Updated: Nov. 2, 2017
Full Genomes Corporation, a Delaware corporation with the principle place of business at 2275 Research Blvd, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20850 (“FGC”) is dedicated to bringing users the best DNA sequencing services (“Services”) possible, by combining next generation sequencing technology with an easy to use, feature-rich web experience—to allow users to explore themselves—their history, their ancestry, and their genealogy.
Before using this website or our Services, you must read and accept the terms and conditions detailed below. These terms and conditions apply to users visiting this website or registering for our Services on or after January 30, 2016.
Table of Content
The Website and Services provided herein are intended for adults. You may not use the Website or Services and may not accept the Agreement if (i) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with us, or (ii) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are a resident or from which you use the Services. You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to agree to the agreement on behalf of yourself or those for whom you have legal authority to agree when a DNA sample is submitted. When a minor uses the Website or Services, the parent or guardian of that minor will be held fully responsible for the minor’s actions.
Scope of Services We offer DNA sequencing services where Users can explore themselves—their history, their ancestry, and their genealogy. When you purchase our Services, we may send you a DNA collection kit so that you may obtain and send us a DNA sample, e.g., a saliva sample. We analyze the DNA sample and obtain Genetic Information unique to you. When your Genetic Information is ready, we will notify you and you will be able to access them through our Website. In ancestry testing services, your Genetic Information will be loaded into our database so that we can identify your relatives on our family tree. You may choose which related information, e.g., ethnicity, nationality etc., may be entered into our database. Raw DNA data is the data that's generated in the laboratory from your DNA sample before it is processed for intended purposes. You may download these raw data from our Website. You retain the right to request that your account be closed and your data removed from all of our databases, and to opt-out of any research. OUR SERVICES DO NOT EXCEED THE SCOPE DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION 2 UNLESS WE AGREE TO PROVIDE CUSTOMIZED SERVICES TO YOU IN ADVANCE AT OUR SOLE DESCRETION.
Limitations of Services A. Our Services are designed solely for informational and educational use.
Our Services are not intended, designed, or carried out for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, including a determination of the state of health, in order to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease or conditions arising from a disease. The Services shall not be used, either alone or in combination with other information, by the User or a third party to assist the diagnosis or prognosis, or to form any medical advices in connection with any disease or conditions arising from a disease. User is hereby recommended to always seek the advice of his/her physician or other health care provider with any questions regarding diagnosis, cure, treatment, mitigation, or prevention of any disease or other medical condition or impairment or the status of his/her health. FGC does not recommend or endorse any specific courses of action, resources, tests, physician or other health care providers, drugs, biologics, medical devices or other products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in this report, by FGC employees, or on our Website in connection with this report. Reliance on any information provided by this report, FGC employees, or our Website in connection with the report is solely at User’s own risk.
B. The laboratory may not be able to process your sample. The laboratory may not be able to process your sample if your DNA sample does not contain a sufficient volume of DNA, or the results from processing do not meet our standards for accuracy. If the initial processing fails for any of these reasons, FGC will reprocess the same sample at no charge to the User. If the second attempt to process the same sample fails, FGC will offer to send another DNA collection kit to the User to collect a second sample at no charge. If the User declines this option, the User is entitled solely and exclusively to a complete refund of the amount paid to FGC, less shipping and handling, provided that the User shall not resubmit another sample through a future purchase of the Service. If the User opts to receive another sample collection kit and FGC's attempts to process the second sample are unsuccessful, FGC will not send additional sample collection kits and the User will be entitled solely and exclusively to a complete refund of the amount paid to FGC, less shipping and handling, provided the User shall not resubmit another sample through a future purchase of the Service. If the User breaches this policy agreement and resubmits another sample through a future purchase of the Service and processing is not successful, FGC will not offer to reprocess the sample or provide the User a refund. Even for processing that meets our high standards, a small, unknown fraction of the data generated during the laboratory process may be un-interpretable or incorrect (“Errors”). As this possibility is known in advance, Users are not entitled to refunds where these Errors occur. _However, FGC may, at its sole discretion, determine which results should be resequenced [where results refers to data generated by the laboratory process which may be un-interpretable or incorrect] in accordance with FGC's judgement of the causes of the laboratory's inability to produce appropriate results. Additionally, FGC may, at its sole discretion, make determinations and endeavor to make more than two attempts to get high quality DNA samples from a customer, by sending additional DNA kits thru arrangements mutually agreed upon between FGC and the customer.
