Website Terms & Conditions of Use

Terms

By accessing this website, you are agreeing to be bound by and be responsible for compliance with all Terms and Conditions of Use and all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. If you do not agree with any term or condition, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site.

Use License

Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials on the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc.'s website for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This permission is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not: modify or copy the materials; use the materials for any commercial purpose; use the materials for any public display, whether commercial or non-commercial; attempt to decompile or reverse engineer any code contained on this website; remove any copyright or other proprietary notations from the materials; or transfer the materials to another person or "mirror" the materials on any other server.

This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession, whether in electronic or printed format.

Disclaimer

The materials on the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc.'s website are provided "as is." The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including and without limitation: implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on this website or on any sites linked to or from this website.

Limitations

In no event shall the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use or inability to use the materials on this website, even if the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. or an authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage.

Revisions and Errate

As there is a substantial amount of materials on the website, the materials appearing therein could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not warrant that any of the materials on its website, or any linked website, are accurate, complete, or current, though every reasonable effort is made to minimize errors. The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. may make changes to the materials contained on its website at any time without notice and does not make any commitment to update any materials. Any materials on any linked website may change at any time without notice. The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not represent or warrant that the functions contained in the site will be uninterrupted or error-free, that the defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes the site available are free of viruses or other harmful components.

Links

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. has not conducted a thorough review of all sites linked from or linking to its website and is not responsible for the contents of any such website. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. of any company, person, website, product or service. Use of any such linked websites is at the user's own risk.

By entering another's site from the site owned, operated and controlled by The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc., you release and discharge the North Carolina Consumers Council from all liability to the extent permissible by law for any losses you might incur. Material, summarized views, standards or recommendations of third parties that may be included on these sites do not necessarily reflect the views of the North Carolina Consumers Council or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action in any regard.

It is your responsibility to make your own decisions about the accuracy, reliability and correctness of information contained in these sites and to understand and obey the terms and conditions of the site. We cannot offer an endorsement or recommendation of any material on any linked sites or any third party products or services offered by, from or through those sites.

Images

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. includes images on its website. The inclusion of any image does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. of anything or anyone in the depicted images. The inclusion of any image is for your reference only. Images that appear on this website are either owned by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. or by their respective copyright holders with permission to appear on this website. No image, in whole or part, may be copied from this website and used for any purpose.

Text

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. includes substantial text material on its website. Text appearing on this website is either the creation of the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc, or information released by other parties for republication. The appearance of any text on this website republished from another source does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. of anything or anyone, nor does it imply any implied warranty of merchantability or an implied warranty of fitness.

While every effort is made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of such text, mistakes do sometimes happen. When discovered or notified of their presence, the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. will make every reasonable effort to correct or remove the text in a reasonable period of time. No text, in whole or part, may be copied from this website and used for any purpose.

Site Terms of Use Modifications

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. may revise these terms of use for its website at any time without notice. By using this website you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms and Conditions of Use.

Governing Law

Any claim relating to this website shall be governed by the laws of the State of North Carolina without regard to its conflict of law provisions. Any claims shall be filed and heard in Wake County, North Carolina.

Copyright

The entire content included in this site, including but not limited to text, graphics or code, except those items granted to the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. by third parties, is copyrighted as a collective work under the United States and other copyright laws and is the property of the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials on the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc.'s website for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. Any other use, including but not limited to the reproduction, distribution, display or transmission of the content of this site is strictly prohibited unless authorized by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. in writing.

Trademark

All trademarks, service marks and trade names of the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. used in the site are trademarks or registered trademarks of the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. All trademarks, service marks and trade names of other organizations and companies used on this site are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and are used with permission or in accordance with law.

Indemnification

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc., its officers, directors, employees, and agents from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, resulting from any violation of these terms and conditions or any activity related to your account, including negligent or wrongful conduct, by you or any other person accessing the site using your account.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

General

Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.

We will collect and use personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law. We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.

We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.

Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.

We will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.

Types of Information Collected

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not collect any personally identifiable information on your web browsing habits. We do collect personal information provided by you for the purposes of membership enrollment, service enrollment, or contact forms.

We do monitor website statistics through various third-party sources in order to monitor the website for errors, improvements and performance. These parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser.

Third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser or using web beacons to collect information as a result of website ads.

