User Policy

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE ORDERING SERVICES FROM U.S.NEXT. BY ORDERING SERVICES, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THESE PROVISIONS, AND AGREE TO ADHERE TO OUR USER POLICY.

Security

Access to a customer's website files, billing information, domain records, servers, etc. is restricted to the authorized persons listed on the customer's account. If for any reason the authorized person(s) is no longer employed by the company, we will require a fax or letter on the customer's letterhead from an officer of the company establishing a new authorized person(s).

U.S.NEXT allows collocated and dedicated server clients to have monitored access to their equipment in our data center between the hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm CST during business days. Individuals requesting entry to the data center must provide some form of state-issued picture identification. Upon entry to the data center, all users must sign in on the access log book kept inside the server room. For each access, they must list a minimum of the date, their name, company name, reason for entry, time in and time out. U.S.NEXT requests 1 hour notice when data center access is needed during business hours to ensure that appropriate personnel is available. Access outside of these times will require 24 hour notice and is subject to a $125 / hour fee (including travel time for an engineer) with a minimum fee of 1 hour. Access that begins during business hours, but extends past 5 pm CST will be charged the after-hours fee beginning at 5 pm CST. If after-hours access is requested, but cancelled shortly before (or after) the scheduled meeting time, U.S.NEXT reserves the right to charge for 1 hour of time.  Requested access without prior notification as spelled out above will be subject to the availability of an engineer. The addition of, or removal of, any equipment or servers must be performed by a member of the U.S.NEXT engineering staff. No food or drinks are allowed in the data center at any time.

It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that scripts/programs installed under their account are secure and permissions are set properly. Users are ultimately responsible for all actions taken under their account. This includes the compromise of credentials such as user name and password. Audits may be done to ensure your account has not been compromised. If an audit is performed and your site or server is found to be compromised, you will be notified and given 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond within 48 hours may result in the suspension or termination of your services.

Unauthorized Use of Other People's Accounts or Computers

U.S.NEXT will strongly react to any use or attempted use of an Internet account or computer without the owner's authorization. Such attempts include "social engineering" (tricking other people into releasing their passwords), password cracking, security hole scanning, etc. Any unauthorized use of accounts or computers by a U.S.NEXT customer, whether or not the attacked account or computer belongs to U.S.NEXT, will result in action against the attacker. Possible actions include warnings, account suspension or cancellation, and civil or criminal legal action, according to the seriousness of the attack.

Prohibited Website Content

U.S.NEXT supports free speech on the Internet and will not suspend or cancel your account simply because it disagrees with the views expressed at your website. However, you are prohibited from storing, distributing or transmitting any unlawful or inappropriate content through any service provided by U.S.NEXT. Examples of unlawful material include, but are not limited to, threats of physical harm, child pornography, and copyrighted, trademarked, and other proprietary material used without proper authorization, including unlicensed images and graphics. Examples of inappropriate content include pornography and sex-related merchandising, or links to such material, posting private information about a person without his or her consent, defaming a person or business, promoting violence or harm to others, and knowingly making available code that will have a deleterious effect on third-party computers.

Unacceptable use of our service also includes the presence of the following programs or the activities associated with them, regardless of whether or not any actual intrusion results in the corruption or loss of data: (a) server broadcast messages or any message sent on an intrusive basis to any directly or indirectly attached network; (b) attempts to circumvent any user authentication or security of host, network, or account; (c) accessing data not intended for user; (d) probing the security of any network; (e) spawning dozens of processes; (f) port scans, ping floods, packet spoofing, and forging router information; (g) denial of service attacks, sniffers, flooding, spoofing, ping bombing, smurfs, winnuke, land and teardrop; (g) promulgation of viruses; and (h) IRC bots, such as eggdrop or BitchX.

Payment Policies and Deactivation

Payment is due each anniversary date following the date the account was established and must be made in U.S. currency. Service rates are subject to revision. Invoices are sent via email unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. Sales tax is added if applicable.

