notice, to immediately cancel this Agreement or to claim immediate specific performance of all of your obligations whether or not due for performance, in either event without prejudice to Maru Africa’s right to claim damages.

  1. The interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement shall be governed according the laws of the Republic of South Africa (excluding its choice of law rules).
  2. You consent to the jurisdiction of the South Africa courts.
  3. The Maru Africa services are provided from Cape Town, South Africa, and this Agreement is deemed to have been entered into at Cape Town.
  1. Notices required by this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered either by personal delivery, fax or by email. If delivered by mail, notices shall be sent by any express mail service; or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, with all postage and charges prepaid, and shall be deemed to have been received on the 5th Business day after posting. Emails and faxes shall be deemed to be received on the Business Day they are sent if sent before 16h00 on that day or on the next Business Day thereafter is sent after 16h00 on a Business Day or if sent on a non-Business Day.

Maru Africa billing terms

General

  1. Maru Africa will provide you with an itemised bill or invoice on request or where this is specified as part of the services provided to you.
  2. Accounts are due on invoice presentation date (“Due Date”) shown on all invoices received from Maru Africa, unless agreed otherwise. Maru Africa retains the right to impose, subject to a notice period of 7 business days, a credit limit on any of its customers as and when it sees fit. (Amended 6 May 2015)
  3. Maru Africa products and services are not pro-rated with the exception of Adsl lines, Adsl complete and Hosting packages (including Dedicated servers).
  4. Maru Africa will provide a service to you, as chosen by you, for the period of time (“the Term”) corresponding with the payment plan specific to you or as otherwise specific in the product terms and conditions relating to the particular product or service supplied by Maru Africa. This contract will be automatically renewed at the end of the Term and each successive renewal term unless terminated.

Effect of non-payment

  1. In the event of non-payment of an invoice by the stipulated Due Date, without prejudice to any other rights that Maru Africa has in terms of this Agreement or in law, Maru Africa reserves the right to hold you liable for the total amount due pursuant to such invoice.
  2. An interest of 7% per month may be charged on all overdue accounts.
  3. Maru Africa may stop the supply of new services to you and/or terminate current services held by you if payment of any invoice is not made by the Due Date, or if an application for business rescue proceedings or liquidation is filed by or against the customer, or if the customer goes out of business or announces intention to do so.
  4. If the supply of new services is stopped or the existing services are terminated in accordance with section 6, the full outstanding balance becomes due and payable immediately.
  5. If you pay the amount due in full, you may have their existing services re-activated and also purchase new services.
  6. If you neglect to pay the amount due in full, Maru Africa will submit the full delinquent amount for Collections. In the event of the account being handed over to an outside collection agency, any costs incurred as such will be for your account.
  7. If you neglect to pay the amount due in full, Maru Africawill submit the full delinquent amount for Collections. In the event of the account being handed over to an outside collection agency, any costs incurred as such will be for your account.
  8. In the event of suspension due to non-payment, Maru Africa reserves the right to place a “non-payment” page on your domain. Furthermore, the DNS of your domain will remain unchanged until full payment for the outstanding balance on your account has been received.
  9. If the preferred method of payment used by you is EFT, it will be your sole responsibility to ensure your payments are made using the correct beneficiary reference as indicated on all invoicing. Failure to comply may result in an incorrect allocation of your payment which may cause service disruption as a result of the account being suspended due to non-payment.
  10. DSL lines that have been suspended for non-payment will be cancelled with Telkom after 30 days, and you shall be notified thereof beforehand.

Payment methods and fees

  1. Maru Africa accepts payments via EFT, debit order and credit card. Maru Africa accepts MasterCard, VISA and AMEX.
  2. A processing fee of R50.00 (Incl. Vat) is charged on all returned debit orders.
  3. The merchant outlet country at the time of presenting payment options to the cardholder is the Republic of South Africa and the transaction currency is South African Rand (ZAR).

Refunds

  1. Each of Maru Africa’s web hosting plans comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with our services within the first 30 days, you will be given a refund of the contract amount excluding setup fees (if any) and overages. Domain Registrations, Domain Renewals, Domain ID Protection and Dedicated Servers are not refundable.
  2. Maru Africa will only refund a customer in the event of their account having a credit balance.
  3. Maru Africa will process authorised refunds to customers each Wednesday and Friday.

