Terms of Use

GSA Online Inc. (hereinafter "GSA") hereby sets forth the following terms of use in relation to the use of the online English school service to be provided on the platform, "Global Step Academy", operated by GSA (hereinafter "Online Classes") and face-to-face international educational services that may be purchased on "Global Step Academy" (hereinafter "Face-to-face Classes,” and collectively with Online Classes, the “Services”) by a user (hereinafter "User") (hereinafter these "Terms of Use"). User must carefully read these Terms of Use and the privacy policy separately provided by GSA (hereinafter "Privacy Policy"). User shall be deemed to have agreed to these Terms of Use at the time when User makes an application to register as a member in respect of the Services.



Article 1 (Scope of Application of these Terms of Use)


Paragraph 1
The scope of application of these Terms of Use includes GSA's websites in relation to the Services (hereinafter this "Website"), applications provided by GSA, and information transmitted by GSA to User through e-mail messages, documents, etc.


Paragraph 2
If there is an individual agreement between GSA and User separately from these Terms of Use (hereinafter "Individual Agreements"), the provisions of the Individual Agreements shall prevail. However, the provisions of the Individual Agreements shall not prevail over the Privacy Policy.



Article 2 (Free Trial Classes)


Paragraph 1
User may take free trial classes for a period stipulated by GSA (hereinafter "Period of Partial Use"), as a member who is entitled to use some of the Services, without paying usage fees from the day on which member registration in respect of the Services is completed (hereinafter "Partial Use Member"). In addition, User may use some services in respect of Face-to-face Classes at a partial member price.


Paragraph 2
User shall be obligated to comply with these Terms of Use even during the free trial classes.



Article 3 (Membership Registration in respect of the Service)


Paragraph 1
When applying for the Services, User shall apply for registration in respect of the Services in accordance with the procedures stipulated by GSA. In User’s application for such registration, User must acknowledge and agree to the following:
* To install web browsers and applications recommended by GSA;
* To confirm that User’s communication environment does not interfere with User’s use of the Services;
* If User becomes a paid member after applying for paid membership or completing the Period of Partial Use, he/she shall pay an enrollment fee for the Services and the basic fee for one (1) Period of Use (which shall mean, in a case of the monthly plan, a one (1)-month period commencing on the date of commencement of use for each month and in a case of the semester plan, a one (1)-semester period commencing on the date of commencement of use for each semester), using the settlement method set forth in Article 7 of these Terms of Use;
* GSA has the right to record necessary information, such as the contents of classes taken by User, in order to ensure or maintain consistency of the Services;
* GSA may check the contents of classes, etc. during classes for purposes of ensuring smooth provision of the Services and improving the quality of the Services;
* GSA has the right to provide User with notices, advertisements, questionnaires, etc. pertaining to the Services by e-mail;
* GSA has the right to record, tape-record and retain the contents, etc. of inquiries from User in order to improve the quality of its customer support services, etc.


Paragraph 2
Membership registration in respect of the Services shall be deemed to have been completed upon GSA’s dispatch of a notice of acceptance by e-mail.


Paragraph 3
GSA may reject an application for registration if any of the following applies to User. For the avoidance of doubt, GSA may, in such a case, cancel a registration even if the registration has already been completed.
* If User does not exist;
* If User makes a falsification, clerical error or omission in the process of registration;
* If User has previously been de-registered by GSA;
* If a credit card designated by User does not exist or the use thereof has been suspended;
* If User has failed to make payment in the past;
* If User is a minor, adult ward, person under curatorship or person under assistance, and has not obtained the consent of his/her parent or legal guardian, etc. for the registration;
* If User is or is likely to be an organized crime group, an affiliated company of an organized crime group, a corporate extortionist (sokaiya) or any other similar person or constituent member thereof;
* Other cases which GSA deems inappropriate for a user of the Services.


Paragraph 4
User may, after completion of registration in respect of the Services or the elapse of the Period of Partial Use, start taking Online Classes and Face-to-face Classes at a paid member's price as a paid member from the date on which the initial payment of the enrollment fee for the Services and the basic fee for one (1) Period of Use, paid by User in accordance with Article 7 of these Terms of Use, have been received by GSA as confirmed on GSA’s system (hereinafter "Use Commencement Date").


