Terms of Service
- Who may use our Services
- Using our Services
- Content in our Services
- Your conduct when using our Services
- Our proprietary rights
- Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability
- Miscellaneous Provisions
These Terms of Service („ToS“) govern your use of the website www.hellopal.com, the support helpdesk support.hellopal.com, and the apps Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal, and the Hello Pal Phrasebooks, which are Services provided to you by Hello Pal International, Inc. (“HPI”). When you sign up and use our Services, you must agree to these ToS. Make sure you read and understand these ToS before you sign up for any of our Services.
We reserve the right to change these ToS at any time, and we will inform you of major changes before such changes will take effect, through email or in-app notification. You are responsible for keeping yourself aware of any changes to these ToS by reading the notification that we send to you, or by reviewing the latest ToS in our website or through our app’s “Me” (Settings) > “About” screen. If you do not agree with these ToS or on any future updates to these ToS, or if you don’t want to use our Services anymore, you may delete your Account and remove the app(s) from your device(s).
1. Who may use our Services
Anyone with a compatible mobile device is free to download and use our apps (Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal, and the Hello Pal Phrasebooks), but we do have a few requirements for using our services:
- You must be at least 13 years old, or the equivalent minimum age allowed for social apps or public forums in your country or region. If you are from Europe, you must be at least 16 years old.
- You must follow our Community Guidelines whenever you use our apps.
If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 (or you are considered to be a minor in your country or region):
- We encourage you to talk with your parent(s) or guardian(s) about online privacy and safety issues when using any social app, including our apps.
If your Account was previously suspended by any HPI staff for violating our Terms of Service or our Community Guidelines, you may not continue using any of our Services.
You may not use our apps where prohibited by law, and you must comply with all local rules regarding online conduct and acceptable content. Our failure or delay to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these ToS shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.
Once you sign up, you may fill in your in-app profile only with the details that you want to share publicly. We also encourage you to review and set your preferred privacy or chat settings before you start interacting with other users.
3. Using our Services
A. Your Account
To use our Services, you must personally register and open an Account through an app provided by Hello Pal International, Inc., which includes Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal, and the Hello Pal Phrasebooks. By signing up for an Account through any of our apps, you will be able to access any or all of our apps by using the same Account. Your chat history and all the Content you posted through all our apps will be stored in the same Account.
We do not recommend opening multiple Accounts, especially as it is not possible to merge or share data between two or more Accounts when you sign in to our apps. We also reserve the right to refuse any pending application or verification for your Account(s) if we found that you have previously signed up through any of our apps and your original or older Account was permanently suspended for violating these ToS or our Community Guidelines.
i. Account Verification
To make your experience in our apps as authentic as possible, and to help ensure that all our users are interacting with real people, we will ask you to confirm your identity through a 3-step process of verifying your email address, mobile number, and ID. Depending on the information you choose to verify, you will increase your “Trust Score,” which determines the app features that will be available to you. Learn more about Trust Scores.
ii. Keeping your Account secure
You must never allow any person, other than yourself, to sign in and use your Account. You are solely responsible for any Content (as defined in Section 4A of these ToS, “User-created Content”) that is used or posted through your Account, even if the Content was created and posted by someone else while using your Account, until you notify us of the unauthorized access to your Account. If you believe someone accessed and used your Account without your permission, please notify us immediately at email@example.com.
If you willingly shared your Account login details with someone else, or you gave someone the permission to use your Account, we are not liable for any loss or damage resulting from your or that person’s actions.
B. Messages or other communications from us
When you sign up and use our apps, we may communicate with you through email, text messaging, or phone, so that we can inform you about updates to our Services or for any administrative purpose regarding your Account (which includes Account verification and responding to your support request).
From time to time, we may send you emails containing advertisements or other promotional materials from us or our third-party partners. Any official emails or announcements are always sent from an email address that bears our domain names “hellopal.com” (for international users) and “hellonihao.cn” (for users in China). You may opt out of receiving those emails through the app’s “Me” (Settings) > “Notifications” screen or upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
C. Deleting your Account
If you don’t agree with these ToS or on any future updates to these ToS, or if for any reason you don’t want to use our Services anymore, you may permanently delete your Account any time by signing in to our app and going to “Me” (Settings) > “Account Management.” Deleting your account will completely remove your Account data (which includes your chat and post history and any email subscriptions) from our records.