Why a refund may not be given

If the item is materially similar to the description and preview and works the way it should, there is generally no obligation to provide a refund in situations like the following:

  • you don’t want it after you’ve downloaded it;
  • the item did not meet your expectations;
  • you simply change your mind;
  • you bought an item by mistake;
  • you paid extra by mistake;
  • you do not have sufficient expertise to use the item;
  • you ask for goodwill; or
  • you can no longer access the item because it has been removed (we advise you to download items as soon as you have purchased them to avoid this situation).

Cancellations

  1. Cancellations must be done using the Client Area.
  2. Please note that by default we require one full calendar month’s notification of non-renewal. If you do not provide this notice, you will be charged the rate stipulated on the relevant product page for the next renewal term. To illustrate, for non-renewal to be effected at the end of May, notice of non-renewal must be received on or before the last day of April. There are no refunds on a la carte services.
  3. Domains are eligible to automatically renew for an additional one-year term upon expiry. Renewal notifications will be sent out prior to the renewal, and cancellations may be done before the renewal date.

Downgrades

Definition
“A downgrade occurs when changing your current package to a package with a lower cost”. Example: Changing from a Value Plan Hosting account to a Pro Silver Hosting account would be considered a downgrade

  1. Downgrades must be done using the Client Area.
  2. We require notification of downgrades on or before the 20th of each month, in order for the downgrade to take effect from the first day of the next month. If you do not provide this notice, you will be charged rate for the existing package in the following month.

Dispute Resolution

General Dispute Resolution

  1. The parties shall attempt to resolve all disputes arising out of this Agreement in a spirit of cooperation and with a problem-solving mind set, without formal proceedings and in accordance with the various dispute resolution procedures provided.
  2. In the event of the dispute not being resolved, please follow the general complaint procedure as stipulated by ICASA for all complaints excepts Billing disputes:

You are required to direct a general complaint to complaints@maru.africa. The complaint is required to be accompanied by the following;

  • 1.   Your full particulars and contact details;
  • 2.   Your relationship with Maru Africa and any customer reference which may be applicable;
  • 3.   A statement of the reasons for the complaint with enough detail to allow us to assess these; and
  • 4.   Any relevant evidence or documentation you wish to submit in support of your complaint.
  • 5.   Under the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations Maru Africa is required to:
    • 5.1   Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days; and
    • 5.2   Determine an outcome for the complaint and communicate this to you within fourteen (14) working days.

Referral of Complaints to ICASA

  1. If you are not happy about the outcome of the Complaint you have the right to escalate it to ICASA. If ICASA are not able to resolve the matter it may be referred to the ICASA Complaints and Compliance Committee for adjudication.
  2. Please note that under the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations 2008 you must give us an opportunity to resolve the matter within the 14 day period before you have the right to escalate your complaint to ICASA.
  3. ICASA can be contacted in the following ways:
  1. Any dispute, which cannot be so resolved, shall be subject to binding arbitration upon the written demand of either party. Arbitration shall take place in South Africa. Should any legal action permissible under this Agreement be instituted to enforce the terms and conditions of this Agreement, in particular the right to collect money due on unpaid invoices, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses incurred at both the trial and appellate levels. The terms of this Section will survive any termination of this Agreement.

Billing Dispute resolution

Purpose of this Procedure

  1. This Procedure sets out the obligations of Maru Africa and the Customer in resolving a Billing Dispute, including the manner in which Billing Disputes should be lodged and how they will be handled thereafter.
  2. Maru Africa’s Billing Dispute Handling Procedure is intended to service both the Customer and Maru Africa’s interests by setting out clear rules and procedures to be used where Billing Disputes Occur.
  1. Definitions
    “Billing Dispute” means an instance where a Customer states in good faith that their bill contains incorrect charges, payments or adjustments.

“Billing Dispute Notice” means a notice submitted by the Customer in terms of this Procedure.

“Billing Disputes Procedure” and “this Procedure” mean this Billing Dispute Procedure for the initiation and resolution of Billing Disputes.

“Billing Enquiry” means the situation where the Customer seeks information or clarification relating to an Invoice including without limitation seeking clarification of charges or sources of usage. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a Billing Dispute.

“Business Day” means any day other than a Saturday or Sunday or a public holiday observed as such in the Republic of South Africa;

“Complaint” means an expression of dissatisfaction or grievance made by a Customer, but does not include a request for information. A Complaint is not a Billing Dispute.