C. Your Genetic Information is unique to you and your knowledge of it is irrevocable once revealed. You should not assume that any information we may be able to provide to you, whether now or as genetic research advances, will be welcome or positive. You should understand that you may learn information about yourself that you do not anticipate. This information may evoke strong emotions and has the potential to alter your life and worldview. You may discover things about yourself that trouble you and that you may not have the ability to control or change (e.g., your father is not genetically your father, surprising facts related to your ancestry). These outcomes could have social, legal, or economic implications.
D. Genetic Information you share with others may be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others. Currently, very few businesses or insurance companies request genetic information, but this could change in the future. While the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) was signed into law in the United States in 2008, its protection against discrimination by employers and health insurance companies for employment and coverage issues has not been clearly established. In addition, GINA does not cover life or disability insurance providers. Some, but not all, states and other jurisdictions have laws that protect individuals with regard to their Genetic Information. You may want to consult a lawyer to understand the extent of legal protection of your Genetic Information before you share it with anybody.
E. Our whole genome products are designed for ancestry analysis. Our whole genome products include: (a) Y chromosome reports; (b) mitochondrial reports; (c) variant files (vcf) that are compatible with third party tools, such as Promethease; and (d) raw data (BAM files). Our whole genome products are designed solely for ancestry analysis. Nevertheless, the genomic data does contain encrypted health information, which customers, at their sole discretions and perils, may take either to a geneticist or genetic counselor or explore the data using third party tools. FGC has no intention or capacity to provide medical advices or medical reports based on the genomic data. The goal of our whole genome product is to provide comprehensive ancestry results. Customers may, however, choose to explore health results in consultation with appropriately qualified professionals from the genomic data.
User Representations You agree that you have the authority, under the laws of the state or jurisdiction in which you reside, to provide these representations. In case of breach of any one of these representations, FGC has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Services (or any portion thereof) and you will defend and indemnify FGC against any liability, costs, or damages arising out of the breach of the representation. By using FGC Services, you agree to, acknowledge, and represent as follows:
You understand that our Services are not designed to diagnose, prevent, or treat any condition or disease or to ascertain the state of your health but are intended for research, informational, and educational purposes only.
Account Information In consideration of your use of Services, you agree to: (a) provide true, accurate, current, and complete Account Information about yourself as prompted by the Service; and (b) maintain and promptly update the Account Information to keep it true, accurate, current, and complete. If you provide any Account Information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current, or incomplete, or if FGC has a reasonable ground to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, not current, or incomplete, FGC has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Service (or any portion thereof).
You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of Account Information including your username and password, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your Account. If you allow third parties to access FGC's Website through your username and password, you will defend and indemnify FGC against any liability, costs, or damages, including attorney fees, arising out of claims or suits by such third parties based upon or relating to such access and use. You agree to (a) immediately notify FGC of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security, and (b) ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. FGC cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with this section.
Limited License You acknowledge that any content presented to you as part of our Services, whether original FGC Services content or sponsored content within the Services (together “Content”), is protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property rights that are owned by FGC and/or the sponsors who provide that content to FGC (or by other persons or companies on their behalf). FGC grants you a Limited License to copy and distribute free of charge for non-commercial purposes only. When downloaded, the Content remains subject to the limited license contained in this Agreement. FGC and its licensors retain title, ownership and all other rights and interests in and to all information and Content on the Website. Bots, crawlers, spiders, data miners, scraping and any other automatic access tool are expressly prohibited. Aside from the Limited License provided in this paragraph, you may not modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute, or create derivative works based on this Content (either in whole or in part) unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by FGC or by the owners of that content, in a separate agreement. Violation of this Limited License provision may result in immediate termination of your account and may result in legal action against you.