No information will be passed that third parties that may be recognized as personally identifiable information or that permanently identifies a particular device e.g. mobile phone's unique device identifier if such an identifier cannot be reset.

Website ads will never be used to facilitate the merging of personally identifiable information with information previously collected as non-personally identifiable information. We do not any data from the use of website ads. Consequently, no data is used, shared, or distributed.

We do collect the login timestamps for all members accessing the Member Center.

Any correspondence made to the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc., whether printed or electronic, is saved electronically for future review, as a matter of public record, or both. Where appropriate, this correspondence is not released to the public or, if release to the public is required as a matter of law, is redacted to the extent permissible by law in order to protect your personally identifiable information.

In order to reset your account or to make other account inquiries, you may be asked to verify your identity by providing certain documentation. Once your identity is verified, the documentation submitted to us is destroyed.

We use cookies on our website. These cookies never collect your personally identifiable information and are used to remember your preferences for various messages on our site, including the ability to switch between the mobile and desktop version of our site.

We may log IP information of website visitors for diagnostic purposes and to combat SPAM and abuse.

Sharing Your Information

We don't sell or trade information collected.

We will confirm a membership with a partner credit union if you are attempting to open an account using your eligibility through the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. or if you are attempting to use member discounts.

We may provide membership lists to partner credit unions, with whom we have agreements to provide members with financial services. When and if this occurs, limitations are put into place as to how the data is used.

Your Email Address

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not SPAM anyone who has provided an email address. Members who elect to share their email addresses will receive emails for the following reasons:

  • To verify any of your information e.g. mail returned to sender;
  • To confirm a membership payment;
  • To confirm member benefits and any associated alerts e.g. auto recall alerts;
  • To advise of any changes to any policies of which you need to be informed;
  • To send email newsletters;
  • To notify you of membership expiration and to request renewal; and
  • To send contact requests from the public for enrollees of the North Carolina Law Directory.

'Remove Me' Requests

We immediately honor all requests from those wishing to receive no further communications from us.

We have a very effective system in place to catch duplicate accounts created by multiple membership applications. We try our best to merge duplicate accounts before they reach your email inbox or the mailbox in front of your home.

If in the event that you have multiple unmerged accounts with us under multiple addresses, whether active, inactive or both, and you make a request for only one account, one address or one email address, you may continue to receive communications for the other unmerged accounts. If so, please contact us immediately so that we can merge your accounts and ensure compliance to your request.

SPAM Reports

Any website user who provides an email address for correspondence and later marks any email from the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. as SPAM may have his/her access to user-only website services suspended.

Payments Policy

Purpose of Membership Fees

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. (the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc.) collects membership fees to support efforts to promote consumer awareness, consumer education and consumer protection both within North Carolina and beyond our borders. In addition to consumer education and awareness initiatives, the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. seeks to lessen the burden of federal, state and local government by acting as both a general consumer resource and as a referral resource in order to get consumers to the right organizations and government entities appropriately equipped to handle specific issues.

Tax Deductibility

The North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations and membership dues are tax-deductible.

If you are joining the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. to establish credit union eligibility for a business or if you are an attorney joining the North Carolina Law Directory, your membership may be deductible as a necessary business expense. Consult your tax advisor for more information.

Refunds of Individual Memberships

Because your membership will give you eligibility to join state and federally regulated credit unions, we are bound by certain laws and requirements that govern credit union eligibility. As such, all monies paid to the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc., including those accepted by third parties on our behalf, are non-refundable and non-transferable for any reason at any time. This restriction helps to ensure legality in the credit union eligibility process.

Memberships that are canceled by the member will not be refunded and may be reactivated by completing a membership renewal.

Members paying a membership fee while already a member of the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. will have that fee credited as additional membership time only.

Refunds of North Carolina Law Directory Memberships

Attorneys joining the North Carolina Law Directory may cancel their memberships to the program within thirty (30) days of the start date for a full refund.

An attorney who receives a public disciplinary action while a member of the North Carolina Law Directory will have his or her membership canceled with a prorated refund. The complimentary general NCCC membership will also be cancelled.

Unpaid North Carolina Law Directory Memberships

If a membership to the North Carolina Law Directory should lapse, the lawyer's directory page will be converted to an ad-based page. The complimentary general NCCC membership will be cancelled.