Deleting your account is irreversible. Once you’ve deleted your account, we cannot retrieve or restore any data from your old Account for you, even if you sign up for our Services again using the same email address or mobile number that you used for your old Account.
Note that because you can use one Account for all our apps, deleting your Account through one of our apps will also revoke your access to the rest of our apps. If you only want to stop using one of our apps, you may simply sign out and remove that particular app from your device(s).
In case you cannot sign in to your Account to delete it yourself, or you’ve already removed our app(s) from your device(s), you may request to have your Account deleted permanently by contacting email@example.com. We will grant your request immediately, as long as you write to us using the email address that you used for your Account, or if you provide enough identifying details about yourself and your Account (e.g., your Account ID, mobile number, profile name, etc.).
4. Content in our Services
By “Content,” we mean all text posts or messages, photos, graphics or artwork, music or audio recordings, and videos that were sent through private chats, and those that were posted publicly though Moments (for Hello Pal and Travel Pal), Questions and Exercises (for Language Pal), and comments on your own or other users’ Moments, Questions and Exercises.
A. User-created Content
YOU are responsible for the Content that you send or publish in our apps. You must ensure that you are the owner or creator of the Content that you use and publish in our apps. You may not reuse, reproduce, or republish any Content that is not yours, especially if you do not have the necessary license, right, consent or permission to do so by the original Content owner or creator.
Publicly-viewable Content like your in-app profile, Moments, Questions, and Exercises (including comments on those posts), as well as privately-shared Content like text and voice messages and voice or video calls, are instantly viewable by everyone using the apps (or the recipient of your privately-shared Content) as soon as you save, send or publish them.
i. Permission to use your Content
We do not claim ownership of your Content, but you hereby grant us a perpetual, assignable, worldwide, royalty-free, sub-licensable and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, combine, synchronize, create derivative works from, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (including your username and likeness) on our website, apps, or otherwise for any promotional or commercial purpose, whether by us, our partners or other third parties, at our discretion. We may use your feedback, comments, and suggestions without any obligation to compensate you for them.
ii. Our no spam policy
We do not tolerate spamming in our apps. “Spam” activities may include, but is not limited to, product or service advertisements; promotion of a website, online club or an individual’s personal page, social account or contact information; any form of solicitation; and repetitive posts or messages that either have no useful value or are against our Community Guidelines. Violation of this policy may result in the immediate and permanent termination of the Account(s) used to send or publish spam, and at our discretion, we may take legal action against any spammer.
B. How we handle inappropriate Content
As you use our apps, you may see or receive Content from others that you might find inaccurate, deceptive, offensive, or inappropriate. Since all user-created Content are instantly viewable as soon as it is sent or published, we do not pre-screen or monitor any Content before it is displayed in the app, but we reserve the right to review and remove any Content that violates these ToS or our Community Guidelines. Please refer to Section 5 of these ToS (“Your conduct when using our Services”) for specific details on what we classify as “inappropriate” for use in our apps.
We also encourage you to report Content or other users that violate these ToS or our Community Guidelines. You may access the Report option through the “…” button found in every profile and post (Moment, Question or Exercise), and when you long-press a specific comment.
C. Claims of copyright or intellectual property infringement
We respect the intellectual property of others and we ask our users to do the same. We may, at our discretion, disable or suspend the Accounts of users who, upon our investigation and confirmation, have used or published someone else’s work through their personal profile and/or posts (Moments, Questions or Exercises) in our apps.
If you believe your work has been stolen or copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us with the following information:
- an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other intellectual property interest;
- a description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed;
- a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located (including screenshots when appropriate);
- your address, telephone number, and email address;
- a statement by you that you, in good faith, believe that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner’s behalf.
Please send claims of copyright or other intellectual property infringement to us with the details listed above at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will consider the information that you provide and other information that we may obtain during our investigation, and upon confirmation of the violation, we will remove the reported Content. At our discretion, we may permanently suspend the Account that used or published the reported Content.
5. Your conduct when using our Services
At Hello Pal, our aim is to create an easy way for you to interact with people from around the world in a joyful and fun way. By providing you with our apps, we hope to do our part (however small) in fostering understanding and tolerance between all citizens of the world.