Rules of Conduct Before using the Website or our Services, you agree to comply with all applicable laws and refrain from infringing any third-party rights or interests, e.g., privacy and intellectual property rights. You must also agree that you will not knowingly or willfully submit inaccurate, defamatory or offensive content to the Website. In addition, the following rules of conduct are part of this Agreement and must be followed anytime you access the Website or use our Services. FGC reserves the right to change these rules of conduct from time to time and the changes take effect when we post them on the Website.
Without limitation, no User of our Services or visitor to the Website may: Post, transmit, or display anything that is illegal, threatening, harmful, abusive or otherwise objectionable, including, but not limited to, actions that are harassing, invasive of another's privacy, degrading, defamatory, vulgar, hateful, libelous, fraudulent, obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, hateful or racially or ethnically objectionable. Post, transmit, or display content which is protected by copyright or trademark or that does not belong to you and that you do not have authorization for use from the owner of the copyright or trademark, including but not limited to email messages and notes in genealogical data communications (GEDCOMs). Post, share, transmit, upload, or display content which contains personal, proprietary or confidential information that you do not have a right to transmit, including, but not limited to, posting any photos of living individuals without their permission or posting anyone else's sensitive financial information, home or work address, phone number, or email address without their consent. Post or publish any information that you know is false or misleading, including, but not limited to, impersonating any person or entity, or falsely misrepresenting your affiliation with any person or entity, or falsely claiming an endorsement that you do not have, or misrepresenting that you are an employee or representative of FGC or affiliated with FGC. Post, transmit or make available advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, chain letters or any other form of solicitation. Stalk or harass others, including, but not limited to, using obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, threatening, abusive or vulgar language, or any other action that is hateful racially or ethnically, or is otherwise objectionable. Reproduce, copy or sell any portion of FGC Content[where "FGC Content" refers to proprietary FGC intellectual property, excepting data understood as scientific findings that are part of the customer's results or results that the customer has made available to a third party, currently understood as new SNP or InDel or STR findings relevant to genetic genealogy research, such as updates of phylogenetic trees], or systematically download Contents and data of FGC database to make or populate another database or for any other purpose. Interfere or attempt to interfere with the FGC Website, including, but not limited to, using any software program, virus or routine to block, obscure, overwrite or modify any FGC-generated content or web pages, or to destroy the software, hardware or telecommunications equipment of another person. Stalk or harass any FGC employee, including, but not limited to, using obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, threatening, abusive or vulgar language to any FGC employee, or abusing FGC resources, such as misusing an FGC employee’s time. Share your FGC account password with any unauthorized person, or permit a child under the age of 13 to publish information or post content under your FGC account. Use the FGC Websites for any illegal activity, or provide material which promotes or teaches illegal activity.
FGC PROHIBITS USERS, MEMBERS OR ANY OTHER PERSON FROM ENGAGING IN ANY ACTIVITY THAT FGC, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, DETERMINES IS OFFENSIVE, INTERFERES WITH THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS, INTERFERES WITH FGC’S BUSINESS, OR CAUSES HARM TO ANY PERSON, INCLUDING TO FGC AND ITS EMPLOYEES. VIOLATION OF, OR ACTING INCONSISTENTLY WITH, THE LETTER OR SPIRIT OF OUR RULES MAY RESULT, IN APPROPRIATE CONSEQUENCES AND AT OUR SOLE DISCRETION, SUSPENSION, CANCELLATION OR TERMINATION OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE OFFENDING USER, AND SUCH VIOLATION MAY RESULT IN THE FORFEITURE OF ANY AND ALL FEES THAT THE USER HAS ALREADY PAID TO USE OUR SERVICES OR ANY OTHER FEE. THE PRECEDING SENTENCE SHALL NOT IN ANY WAY LIMIT ANY OTHER REMEDY, LEGAL, EQUITABLE OR OTHERWISE, THAT FGC MAY PURSUE.