General

  1. Any charge recorded on an Invoice (the subject of a Billing Dispute) which is not submitted in accordance with this Procedure is payable in full to Maru Africa by the Due Date of the Invoice.
  2. For the avoidance of doubt the parties acknowledge and agree that:
  • 1.   An amount that is not in dispute (“Undisputed Amount”) cannot be withheld for any reason (including without limitation when that amount is on an invoice together with a Disputed Amount).
  • 2.   Only Billing Disputes can trigger the Billing Dispute Handling Procedure (and the potential right to withhold payment of Disputed Amounts from Maru Africa as set out below).
  • 3.   Billing Enquiries and Complaints are not Billing Disputes and do not trigger the Billing Dispute Procedure. Billing Enquiries should be directed to invoices@maru.africa– while Complaints are dealt with under the Maru Africa Complaints Handling Procedure.
  • 4. Maru Africa reserves the right to adjust service charges at their sole discretion. Price changes shall be based on a combination of CPI and electronic communications industry pricing / rate adjustments. Existing Customers will receive 30 days written notice relating to any price adjustments for any such services offered.
  • 5. In the event of a dispute between Maru Africa and the Customer, the Customer is obliged to continue paying the charges as they become due and payable in terms of this agreement. The Customer may not withhold payment for any reason.
  1. Please note that Maru Africa will not entertain any Billing Dispute based on unauthorised use of the services or on unauthorised use of the services by a third party, it being your responsibility to safeguard access to the services which you receive and to use them in the manner set out in the terms and conditions applicable thereto.

Customer’s obligations to first use this Procedure

  1. As a current or prior Customer of Maru Africa, you agree to allow Maru Africa to attempt settlement of any Billing Dispute for 14 Business Days before raising a dispute with any third party, credit card company or bank. Maru Africa requires and you agree that it be the first option in Billing Disputes. Should Maru Africa receive a chargeback or other reversed charge from a third party, Credit Card Company or bank on your behalf before Maru Africa has been given a chance to resolve the issue, Maru Africa has the right to collect on the rendered services and any fees associated with those disputes.
  2. Not all Billing Disputes may be settled to a customer’s satisfaction. Once this Procedure has been exhausted, a Customer may use any third party, Credit Card Company or bank in an attempt to settle the dispute. However, Maru Africa still retains the right to collect on any rendered services or fees that are due. Should Maru Africa be unable to reverse any disputed amounts with a third party, Credit Card Company or bank, Maru Africa will submit the full delinquent amount for Collections.

Time period within which Billing Disputes can be initiated

  1. A Billing Dispute Notice may be lodged in the required manner until the passing of 60 days from the date of the relevant invoice.

Circumstances under which payment of a Disputed Amount may be withheld

  1. You may only withhold payment of a Disputed Amount where Maru Africa receives a valid Billing Dispute Notice relating to such Disputed Amount at least 5 Business Days prior to the Due Date recorded on the relevant invoice.

Billing Dispute Notice

  1. A Billing Dispute can only be validly initiated through the submission of a valid Billing Dispute Notice using the Client Area.
  2. The Billing Dispute Notice should clearly set out:
  • 1.   Invoice number and date;
  • 2.   The amount in dispute (“the Disputed Amount”);
  • 3.   The amount not in dispute (“the Undisputed Amount”);
  • 4.   The full details of the dispute; and
  • 5.   Any relevant evidence or documentation you wish to submit in support of your complaint.

Response to Billing Dispute Notice

  1. Under the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations Maru Africa is required to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 Business Days.
  2. Maru Africa shall provide a response to the Billing Dispute Notice within 14 Business Days, which response shall take one of the following forms:
  • 1   A rejection of the Billing Dispute Notice on the basis that:
  • 2   The Billing Dispute Notice was not received by Maru Africa within 60 days from the date of the relevant invoice;
  • 3   The Billing Dispute Notice does not contain all of the information set out in clause 11 of this Billing Dispute Procedure or was not submitted in accordance with section 10.
  • 4   The Customer has not made payment in accordance with (and does not have A right to withhold payment) in terms of sections 61, 62.1 and 67 of this Procedure;
  • 5   Maru Africa has confirmation from the Customer that the dispute which is the subject of the Billing Dispute Notice has been resolved;
  • 6   The Customer is disputing the charges on the basis that the Customer did not authorize the particular use of the services by another person; or
  • 7   Maru Africa reasonably believes that the Customer does not have a bona fide dispute in relation to the charges.
  • 8   A request for information or documentation from the Customer lodging the Billing Dispute Notice which is reasonably required to assist Maru Africa in making a determination in the matter. The Customer shall provide such information or documentation as soon as possible and the running of the 14 Business Day period referred to below shall be suspended until such time as it has been received by Maru Africa
  • 9   A determination of the Billing Dispute and the reasons for such determination.