Credit Card Charge Backs

We treat credit card charge backs seriously. Members who dispute membership fees will be suspended and all credit union accounts opened using the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. eligibility, including those opened by friends and family members using family member eligibility, will be immediately forfeited. Such suspended memberships may be reactivated upon receipt of a $75 processing fee and the entire disputed amount in certified funds, after which eligibility will be re-established. In the unfortunate event that legal action is necessary to collect monies owed as a result of a charge back, we will seek any and all damages incurred as a result of the charge back, including, but not limited to: the original amount of the transaction, merchant fees relating to the charge back transaction, court fees, process service fees, reasonable labor incurred throughout the duration of the charge back case, and any direct fees incurred e.g. postage, parking, etc.

Responsibilities of the Member to Notify Credit Unions of Membership Status

If applying for credit union membership using the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. eligibility, it is the member's responsibility to notify the credit union representatives of membership in the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. and to provide proof of membership. Membership can be verified by the credit union with a Member ID using the member verification page.

Membership in the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. does not guarantee your acceptance in affiliated credit unions as you must qualify for their accounts separately.

Overpayments

Any overpayments made with your membership payment is considered a donation and is non-refundable.

Membership Expiration and Renewals

All members are invoiced ninety (90) days prior to expiration. A renewal is never required, but we truly hope that you see the value of the services we provide to you and all consumers.

You may also request at any time that we do not invoice you for a renewal. While we would like you to support our mission long-term, we appreciate you letting us know that you won't be renewing so we don't clutter your mailbox with notices.

Payment Types Accepted

We accept checks, cash, money orders, and credit cards. You may join or renew online, over the phone, in person or at any partner credit union.

Credit Card Convenience Fee

As we typically process memberships by mail and by check, we access a $1.99 convenience fee as allowed by law for the use of credit card services. We waive this fee when you elect to support us with at least a two-year membership or if you are a current member and renewing.

Damages

Anyone submitting a payment accepts all liability for any damages that may occur. Payments submitted via this website are encrypted.

We recommend that anyone making a payment online have the latest web browser with all current security updates.

Check Holds

We place a two-week hold on all personal checks. To avoid delays, use a certified check, money order, or credit card.

Insufficient Funds

Payments returned for insufficient funds will be assessed all fees as applicable under North Carolina law.

Implied Consent

By submitting a payment to the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc., you are agreeing to be bound by this policy.

Gift Acceptance Policy

General

This policy statement is designed to ensure that all gifts to, or for the use of, the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. (Herein "Corporation") are structured to provide maximum benefits for both the donor and the Corporation.

This policy has been developed to establish standards by which all gifts to the Corporation will be evaluated, accepted and evaluated.

The Corporation defines a gift as anything of value given in which the giving party (Herein "donor") receives no direct benefit and requires nothing in exchange beyond an assurance that thes intent or conditions of the contribution will be honored.

The Board of Directors, Executive Director, Director of Development, and Development Team, as so designated, have authority to solicit and/or accept gifts on behalf of the Corporation.

All gifts to the Corporation shall be evaluated within the following guiding principles:

  • In accepting a gift, the Corporation also accepts the responsibility to the donor to steward that gift properly, which includes administering the gift properly, providing the donor with accurate, timely financial information about the gift, and, when appropriate, reporting to the donor about the use of the gift.
  • Donations of gifts for unrestricted, general purposes are encouraged because of the flexibility they provide to the Corporation.
  • The Corporation does not provide legal, accounting, tax, or other such advice to donors. Each donor is ultimately responsible for ensuring the proposed gift meets and furthers his or her charitable, financial, and estate planning goals. As such, each donor is encouraged to meet with a professional advisor before making any gift to the Corporation.

The Corporation reserves the right not to accept certain gifts, including but not limited to:

  • Those which would not be in the best interest of the donor (i.e., ones that might be inappropriate in light of the donor's personal or financial situation);
  • Those that might benefit the donor in certain ways that are not available to others of similar status and interest;
  • Those from which the Corporation will realize little or no financial gain;
  • Those that are offered for purposes inconsistent with the Corporation's mission;
  • Those which have restrictions that might violate the Corporation's ethical standards or require any form of discrimination; and
  • Those that are offered that might violate the standards of the Corporation's governing body.

The Corporation shall acknowledge all gifts and donations in a manner that respects and honors the donor.