To help ensure a positive experience for everyone, make sure that you always follow our Community Rules and Guidelines whenever you use any Hello Pal app (Hello Pal, Travel Pal, and Language Pal).
These Community Guidelines apply to all types of Content that you share through our apps, as described Section 4A of these ToS (“User-created Content”). Note that these Community Guidelines do not apply to our Hello Pal Phrasebooks, which are designed only for personal use or reference.
A. Our Community Rules and Guidelines
You may not use our apps to:
- send, upload or publish any Content that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, obscene, violent, patently offensive, invasive of another’s privacy, contains the personally-identifiable information of others (including screenshots of profiles, chats or posts), or promotes racism, bigotry, harm (including self-harm), political, social, and religious hatred, or is otherwise objectionable;
- send, upload or publish images which contain partial or full nudity, sexual content, weapons, violence, or drugs;
- harm, stalk or harass others, whether in words or actions (including bullying or persistent disturbance of others through chats, posts and comments);
- impersonate, or misrepresent your relationship with, any person or entity (this includes pretending to be of an age that does not match your personal documents or ID);
- send, upload or publish any Content that you do not have a right to use, or that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, privacy, or other proprietary rights of any party;
- send, upload or publish any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes or any other form of solicitation, or offer any contest, giveaway, or sweepstakes;
- send, upload or publish software viruses or any other harmful computer code files or programs (including links), or use any data mining, robots, or similar data gathering or extraction methods;
- disrupt or impose an unreasonable burden on our Services (or another person’s use of our Services) or networks connected to HPI, or breach, or attempt to breach the security of HPI; or
- register multiple accounts or post Content automatically, systematically, or programmatically.
You may also refer to a summary of these rules in our Community Guidelines page.
You are solely liable and responsible for your interactions with other users. We reserve the right to monitor disputes between you and other users, but we have no obligation to do so.
B. Reporting other users’ violations of our Community Guidelines
If you met someone or you saw Content that violates our Community Guidelines, we encourage you to report that user or Content to us so that we can review the user or Content and apply the necessary sanction. You may access the Report option through the “…” button found in every profile and post (Moment, Question or Exercise), and when you long-press a specific comment. To help speed up report processing, you must indicate the reason why you are reporting that user or Content by selecting the relevant option from the report window. In case the specific reason for your report is not listed in the provided options, choose “Other” and describe your issue or complaint clearly.
Note that the report option is strictly for reporting users or Content that actually violated our Community Guidelines. If you misuse the reporting system by falsely reporting someone or by encouraging others to falsely report someone, you will run the risk of having your Account suspended.
We review reports daily with a higher priority on users who were reported the most number of times (based on unique reports). While we cannot guarantee that the user or Content you reported will be suspended or removed as soon as you filed your report, we assure you that the reports you file will be dealt with in time. Also, we have automated measures in place specifically for reported users or Content, which are described below.
C. What happens when you or your Content gets reported
i. Reported profile or account
When your profile or Account gets reported at least 3-5 times (by different users), you will receive automated warnings in the form of in-app private chat messages from an official Hello Pal account (i.e., “Hello Pal Police”). Our system will also restrict your access to certain app features automatically, and additional app features will be disabled for every succeeding report filed against you.
For example: When 3 users report your Account, you won’t be able to send or post photos. When 5 more users report you, you won’t be able to chat with others or post Moments, and you will not appear in other users’ searches, etc. Eventually you may lose access to most app features, so you won’t be able to do anything except for signing in or out of your Account or deleting your Account.
There are certain details from reports that also trigger specific automated warnings and app restrictions. For example, if you reported someone for “inappropriate avatars” or “sexual pictures,” they may be restricted from sending or sharing pictures in all our apps automatically if 2 or more users (aside from you) had reported them for the same reason.
The automated app restrictions will take effect and persist even when you restart or reinstall the app, or when you sign out of your Account. The restrictions will be lifted only after we reviewed all the reports against your Account and confirmed that you did not violate these ToS or our Community Guidelines, or in case the reports against you were found to be false or invalid.
The automatic app feature restrictions mentioned above are not exhaustive, and we reserve the right to modify these restrictions, and when restrictions are applied, at our discretion.