Paragraph 5
User must strictly manage the login information that he/she used to register in respect of the Services and which are necessary for use of the Services, such as e-mail address and password (hereinafter "Password, etc."). GSA may deem that the Services is used by User himself/herself, after confirming that the Password, etc. used for login and the registered password are identical.


Paragraph 6
User shall not allow a third party to use Password, etc. In addition, he/she shall not assign Password, etc. or lend, etc. the same to a third party.


Paragraph 7
If User loses Password, etc. or suspects that Password, etc. is being used by a third party for an unauthorized purpose, User shall promptly notify GSA and follow instructions, etc. of GSA. In addition, User shall be liable to compensate for all damages, etc. incurred by GSA as a result of a delay in such notification, etc.



Article 4 (Change to Registration Information)


If it becomes necessary for User to change his/her registration information, he/she shall follow the procedures stipulated by GSA for changing such registration information without delay. GSA shall not be liable for any damage suffered by User as a result of User’s delay in implementing such change procedures.



Article 5 (Service Usage Fees)


Paragraph 1
The fees for using Online Classes shall be the amounts of the enrollment fee, the basic fee, additional tuition fees, additional teaching materials expenses and other amounts as separately stipulated by GSA, depending on the fee plan desired by User. The fee for using Face-to-face Classes shall be an amount separately stipulated by GSA.


Paragraph 2
User shall pay the basic fee on the first day of each Period of Use (for example, if the Use Commencement Date is January 15 under the monthly plan, the fee payment date shall be the 15th day of each month, and under the semester plan, the fee payment date will be the date of commencement of each semester). The number of coins User will receive will depend on the basic fee plan User has selected (hereinafter "GSA Coins"). User shall be entitled to take online classes by using the GSA Coins.


User may also purchase additional GSA Coins at any time by paying additional tuition fees.


Details of the method of purchase, procedures for use, terms of use, etc. in respect of GSA Coins shall be as stipulated herein and as separately stipulated on this Website.


Paragraph 3
The second and subsequent basic fees shall be automatically settled on the first day of the Period of Use in accordance with Article 7. The same shall apply to the initial basic fee in cases where a member becomes a paid member after the elapse of the Period of Partial Use.


Paragraph 4
User may change the basic fee plan for the next Period of Use by taking the steps stipulated on this Website by GSA, provided such change is made at least three (3) business days prior to the commencement of the next Period of Use. If change is not made within such period, User may change the basic plan in respect of the Period of Use following the next one in accordance with this Paragraph.



Article 6 (Use and Restrictions of GSA Coins)


Paragraph 1
GSA may set a maximum limit for the purchase and holding of GSA Coins by User, beyond which User may not purchase and hold GSA Coins.


Paragraph 2
Use of the Services requires use of the number of GSA Coins specified on this Website. Upon acceptance of use of the Services, GSA Coins shall be expended and deducted from the GSA Coins held by User.


Paragraph 3
GSA Coins shall be valid for five (5) months from the date of purchase. Expired coins shall be automatically invalidated. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all GSA Coins held by User shall, regardless of their expiry dates, be invalidated upon the occurrence of any of the following:
* User’s login to the Services cannot be confirmed for a continuing period of one (1) year;
* User applies for a recess or has withdrawn from the Services for any reason whatsoever;
* User’s membership registration in respect of the Services is rescinded in accordance with Article 12.


Paragraph 4
User may not assign, lend to third parties (including a separate account of the User), pledge or provide as collateral any purchased GSA Coins, and shall not conduct, offer or solicit any such action, provided that User has the right to assign his/her GSA Coins to his/her parent, child or sibling.


Paragraph 5
User cannot get any reimbursement, redemption, or refund for, or return the Services and GSA Coins that he/she has purchased for any reason whatsoever.



Article 7 (Payment Method, Refund and Return of Use Fees)


Paragraph 1
User must pay to GSA the fees for using Online Classes by credit card.


Paragraph 2
Notwithstanding the preceding Paragraph, User may, with GSA’s agreement, pay the fees for using Online Classes by bank transfer.


Paragraph 3
User must pay to GSA the fees for using Face-to-face Classes by credit card or bank transfer.


Paragraph 4
GSA shall not refund to User any usage fees already paid by User. In addition, it will not accept any return of teaching materials already purchased by User.