Policies

The policies adopted by the Corporation relate to the types of gifts typically received by the Corporation. Not all circumstances regarding some special gifts or situations are addressed in this document and it is understood that a case-by-case review by the Director of Development may be needed. Any issues not specifically covered or addressed by this policy may be reviewed by the Board of Directors. The Corporation reserves the right to review all gifts prior to acceptance and refuse any gift without reason.

Acknowledgement

All donors are to be sent a gift receipt within a reasonable amount of time. When appropriate, donors shall be given tokens of appreciation not to exceed federal requirements. The Development Team shall be responsible for oversight and compliance with the requirements regarding gift acknowledgement and receipts.

The corporation reserves the right to publicly acknowledge and recognize all donors and their gifts unless a request to remain anonymous is received.

Compliance Responsibility for Gift Acceptance Policy

Overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this policy rests with the Director of Development. All gifts should be screened by the Development Team and/or the Director of Development. In appropriate cases, gift proposals with extenuating circumstances will be further screened by the Board of Directors.

Evaluation of Costs Associated with Acceptance of Property and Gifts-in-Kind

Proposed gifts of property and gifts-in-kind must be evaluated to determine whether the costs to the Corporation associated with receiving the gift can be accommodated prudently. Such evaluations might include the possible cost of transportation to the Corporation, storage, maintenance and repair, insurance, or cost of disposal.

The authority and responsibility for prompt, careful evaluation of such costs shall rest with the Director of Development after review by the Development Team has been conducted.

Acceptance and Administration of Restricted Gifts

Frequently, donors require the Corporation to use gifts in particular ways. It is the responsibility of the Corporation to comply with such arrangements if such a gift is accepted. The Development Team, under the direction of the Director of Development, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements regarding gift acknowledgements and receipts.

Memorandum of Understanding

Before completing major and/or planned gift arrangements with donors, the Director of Development, on behalf of the Corporation and the donor, will sign a memorandum of understanding, which shall contain the following elements:

  • The purpose for the gift;
  • The background behind the gift;
  • How funding will be made;
  • Criteria specifying who will benefit;
  • The Corporation's responsibilities;
  • Use(s) of the gift; and
  • Plan for public announcement of the gift.

Qualified Appraisals

Legal and ethical requirements prohibit the Corporation from appraising gifts. This prohibition protects both the donor and the Corporation. Such appraisals are to be conducted by certified, independent appraisers not associated in any way with the Corporation, the cost of which shall be the donor's responsibility.

Cash

Cash gifts can take the form of currency, check (money order), or credit card contributions. Cash may be delivered in person, by mail, by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or by wire transfer.

Cash (currency and check) gifts are reported on the date the cash is received. EFT or wire transfer gifts are reported on the date the gift is transferred into the Corporation's financial account. Credit card gifts are reported on the date the credit card transaction occurs.

Personal Property

Gifts of personal property and gifts-in-kind include, but are not limited to, such items as precious metals, jewelry, artwork, collections, and equipment.

Gifts of personal property shall be sold by, donated, raffled or used for the benefit of the Corporation at the sole discretion of the Director of Development.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8282 will be filed with the IRS and issued to the donor in the event the gift of personal property is sold or disposed of within three (3) years of the initial date of gift. The Corporation, as a matter of policy, will fully cooperate in all matters related to IRS investigations of non-cash, personal property charitable gifts.

Real Estate

No gift of residential, rental, commercial, industrial, or agricultural real estate shall be accepted without a visit by the Director of Development for review and evaluation for recommendation of acceptance to the Board of Directors.

All real estate gift considerations shall be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.

Prior to acceptance, an independent appraisal and inspection of all properties is required. Any costs associated with obtaining a certified appraisal shall be the responsibility of the donor. The Corporation will accept these appraisals unless the Director of Development feels a second appraisal is warranted. In that case, the Corporation will be responsible for all costs of the second appraisal. The average of the two independent appraisals will be considered to constitute the "fair market value" of the real estate, thus the value of the gift.

No gift of real estate encumbered by a mortgage or lien shall be accepted.

No property will be accepted that has violations of local, state, or federal law. There must a clear title to the property, one not encumbered by recorded or unrecorded rights of way or easements.

It is the policy of the Corporation to maximize the benefit of gifts of real estate and to liquidate said gifts in a prudent and timely manner. The Development Team will handle the sale of said property(s). The Director of Development must review all potential sales of real estate and report each case directly to both the Executive Director and the Board of Directors.