In case we confirm that the reports against you were valid and that you have violated these ToS or our Community Guidelines, we may permanently suspend your Account immediately and without any warning.
ii. Reported post(s)
When your post (Moments, Questions or Exercises) gets reported at least 2 times (by different users), your post will be hidden temporarily from public view until we have reviewed your post. If we find that your post includes content that violates our Community Guidelines, your post will be removed from public view permanently. At our discretion, we may inform you of the removed post through an in-app message from an official Hello Pal account or through an email sent to the email address that you used for your Account.
When two or more of your posts gets reported at least 2 times, and depending on the Content of the reported posts, we may permanently suspend your Account immediately and without any warning.
iii. Reported comment(s)
When a comment that you published in your own or someone else’s post (Moments, Questions or Exercises) gets reported at least 2 times (by different users), the entire post and its comments will be hidden temporarily from public view until we have reviewed your comment within the context of that post. If we find that your comment violates our Community Guidelines, your comment will be removed permanently and without any warning. The post itself will reappear in the app as soon as we remove the reported comment(s).
If we find that two or more of your comments has been reported repeatedly by others, and depending on the Content of those reported comments, we may permanently suspend your Account immediately and without any warning.
iv. Requesting to have reports cleared or reevaluated
If you feel you did not do anything wrong or that you were falsely reported by others, you may send us a request to have the reports cleared at email@example.com. We will reevaluate the reports against you, and depending on our assessment of the reports and on any explanation or information that you provide, we may clear the reports against you and remove any app restrictions that were previously applied to your Account.
In case we confirm that the reports against you were valid and that you have violated these ToS or our Community Guidelines, we may permanently suspend your Account immediately and without any warning.
D. Warnings and penalties
i. Automated warnings
We may send you automated warnings whenever someone reports your profile or Account. These automated warnings will always come in the form of an in-app private chat message sent by an official Hello Pal account named “Hello Pal Police.” This account is marked with an “Official Hello Pal Account” badge (a purple check icon) on its profile.
ii. Personal or manual warnings
You may occasionally receive an in-app private chat message from one of our staff through an official Hello Pal account, which is marked with an “Official Hello Pal Account” badge (a purple check icon) on their profile. We may send you a message to inform you that we removed one or more of your posts (as described in the “Reported post(s)” subsection above) and to remind you of our Community Guidelines. We may also send you a message for minor violations (e.g., using an inappropriate but non-graphic profile name or photo) as a soft warning and to ask you to personally remove or edit the offending Content from your profile or post.
iii. Penalties for confirmed violations
In the interest of maintaining the integrity and quality of our Community, we may permanently suspend the Account of anyone who, after having been reported and/or their Accounts and activities reviewed, was found to have violated these ToS or our Community Guidelines.
iv. Penalties for repeat offenders
If your Account was temporarily suspended and we receive new reports against you after we have lifted your Account suspension, we may permanently suspend your Account immediately and without any warning. Should you request to have the Account suspension lifted again, we reserve the right to refuse to grant your request at our discretion.
We also reserve the right to refuse registration or verification and to suspend any duplicate or alternate Account(s) that are confirmed to be owned or operated by any user whose previous Account was previously suspended permanently for violating these ToS or our Community Guidelines repeatedly.
6. Our proprietary rights
Hello Pal and the software used in connection with our apps and services contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. You may not copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, reverse assemble or otherwise attempt to discover any source code, rent, sell, assign, sublicense, infringe or otherwise transfer or attempt to transfer any rights in our apps. You may not modify the apps in any manner or form, or use modified versions of the apps. You may not access our apps by any means other than through an interface we provide.
You may not use our company name, “Hello Pal International, Inc.,” “Hello Pal Inc.,” “Hello Pal,” as well as the trademarks, logos, domain names and brand names of our apps (i.e., Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal, and Hello Pal Phrasebooks) for any purpose, unless we have given you the express permission to do so.
7. Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability
A. Third-party links
We may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other websites or resources through our own website or apps. We have no control over such sites and resources and we are not responsible for their availability. We do not endorse and we are not responsible or liable for any Content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. You further agree that we will not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss of any kind caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with using any Content, goods or services from third-party websites or resources.
B. Availability of Service
We may at any time modify, restrict or discontinue Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal, and/or the Hello Pal Phrasebooks, or any part of the apps, temporarily or permanently, with or without prior notice. We are not liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of our Services.
