Terms of Service

We are pleased to serve you! Please read our terms and conditions below so that you are informed of the scope of our service. Your payment for research services indicates your agreement with these terms.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE

The performance of services by Discovering Connections ("we," "us") for you, our client, is subject to the following terms and conditions, and your use of our services constitutes your acknowledgement that you have read, accept, and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions of Use.

1. PAYMENTS AND REFUNDS

1.1 We will not provide research results until payment is made in full and we cannot guarantee specific results due to the nature of genealogical research.

1.2 For research projects of less than 10 hours, the full service fee must be paid after the contract agreement has been signed between Discovering Connections and the client and before research work begins. Variable additional expenses, such as document access or copying charges, which are approved by the client prior to purchase, do not need to be collected prior to the start of the research project, but payment for these additional expenses will be collected prior to the receipt of the research report and related documents.

1.3 For research projects of greater than 10 hours, 50% of the full service fee must be paid after the contract agreement has been signed between Discovering Connections and the client and before research work begins. The remaining balance will be collected upon completion of the agreed upon research hours, prior to the receipt of the research report and related documents. Variable additional expenses, such as document access or copying charges, which are approved by the client prior to purchase, do not need to be collected prior to the start of the research project, but payment for these additional expenses will be collected prior to the receipt of the research report. 

1.4 If you request a refund before work on your project has begun, your full deposit will be refunded. We do not provide full refunds once we have commenced work on your research project; however, a partial refund may be granted depending on the amount of work already performed. Refunds are given based on time remaining and are not based on research results, as n certain results can be guaranteed.

2. RESEARCH AND COMPLETION TIME

2.1 Before research begins, you are requested to provide all known information concerning the family or individual to be researched as well as any previous research that has been conducted. We are not responsible for duplication or misdirection of effort due to failure on your part to provide all necessary information prior to the beginning of the research process. If you send additional information and/or documents after research starts, you will likely need to purchase additional hours so that we have time to review and/or incorporate the new information into the project. To avoid duplication of effort, we ask that you pause your own research on the family line(s) you have asked us to work on until the project is complete.

2.2 Do not send original records or your only copy of documents or books. We claim no responsibility for record damage or loss.

2.3 We may ask clients for a completed Power of Attorney form which includes a copy of your driver's license or other identification. This is not mandatory and is used only for requesting genealogical records from government agencies.

2.4 Client login information to family tree databases and other accounts, if applicable, will not be shared outside of Discovering Connections and will only be used for purposes related to the contracted research project.

2.5 We handle research projects in the order in which the deposit, research goals, and genealogical information are received from you. We strive to return completed in-depth projects to you within 2-6 weeks, depending on the amount of research hours requested. We also cannot control how quickly we receive records requested from various nationwide repositories and due to this a project may take longer to complete than anticipated.

2.6 Project time is allocated for research, research support (writing and analysis, editing, charting, etc.), and client support (goal approval, updates, communication, etc.). The initial complimentary consultation, does not count towards your research project hours. Extensive communication needs will affect the time that can be allocated to research, and for this reason or others it may be recommended that you add hours while your project is underway. Additional costs may also be incurred during the course of the research, but these will not be added without your prior approval.

2.7 We reserve the right to delete client files one year after a project is finished without reorder. Unclaimed paper files and records will be held up to three years and then destroyed.

3. SHARING OF INFORMATION

3.1 We allow clients to use reports, documents, and data that we have provided to them, including the use of these things in family history books and on the Internet, provided that excerpts from our reports are not altered and accurately portray our written conclusions. When information that we found is used, please include us as a source or as the author of the information using the following citation: "Discovering Connections, https://www.discovering-connections.com." Any use of reports, documents, and data which we have provided you other than as specifically permitted herein or without our prior written consent is expressly prohibited.

3.2 We allow others (e.g., family hisory societies, journalists) to reproduce content published in our blog posts as long as they comply with the following polices:

(a) Printed materials and presentations: Others may reproduce content form our blog posts in printed materials and presentations as long as they provide credit to Discovering Connections by including a link to https://www.discovering-connections.com (or a direct link to the original blog post) in their publication or presentation.

(b) Internet and electronic communications: Others may reproduce content from our blog posts on the Internet or in electronic communications as long as they include a link to our original blog post. Reproductions should constitute (1) select quotations and/or readers' original summaries with (2) a link to the post rather than extensive reproductions of the post's contents (i.e., more than two paragraphs).

3.3 We reserve the right to talk about our research triumphs and challenges in our blog and in other online, print, and audio communications. This can include talking about locations, records (including images or partial images of records), and other information involving a genealogy research problem, but we change names and avoid using identifying details unless we have prior permission. You waive any right to royalties or other compensation which may arise or which may be related to the use of information as described above. You also hereby hold harmless and release and forever discharge Discovering Connections and Christine E. Neumann from all claims, demands, and causes of action which you or any other person acting on your behalf or on behalf of your estate have or may have. For clients who prefer that their research never be discussed publicly in any way, an opt-out form can be provided upon request.

3.4 Clients acknowledge and agree that we may choose to disclose or withhold disclosure of their information if we believe we are required to do so by law or if such action is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with a legal process or government request; (b) enforce this or any other agreement with a client; (c) respond to claims that our content violates the rights of third parties; or (d) protect the rights, property, or safety of Discovering connections, our clients, our potential clients, or the public.

WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

4.1 The amount payable to us is based upon the value of the services we provide and is not related to the various uses to which you may put our research nor are results guaranteed. For example, if you are using our research for the purpose of establishing genealogy for purposes of qualifying for grants, scholarships or other benefits, or are seeking to locate potential beneficiaries of a decedent or gain dual citizenship status, the cost of our services has not been determined with reference to such uses, but has been determined solely by reference to the amount of time we spend performing our research services. We are not an insurer of any risk related to the uses to which you may put our research.

4.2 To the fullest extent permitted by law, you acknowledge and agree that we have not made and do not make any representations or warranties (whether by statute, common law, custom, usage, or otherwise) regarding the accuracy or completeness of our search results, and specifically disclaim any and all implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall we be liable to you or any other person for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages or claims for loss of business or profits, damage to reputation or otherwise under contract, tort (including negligence) or other legal or equitable theory, regardless of the cause of action and even if we have been advised of the possibility of such potential loss or damage.