User Provided Web Content Portions of the Website allow you and other Users to contribute material to be publically displayed on the Website ("User Provided Web Content"). For User Provided Web Content, FGC is merely hosting and providing access. We cannot accept any liability with regard to such material (including with respect to its accuracy). While we cannot preview or monitor the User Provided Web Content, we may apply, at our discretion, automated filtering tools monitor and/or delete any content that FGC believes to be in violation of this Agreement (for example, we could use automated tools to suppress obscene content). We reserve the right to act expeditiously to remove or disable access to any User Provided Web Content that we believe violates this Agreement. We are also sensitive to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of others. For complaints regarding copyright infringement or illegal content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The decision to upload User Provided Web Content to the Website is your responsibility and you should only submit content that belongs to you or that will not violate the rights of others. Be aware that content belongs to the creator of that content and you should not reproduce or submit anything without permission of the owner. By submitting material to the Website, you represent that you have the right to do so or that you have obtained any necessary third party consents (e.g., under privacy or intellectual property laws). Upon the request of FGC, you agree to furnish FGC with any documentation, substantiation and releases necessary and reasonably required to verify and substantiate your compliance with this provision.
By submitting User Provided Web Content to the Website, you grant FGC a transferable license to use, host, sublicense and distribute your submission to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release FGC from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the User Provided Web Content, including, without limitation, any and all liability for any use or nonuse of your User Provided Web Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. Except for the rights granted in this Agreement, FGC acquires no title or ownership rights in or to any content you submit and nothing in this Agreement conveys any ownership rights in the User Provided Web Content you submit to us.
If you submit material to the Website on behalf of a group, organization or business entity, you represent that you have the right to do so and that you have obtained any consent from the group, organization or business. Some User Provided Web Content can be submitted to FGC and FGC will scan, image and/or create an index from the content you submit. In this situation, you grant FGC a license to the User Provided Content as described above and FGC will own the digital version of documents created by FGC as well as any indexed information that FGC creates.
You understand that by providing any sample, having your Genetic Information processed, accessing your Genetic Information, or providing User Provided Web Content, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by FGC or its collaborating partners. You specifically understand that you will not receive compensation for any research or commercial products that include or result from your Genetic Information or User Provided Web Content.
Modifications to this Agreement FGC has the right, at its sole discretion, to modify this Agreement at any time. Changes will be posted on the Website and by changing the date of last revision on this Agreement. If any portion of this Agreement or any change to the Website is unacceptable to you or will cause you to no longer be in compliance with the Agreement, you may cancel your account by following the instructions in this Agreement. Continued use of the Website now or following posted notices of changes in this Agreement means that you have accepted and are bound by the changes.
No Warranty YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT: (i) YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES ARE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. FGC EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. (ii) FGC MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT (a) THE SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS; (b) THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, UNFAILINGLY SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE; (c) THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE SERVICES WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE; (d) THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL PURCHASED OR OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND (e) ANY ERRORS IN THE SOFTWARE WILL BE CORRECTED. (iii) ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SERVICES IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL. (iv) NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM FGC OR THROUGH OR FROM THE SERVICES SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THE AGREEMENT. (v) YOU SHOULD ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN GIVING OUT ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF OR THOSE FOR WHOM YOU HAVE LEGAL AUTHORITY. FGC DOES NOT CONTROL OR ENDORSE ANY ACTIONS RESULTING FROM YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SERVICES AND, THEREFORE, FGC SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY WITH REGARD TO ANY ACTIONS RESULTING FROM YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SERVICES.
Limited Liability WITHIN THE LIMITS ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAWS, YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT FGC SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF FGC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE SERVICES; (ii) ANY ACTION YOU TAKE BASED ON THE INFORMATION YOU RECEIVE IN THROUGH OR FROM THE SERVICES, (iii) YOUR FAILURE TO KEEP YOUR PASSWORD OR ACCOUNT DETAILS SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL, (iv) THE COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND SERVICES RESULTING FROM ANY GOODS, DATA, INFORMATION, OR SERVICES PURCHASED OR OBTAINED OR MESSAGES RECEIVED OR TRANSACTIONS ENTERED INTO THROUGH OR FROM THE SERVICES; (v) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (vi) THE IMPROPER AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SERVICES BY SOMEONE CLAIMING SUCH AUTHORITY; or (vii) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SERVICES.