Article 8 (Classes)


Paragraph 1
One (1) Online Class will usually be 25 or 50 minutes long. However, certain Online Classes may be shorter or longer. Class hours will be indicated at the time of booking. In no case will Online Classes be interrupted unless otherwise specifically indicated.


Paragraph 2
If User does not respond to any communication from GSA or a teacher who is in charge of an Online Class after the commencement of such class, GSA shall deem the User absent from class. GSA shall suspend the class at that point. Notwithstanding such suspension, GSA Coins used for the Online Class shall be deemed to have been expended by User.


Paragraph 3
GSA may, if a teacher is unable to conduct any class booked by User due to unavoidable circumstances, assign a substitute teacher upon giving notice to User by telephone or e-mail or other means of communication to the extent possible. In such a case, User may cancel the class before commencement of the class without expending any GSA Coin.


Paragraph 4
The contents of Face-to-face Classes will be individually indicated at the time of purchase.


Paragraph 5
If User is regularly absent for classes, GSA may issue a warning and/or an advisory for improvement, etc. to User. If User fails to follow such advisory, etc., GSA may take the measures set forth in Article 12 against User.


Paragraph 6
User may use the facilities and equipment of GSA during Face-to-face Class hours in accordance with the rules and instructions stipulated by GSA.


Paragraph 7
User shall participate in Online Classes from an appropriate environment. User shall also attend Face-to-face Classes in appropriate attire.



Article 9 (Substitute Classes)


Paragraph 1
GSA may provide substitute classes to User in the following cases:
* If class hours are significantly reduced for reasons attributable to GSA or a teacher;
* A teacher in charge of a class booked by User fails to conduct the class. However, GSA may assign a substitute teacher upon giving notice to User by telephone, e-mail or any other means of communication to the extent possible. If User takes the class of such substitute teacher, no substitute class shall be provided;
* (In the case of a corporate contract) if the provision of substitute classes is stipulated in the contract;
* In other cases where GSA deems it appropriate to provide substitute classes.


Paragraph 2
Notwithstanding the preceding Paragraph, GSA shall not provide User with substitute classes in the following cases:
* When a class cannot be effectively conducted due to a failure in communication, but GSA is unable to confirm that such communication failure had been caused by the teacher;
* When User is late for class or leaves a class early;
* When User obtains entitlement to any substitute class by unjust means, such as through the making of a false declaration to GSA.



Article 10 (Booking and Purchase of Classes)


Paragraph 1
User may book as many Online Classes as he/she wishes within the amount of the GSA Coins he/she holds; provided, however, that Online Classes under a semester plan shall be automatically booked based on the semester plan.


Paragraph 2
The booking described in the preceding Paragraph shall be deemed to have been made at the time when the booking status of User is indicated on this Website. A booking may be changed or cancelled provided such change or cancellation is made no later than 24 hours before the time of commencement of the Online Class. If a booking is cancelled later than 24 hours before the time of commencement of the class, GSA Coins for the class shall be deemed to have been expended by User.


Paragraph 3
Online Classes shall take the form of (i) two (2) or more Users per teacher, or (ii) one (1) or two (2) Users per teacher. If User books one (1) teacher for Online Classes conducted in the latter format on the basis that User will be the only student for that one (1) teacher, the consent of the initial User will be required before another User may book the same Online Class as the second student.


Paragraph 4
User may purchase Face-to-face Classes indicated by GSA on this Website. Such purchase shall be deemed to have been completed when such purchase is reflected in the status of User’s purchases on this Website. Upon purchase, Face-to-face Classes cannot be changed or cancelled.



Article 11 (Prohibited Acts)