All gifts of real estate shall be evaluated in light of the need for an environmental audit whose cost shall be the responsibility of the donor. A qualified environmental professional will be hired to conduct the audit. In the event that the gifted real estate incurs environmental clean-up expenses, under CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) or any similar legislation, the Corporation retains the right and authority to seek reimbursement from the gift account for any and all expenses involved in environmental analysis or clean up. The Corporation retains the right to this reimbursement if the hazard is discovered after the gift of real estate has been accepted and closed, even if the cost of cleanup completely depletes the gift account. The Corporation will not be liable for any lawsuits resulting from environmental hazards discovered on potentially gifted property.

In the event a donor is giving a retained life estate gift, the donor shall pay all or a part of the property's maintenance costs, real estate taxes and insurance for the duration of their life and acknowledge that in writing prior to the Corporation's acceptance of the gift.

Securities

Securities or mutual funds that are traded on any recognized stock exchange or that have prices quoted daily and are readily marketable will be accepted as outright gifts.

The value of gifted securities is determined by averaging the high and low trading price on the day the securities are received by the Corporation in accordance with established IRS policy.

Regarding closely held securities: all such gifts must be examined prior to acceptance for valuation and marketability. The Director of Development must approve all such proposed gifts prior to acceptance.

Pledges

Pledges are commitments to give a specific dollar amount according to a fixed time schedule. Pledges are usually for no more than one year.

All other pledges must have written documentation that contains the following:

  • The amount of the pledge must be clearly specified.
  • There should be a clearly defined payment schedule.
  • There shall be no contingencies or conditions.
  • The donor must be considered financially capable of making the gift.
  • The acknowledgement and any naming opportunity associated with the pledge shall be removed if for any reason the pledge is not completed within the agreed upon payment schedule.

All gifts received by pledge will be recorded as follows:

  • Anticipated gifts will not be included in amounts.
  • Pledges and expected gifts will qualify separately for donor recognition in appropriate giving level groups.
  • For gift recognition purposes, donors will not be recognized publicly until the pledge is paid in full.
  • If for any reason (rounding, gift evaluation, or continued incremental giving) the pledge amount is altered, the donor will be recognized at the level of final payment.
  • In the event of death, pledge balances will be written off when the Corporation is notified, unless there are provisions in the donor's will or the family has indicated there is an intent to complete the pledge.
  • All requests to deactivate a pledge must be presented to, and approved by the Director of Development.

Planned Gifts

The Corporation encourages donors to disclose all bequest intentions to the Development Office in writing to ensure the Corporation is able to carry out the donor's wishes and that the gift conforms to the principles stated in this Gift Acceptance Policy and the Corporation's code of ethics.

If a gift from the estate of a deceased donor does not meet the principles of this Gift Acceptance Policy, all decisions will be communicated to the legal representative of the estate. Attempts will be made to achieve a mutually acceptable gift agreement between both parties.

Charitable Gift Annuities

The Corporation does not currently accept charitable gift annuities.

Trusts

All gifts in the form of a trust shall be reviewed by the Director of Development and submitted to the Board of Directors for evaluation and approval.

Endowments

The Corporation would prefer a donor contact the Director of Development as part of the donor's estate planning so that the Corporation would have record of the donor's intent. Bequest endowments must contain express instructions. The Director of Development must review all bequest endowments prior to acceptance. In the event the Director of Development feels the instructions are not complete or are too restrictive, an attempt will be made to reach an acceptable agreement with a legal representative of the deceased.

Gifts of Insurance

The Corporation will accept life insurance policies as gifts only when the Corporation is named as the irrevocable owner and sole beneficiary of the policy. Gifts of life insurance as part of planned giving should name the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. as beneficiary of the policy upon death or as beneficiary and owner. All previously mentioned conditions also apply to planned gifts of insurance.

Donors should contact the Director of Development for assistance with gifts of insurance.

Life Estate

Donors interested in receiving a charitable income tax deduction by gifting their primary residence or farm to the Corporation, while retaining full use of and rights to the property during their lifetime may do so. Refer to Real Estate in the Outright Gifts section or contact the Director of Development.

Reporting Policy

All irrevocable planned gifts will be reported at full fair market value.