Referral to Senior Management

  1. If you are not satisfied with Maru Africa’s response under section 84 of the Billing Dispute Procedure then you must notify (“SM Request”) Maru Africa within 7 Business Days of receiving Maru Africa’s response that you want the matter referred to Senior Management (“SM”). Subject to you complying with this clause 72 of the Billing Dispute Procedure, both parties agree:
  • 1   To ensure that SM meet to resolve the dispute within 14 Business Days of Maru Africa receiving the SM Request but in any event not later than 21 Business Days after the lodging of the Billing Dispute Notice.
  • 2   Any decision of SM will be final and binding on both parties.
  • 3   Both parties acknowledge and agree that if Maru Africa does not receive a Notification from you in accordance with this clause 72 then the Billing Dispute will be deemed to have been resolved in accordance with the response provided under section 72 and Maru Africa will have no further obligations in relation to the Billing Dispute.

Resolution, Agreement or Determination

  1. If stipulated under Maru Africa’s response under section 84 or where SM agree on a resolution or reach a decision under section 85 that you must make payment of a Disputed Amount, you must within 5 Business Days of the date of the determination pay the Disputed Amount.
  2. If stipulated under Maru Africa’s response under section 85 or where SM agree on a resolution or reach a decision under section 85 that Maru Africa must withdraw the disputed charge or refund a disputed charge previously paid, Maru Africamust as soon as practicable:
  • 1   If stipulated under Maru Africa’s response under section 84 or where SM agree on a resolution or reach a decision under section 85 that Maru Africa must withdraw the disputed charge or refund a disputed charge previously paid, Maru Africa must as soon as practicable:
  • 2   Credit any Disputed Amount already paid by you.
  1. Where a resolution or determination is made in accordance with clauses 74.1 or 74.2 then, subject to either party meeting the payment obligations specified in such resolution or determination, the Billing Dispute will be deemed to be resolved and Maru Africa will have no further obligations in relation to the Billing Dispute.

Effect of this Procedure on continued service provision

  1. Maru Africa will not disconnect a service provided to you which is the subject of a Billing Dispute or take adverse collection procedures or impose late payment penalties or charges while attempting to resolve a Billing Dispute lodged in terms of this Procedure and until such time as Maru Africa has reached a determination and communicated this to you.
  2. We reserve the right, however, to take such measures immediately:
  • 1   Where a determination of the Billing Dispute has been made and communicated to you; or
  • 2   Where you have indicated that you are unable to pay your invoice or bill or have filed or are the subject of any application to court for sequestration or liquidation or otherwise seek to reach a formal arrangement with your creditors.
  1. Subject only to the above, the rights and obligations of each party under the Billing Dispute Procedure continue pending resolution of a Billing Dispute invoked under this Billing Dispute Procedure. For the avoidance of doubt this includes that Maru Africa shall continue to have the right to terminate or suspend the service in accordance with Maru Africa’s rights under the agreement that you have with Maru Africa.

Confidentiality

  1. Neither party shall use any information obtained from the other party during the course of any process invoked under this Procedure for any purpose other than the resolution of the particular Billing Dispute.

Overage Disputes

  1. Should you wish to dispute an overage charge you may do so by following the Billing Dispute Procedure and requesting an overage investigation.
  2. Should, however, the overages be accurate (within a 5% margin) a once off charge of R150.00 per domain/server will be applied to your account.

Realm Disputes

  1. Should you wish to dispute realm charges you may do so by following the Billing Dispute Procedure and requesting a realm investigation.
  2. Should, however, the realm charges be accurate (within a 5% margin) a once off charge of R150.00 per realm will be applied to your account.

Request for Reconciliation or Historical Information/Reporting

  1. Should you want a reconciliation done on your account, you may request one by following the Billing Dispute Procedure.
  2. Should however the reconciliation prove the account to be accurate (within a 5% margin), a once off charge of R150.00 per reconciliation will be applied to your account. Should you request historical information that is made available to you on a monthly basis via the Client Area, DSL console, your Hosting control panel or any of the management interfaces provided to you, a once off administration charge of R150.00 per request will be applied to your account.

Referral of Billing Disputes to ICASA

  1. If you are not happy about the outcome of the complaint you have the right to escalate it to ICASA. If ICASA cannot resolve the matter it may be referred to the ICASA Complaints and Compliance Committee for adjudication.
  2. ICASA can be contacted in the following ways:

Use of Account Holder information for promotional purposes

Maru Africa may include your name and contact information in directories of Maru Africa’s service subscribers for the purpose promoting the use of the services by additional potential customers. However, Maru Africa is not authorized to print your name, trademarks or other identifying information in any other advertising or promotional materials without your prior written consent.