Indemnity You agree to defend and hold FGC, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, contractors, partners, employees, successors, and assigns harmless from any claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of Personal Information you submit, post to, or transmit through the Services; your use of the Services; your connection to the Services; your violation of the Agreement; or your violation of any rights of another.
Termination The Agreement will continue to apply until terminated by either you or FGC as set out in this Section. If you want to terminate your legal agreement with FGC, you may do so by notifying FGC at any time in writing, which will entail closing your accounts for all of the Services that you use. Your notice should be sent, in writing, to FGC's address, which is set out at Section 17D of this Agreement, or online via www.fullgenomes.com. If you provide notice online, FGC will send you an email asking you to confirm your request, and your notice will be effective following receipt of a second email confirmation from you. FGC may at any time, terminate its legal agreement with you (and in conjunction therewith, your account(s)) if: (i) you have breached any provision of the Agreement (or have acted in manner which shows that you do not intend to, or are unable to comply with, the provisions of the Agreement); (ii) FGC is required to do so by law (for example, where the provision of the Services to you is, or becomes, unlawful); (iii) the partner with whom FGC offered the Services to you has terminated its relationship with FGC or ceased to offer Services to you; (iv) FGC is transitioning to no longer providing the Services to Users in the country or state in which you reside or from which you use the Services; or (v) the provision of the Services to you by FGC is, in FGC’s opinion, no longer commercially viable. Any suspected fraudulent, abusive, or illegal activity that may be grounds for termination of your use of the Services may be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities. You acknowledge and agree that FGC shall not be liable to you or any third party for any termination of your access to the Services.
Dispute Resolution If a dispute arises between you and FGC, our goal is to provide you a neutral and cost effective means of resolving the dispute quickly. To that end, you agree to first contact FGC at email@example.com to describe the problem and seek a resolution. If that does not resolve the issue, then you and FGC agree to the following methods to resolve any dispute or claim between us. First, you agree that this Agreement is governed by the law of the State of New York, without regard to its principles on conflicts of laws, and the federal law of the United States of America. Second, you agree that you will seek arbitration consistent with the rules before initiating any litigation. If arbitration cannot resolve the issue, you agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the courts located within New York State for the purpose of litigating all such claims or disputes.
Any arbitration will be governed by the Commercial Dispute Resolution Procedures and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes of the American Arbitration Association (collectively, "AAA Rules"). The AAA Rules and costs are available online at www.adr.org or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879. YOU AND FGC AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. Further, unless both you and FGC agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this arbitration agreement does not preclude you from bringing issues to the attention of federal, state, or local agencies. Such agencies can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf. This arbitration provision shall survive termination of this Agreement.
A. Assignment. You may not assign or delegate any rights or obligations under the Agreement. Any purported assignment and delegation shall be ineffective. We may freely assign or delegate all rights and obligations under the Agreement, fully or partially without notice to you. We may also substitute, by way of unilateral novation, effective upon notice to you, FGC for any third party that assumes our rights and obligations under this Agreement.
B. Severability. In the event that any term of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms shall remain valid and enforceable. We can replace any term which is not valid and enforceable with a term of similar meaning which is valid and enforceable.
C. No Waiver. Any failure by us to enforce any term of the terms of this Agreement shall not affect our right to require performance at any subsequent time, nor shall the waiver by us of any breach by you of any provisions of these terms be taken to be a waiver of the provision or provisions itself.
D. Notice: Official correspondence to FGC must be sent via postal mail to: Full Genomes Corporation Attn: Customer Service 2275 Research Blvd, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20850
E. Entire Agreement. This Agreement, including any terms, conditions and policies expressly referenced herein, shall constitute the complete understanding and agreement between you and us, and shall supersede and cancel any prior or contemporaneous understandings and agreements, except as expressly provided otherwise by FGC.
F. Term for Cause of Action. You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of the Services or the Agreement must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred. G. Section titles. The section titles in the Agreement are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.