If any invoices are not paid within 20 days, the account is subject to deactivation and interruption of service, and customer agrees to pay a $5 late fee each month until invoices are paid in full. As a courtesy, instead of deactivation, we may elect to send a reminder email to the customer after an invoice is 30 days old. When the invoice is 60 days old, we will send a seven day deactivation email. If payment in full is not received within seven days, we will deactivate the account and interrupt all services. When a bank draft or credit or debit card charge is declined, or a check is returned unpaid (NSF), services will be interrupted until the charge is accepted or the account is paid current by some other method. We are under no obligation to resubmit a credit card charge or NSF check after receiving notification of a declined payment.The customer will be assessed a $25 fee if a payment is returned and/or to reactivate a deactivated account.

When an account is deactivated due to non-payment, a "suspended" message replaces the site, and we will keep a copy of the site on the server for up to 6 months, and then the site files will be permanently deleted. If a customer's account has been deactivated two times or more for non-payment, the customer is considered a poor credit risk, and we will require he/she to provide credit card or bank draft information for future billings. We will not modify a customer's domain DNS settings or unlock the domain for transfer until his/her account is paid in full, including late fees.

Cancellation and Refunds

Customers can cancel service at any time. Due to security concerns, all cancellation requests must be submitted in writing via email, fax, or U.S. mail, with sufficient information necessary to confirm the validity of the request. The request should include the primary contact of the account, account name, username or domain name, address, phone number, email address, and reason for cancellation. After an account is cancelled by a customer, all website files, email files, and analytics data are permanently deleted.

The customer is responsible for all money owed on the account from the time it was established to the time that the customer notifies U.S.NEXT in writing for a request for cancellation of services.

U.S.NEXT reserves the right to cancel service at any time without notice for any reason that it deems appropriate. Service fees paid in advance of cancellation will be prorated and refunded if U.S.NEXT institutes its right of cancellation. However, if cancellation is caused by the customer\'s violation of these policies, then no refund is due. If the customer cancels an account after 7 days of the start of a service period, no refund will be issued.

Domain Registration

U.S.NEXT cannot and will not check to see whether the domain name selected by a customer, or the use a customer makes of the domain name, infringes the legal rights of others. We urge the customer to investigate to see whether the domain name selected or its use infringes the legal rights of others, and in particular we suggest that each customer seek advice of competent counsel. Customers may wish to consider seeking one or more trademark registrations in connection with a selected domain name. Customers should be aware that there is the possibility U.S.NEXT might be ordered by a court to cancel, modify, or transfer a domain name. If we are sued or threatened with lawsuit in connection with a domain name, the Customer agrees to hold us harmless and indemnify us.  If U.S.NEXT registers a domain name but does not receive payment from the customer, we have the right to hold the domain in our name for the remainder of the registration. We will transfer ownership of the domain name to the customer upon receipt of the registration fee, plus any late fees, unless the domain registration is involved in a legal dispute or the customer has amounts owed to us.

Data Backup

We strongly recommend that our customers make frequent backups of their website and database files. If a customer has subscribed to our daily backup service, and submits a recovery request, we will attempt to recover specified files. Because backups are made at a specific time each day, we cannot guarantee that the files contained in our backups will be the most current versions for a given site. Backups are rotated frequently, so retrieval requests should be made within one week of deletion in order that files are available for restoration. U.S.NEXT is not responsible for files lost or damaged, or files that cannot be recovered. If a customer submits more than one file recovery request in a 90-day period, a $95 recovery fee will be assessed for each request submitted.

Programming Projects

A programming sales quote represents a good faith estimate of the hours required to complete the project described. If after we begin work on the project we discover that more hours are required than originally estimated, U.S.NEXT will inform the customer and get written approval before charging any fees in excess of the quote. If a customer decides to change or revise the project, a change order (or similar email) will be provided for approval. Change orders will be billed in addition to the original sales quote.  Sales tax is added if applicable.