We may, without prior or subsequent notice, suspend your Account and access to our Services for any reason, at our sole discretion. We may decide to suspend your Account for a number of different reasons, including, but not limited to the following:
- if you provide false information during registration or verification of your Account or in your profile,
- if you do not use our Services for an extended period of time,
- by request of law enforcement or other government agencies,
- for discontinuance or changes made to our Services or any part thereof, or
- technical or security issues or problems.
We will make all Account suspension decisions at our sole discretion and we will not be liable to you or any third party for the suspension of your Account or access to your Content or our Services.
C. Disclaimer of Warranties
Our Services are provided “as is.”
We provide our apps on an “as is” and “as available” basis. You are using our apps Hello Pal, Travel Pal, Language Pal and the Hello Pal Phrasebooks at your own risk. WE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM 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. No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from or through us shall create any warranty not expressly stated in these ToS.
We do not guarantee that our Services will always be safe, secure or error-free or that our apps will always function without disruptions, delays or imperfections. We make no warranty that (1) our Services will meet your requirements, (2) our Services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free, (3) the results that may be obtained from your use of our Services will be accurate or reliable, (4) the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained through our Services will meet your expectations, and (5) any errors in the Service will be corrected.
Any content you downloaded or obtained through our Services is done at your own discretion and risk. You will be solely responsible for any damage to your or another’s device or for the loss of data that results, directly or indirectly, from the content obtained through our Services.
D. Limitation of liability
You acknowledge and agree that we cannot control the conduct of our users and therefore, we cannot be responsible for any harm they may cause to yourself or to others. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS, CONTENT, INFORMATION, OR DATA OF THIRD PARTIES, AND YOU RELEASE US, OUR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS FROM ANY CLAIMS AND DAMAGES, KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH ANY CLAIM YOU HAVE AGAINST ANY SUCH THIRD PARTIES.
You expressly agree that we shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, punitive, or exemplary damages, including damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangibles (even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages) resulting from: (1) the use or the inability to use our Services; (2) 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 our Services; (3) unauthorized access to or alteration of your content, transmissions or data; (4) statements or conduct of any third party sent or posted through our Services; or (5) any other matter relating to our Services.
Other users of our Services with whom you associate, connect, interact and/or share content could use your content and/or likeness in a manner you dislike, disapprove of or find offensive. However, you agree not to assert any claims, actions or demands against us in connection with such use or activities, whether such use or activities are authorized by these ToS or not.
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OFFENSIVE, INAPPROPRIATE, OBSCENE, UNLAWFUL OR OTHERWISE OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT OR INFORMATION YOU MAY ENCOUNTER ON OUR SERVICES. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT, WHETHER ONLINE OR OFFLINE, OF ANY USER OF OUR SERVICES.
We are not liable for any lost or deleted information or data, whether intentional or unintentional, nor for the timeliness, deletion, misdelivery or failure to store any user communications or personalization settings.
E. Exclusions and limitations
Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties or the limitation or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages. Accordingly, some of the above warranty limitations may not apply to you. In such cases, our warranties and liability will be limited to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
You will indemnify and hold us and our subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents and other partners, harmless from any claim or demand, including any attorneys’ fees, that we (or the other indemnitees) may incur resulting from or arising out of your actions and/or any information or content you submit, post, transmit or make available through our Services, your access and use of our Services, your connection to our Services, your violation of these ToS, your transmission of other users’ information or content, or your violation of any rights of another.
8. Miscellaneous Provisions
A. Updates to our Terms of Service
We reserve the right to change these ToS at any time, and we will inform you of major changes before such changes will take effect, through email or in-app notification. You are responsible for keeping yourself aware of any changes to these ToS by reading the notification(s) that we send to you, or by reviewing the latest ToS in our website or through our app’s “Me” (Settings) > “About” screen. If you do not agree with these ToS or on any future updates to these ToS, or if you don’t want to use our Services anymore, you may delete your Account and remove the app(s) from your device(s).
These ToS were originally written in English and translated into a few languages for use in our website and app localizations. If there is any inconsistency between the English version and the translated version of these ToS, note that the English version of these ToS will apply to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
B. Our Contact Information
If you have questions regarding these Terms of Service, please contact us.
Date Effective: May 25, 2018