Any projected completion dates are dependent on the timeliness of the delivery of materials and information needed from the customer. In the event that information required from the customer is not received in a timely manner, then any projected dates for the project are automatically extended by the number of days in which the customer materials are late.

Unless otherwise specifically stated, a sales quote is based on the website being hosted on a server owned and managed by U.S.NEXT. The customer recognizes that because of variations in versions of software, operating systems, programming languages, and related technologies, the site may not be compatible with a server operated by another host, or with versions of software that may be released after the date of the sales quote. When the project is complete, the website will be put “live”. When the site is launched, the customer agrees that every aspect of the website’s appearance and functionality has been approved, and that all work has been done to his or her satisfaction. Any subsequent change requests, modifications, and upgrades will be billed to the customer as a separate charge.

U.S.NEXT represents that a website it develops shall be free of material defects in workmanship for 60 days. If any defect becomes apparent during this period, U.S.NEXT will repair the website to make it conform to the terms of the sales quote. If the customer modifies or alters the website, or uses a company or service other than U.S.NEXT to modify the website, or moves the website to a server not owned and maintained by U.S.NEXT, this warranty is void. In any event, the customer agrees that no claim for losses shall exceed the amount of fees paid to U.S.NEXT for services rendered under the project.

A completed website, content management system, and database are the sole property of the customer upon receipt of payment in full. Thereafter, upgrades and/or updates to the website, CMS, and database software are solely the responsibility of the customer, and any such updates performed by the customer are made at their own risk. If the customer purchases a website maintenance agreement from U.S.NEXT, or specifically requests and purchases maintenance services from us, we will perform the necessary periodic upgrades and updates to the customer's website, content management system, and database software.

Server Maintenance

Scheduled server maintenance will typically occur on Friday or Saturday evenings, between 10:00 PM CST and 2:00 AM CST. Whenever this maintenance requires an interruption of service, we will post a notice on our website at least two days in advance. Emergency maintenance is sometimes required, and may cause an unexpected interruption of service.  We schedule maintenance windows for the following reasons: (1) Any time the configuration of a router, switch , or firewall is modified, there is the potential that network traffic could be interrupted.  Any changes, upgrades, or updates that could potentially affect network traffic are made during a window, (2) Any updates/upgrades that have the potential to cause downtime or that require a restart to fully apply. The main reason for updates and upgrades is security.  Secondary to that are new features and non-security bug fixes, (3) There are cases where a drive, fan, power supply, or other component may fail, but the equipment is able to still continue running (i.e. a component for which there is redundancy).  However replacing the failed component often requires powering off the equipment. Also performance may be impacted while operating in this situation, so we try to replace the failed components as quickly as possible, (4) After a failover has occurred with a resource (storage, database, etc.), resetting the system to its normal state (i.e. failback) may cause system disruption.  We must reset it back to its normal state to ensure redundancy in the event of a future failover, and (5) There are times, when we must relocate systems or cables within our datacenter. If the relocation has the potential to impact client systems, this work will be done during a maintenance window.

Commercial Advertisements via E-mail (SPAM)

Unsolicited commercial advertisements are not allowed over e-mail, and will result in account suspension or cancellation. Commercial advertisements are unwelcome in most Usenet discussion groups and on most e-mail mailing lists. Inappropriate posting may result in account suspension or cancellation. See the newsgroups or mailing list\'s charter for whether advertising is allowed or not. "Spamming," or sending a message to many different off-topic newsgroups, is particularly unethical and will be treated as such. Sending a message, especially an advertisement, to more than five or six recipients, is by itself spamming unless the individuals have specifically requested to be added to a mailing list on that topic. E-mail is a person-to-person medium, not a broadcast medium. Accounts caught sending unsolicited, as defined by U.S.NEXT, email/usernet postings, either through our server(s) or to promote a website on our servers, will be terminated immediately, will not qualify for a refund, and will be charged $100 per complaint filed.

U.S.NEXT defines the term “unsolicited” as any e-mail sent to recipients who have not asked to be contacted by you, or Usenet postings (that are cross-posted to more than three newsgroups and/or posted in newsgroups where this is against that groups FAQ or charter), for the sole purpose of promoting a website or commercial business on our servers.

Resource Usage

U.S.NEXT makes every reasonable attempt to provide an environment suitable for use by its customers for the purpose of an online presence, including sufficient bandwidth and CPU resources. Bandwidth and CPU resources are on an open and "first come first serve" basis, as bandwidth and CPU resources are allocated in order of who requests them first. In this environment, it is possible for a user to consume more than their fair share of CPU resources and/or bandwidth and thereby impede the performance of the network and servers as a whole, adversely limiting the resources available to other users. U.S.NEXT closely monitors the performance of its systems and network.

If at any time U.S.NEXT deems that a user is imposing an unreasonable load on a server or the network (such as an inordinate number of CGI processes or MySQL calls), U.S.NEXT may, at its sole discretion, take any action it deems necessary to correct the problem and free up resources for other users, including but not limited to, killing processes or shutting down service for an offending user without notice. The following are prohibited: (a) any type of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client or script, (b) AlienForm (all versions), and (c) web proxy scripts, including any script, such as nph-proxy, that allows anyone to browse to a third party web site from any server in the U.S.NEXT network or that otherwise masks the true origination point of browsing activities by use of network information associated with U.S.NEXT. If these scripts are found, they will be deleted without notice. Repeated violations will result in account suspension or termination.

U.S.NEXT maintains control and ownership of any and all IP numbers and addresses that may be assigned to the client and reserves in its sole discretion the right to change or remove any and all IP numbers and addresses.

Indemnification and Limitation of Liability

Customer agrees that it shall defend, indemnify and hold U.S.NEXT harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, costs and claims, including attorney’s fees asserted against U.S.NEXT, its agents, officers and employees, that may arise or result from any service provided or performed or agreed to be performed or any product sold by Customer, its agents or employees on the Customer's website. Customer agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless U.S.NEXT against liabilities arising out of (1) any injury to person or property caused by any of customer's products sold or otherwise distributed via a U.S.NEXT server; (2) any material supplied by customer infringing or allegedly infringing on the proprietary rights of a third party; (3) copyright infringement, including the use of unlicensed images and graphics, and (4) any defective products sold to customer via a U.S.NEXT server.

Customer expressly understands and agrees that U.S.NEXT shall not be liable for (1) any direct, indirect, incidental, special consequential or exemplary damages which may be incurred, however caused and under any theory of liability, (2) any changes which U.S.NEXT may make to the services, or for any permanent or temporary cessation in the provision of the services or any features within the services, and (3) the deletion of, corruption of, or failure to store, any content and other communications data maintained or transmitted by or through the use of the services.

Disclaimer

Our services are critically dependent on the services of multiple other providers, such as telecommunications providers, utility companies, equipment manufacturers, software developers, etc., so U.S.NEXT cannot be responsible for any damages a customer may suffer. This includes loss of data, lack of access, delays, non-deliveries, wrong delivery, and any and all service interruptions. U.S.NEXT makes no warranties of any kind, expressed or implied about the services we provide, and specifically disclaims all warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Customer agrees that U.S.NEXT will not be held liable for system downtime, crashes, or data loss, and for any predicted estimate of profits that the customer would have gained if their site was functioning. Certain services provided by U.S.NEXT are resold. Thus, certain equipment, routing, software, and programming used by us are not directly owned, written or managed by us. U.S.NEXT holds no responsibility for the use of our customers’ accounts.

U.S.NEXT does not represent or warrant to customers that (1) use of the services will meet customer's requirements, (2) use of the services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or free from error, and (3) information obtained as a result of a customer's use of the services will be accurate or reliable.

Each customer is responsible for keeping up to date on the terms and conditions of this User Policy. Any changes to this User Policy shall be effective immediately.