Paragraph 1
User shall not engage in any of the following acts when using the Service:
* Transfer, donate, trade, change the name of, pledge or provide as collateral any of its rights to use the Services or GSA Coins to others, except that User may assign its GSA Coins to his/her parent, child or sibling;
* Assign or lend to any third party or allow any third party to use its Password, etc.;
* Damage the reputation or credibility, or infringe on the copyright, patent right, utility model right, design right, trademark right, portrait right or privacy of GSA;
* Act in a manner that is illegal or offensive to public order and morals;
* Interfere with the provision or conduct of the Services;
* Use the Services for commercial profit, or making plans to do so;
* Solicit or encourage any other User or teacher to engage in any illegal act;
* Cause financial or emotional damage or disadvantage to any other User or any teacher;
* Any criminal act and any act that leads to criminality;
* Harassment of a teacher, or engagement in harassment, such as disturbing the conduct of classes, including delinquent acts;
* Attempt to obtain any confidential information not generally disclosed by GSA, such as the terms and conditions of a teacher's employment, the location of GSA’s call centers and Internet lines, etc.;
* Solicit a teacher to engage in any religious activity, political association, multi-level marketing, etc.;
* Engaging in any act in which User himself/herself or his/her agent attempts to contact a teacher personally, whether online or offline (including the transmission or receipt of e-mail messages);
* Solicit a teacher to work for any service or company that may compete with GSA;
* Abuse or threaten GSA’s customer support staff, or interfere with the conduct of GSA’s customer support operations;
* Sharing User’s account with another User(s);
* Registering multiple accounts;
* Photographing, recording or tape-recording classes without GSA’s permission;
* Offering to share personal information with a teacher without GSA’s permission; or
* Engaging in any other act that GSA deems inappropriate.


Paragraph 2
If GSA or a third party suffers any damage due to any act by User in breach of the preceding Paragraph, User shall be liable for and shall hold GSA harmless in all cases from such damages even if User withdraws from the Services.



Article 12 (Penal Provisions)

If any of the following applies to User, GSA may temporarily suspend User’s use of the Services or rescind User’s registration:
* When User commits any of the prohibited acts set forth in Article 11;
* When User breaches any of the provision of these Terms of Use;
* When User delays in the payment of or fails to pay usage fees;
* When User fails to follow the important instructions, etc. of GSA when using the Services;
* When GSA determines that User’s use of the Services is inappropriate for any other reason.



Article 13 (Recess)


Paragraph 1
Recess means temporary suspension of use of the Services. Under a monthly plan, User may apply for recess for a period of one (1) month from the date of commencement of the next month, and thereafter for a maximum period of six (6) months. The Services shall be automatically resumed in the seventh (7th) and subsequent months, and the requirement to pay usage fees shall commence. Under a semester plan, User may apply for recess for a period of one (1) month from the date of commencement of the next semester for a maximum period of one (1) semester. The Services shall automatically resume in the following and subsequent semesters and the requirement to pay usage fees shall commence. GSA Coins purchased will be invalidated if a recess is applied for. User may continue to take Face-to-face Classes that he/she has already purchased, but he/she may make no new purchase of Face-to-face Classes at member price.


Paragraph 2
User may apply for recess by taking the steps stipulated by GSA on this Website. An application for recess shall be deemed to have been completed when GSA confirms that the application for recess has been made by User and transmits an e-mail message to User to the effect that the application for recess has been completed.


Paragraph 3
An application for recess must be made at least three (3) business days prior to the commencement of the next Period of Use. If no application is made within such period, the recess shall take effect from the Period of Use following the next one.


Paragraph 4
If User wishes to resume using the Services after recess, it shall follow the procedures stipulated by GSA to resume using the Services.


Paragraph 5
If User fails to pay the basic fee for a Period of Use within ten (10) days from the first day of such Period of Use, User shall be deemed to have applied for a recess from the Services effective from the first day of such Period of Use. Accordingly, all GSA Coins purchased shall be invalidated at that point.



Article 14 (Withdrawal)


Paragraph 1
Withdrawal shall mean suspension of use of the Services. Upon expiration of a Period of Use, User shall complete his/her withdrawal from the Services, upon which he/she will cease to be a member. No refund shall be made for GSA Coins and Face-to-face Classes purchased upon withdrawal, provide that User may continue to take Face-to-face Classes that he/she has already purchased by paying the balance between the member price and the regular price for such classes.


Paragraph 2
User shall apply for withdrawal from membership by taking the steps stipulated by GSA on this Website. An application for withdrawal shall be deemed to have been completed when GSA confirms that the application for withdrawal has been made and transmits an e-mail message, etc. to User to the effect that the application for withdrawal has been completed.


Paragraph 3
An Application for withdrawal from membership must be made at least three (3) business days prior to the commencement of the next Period of Use. If no application is made within such period, User’s withdrawal from membership shall take effect from the Period of Use following the next one.


Paragraph 4
Unless otherwise requested by User, User’s registration information shall be retained even following his/her withdrawal.


Paragraph 5
Upon completion of User’s withdrawal from membership, User shall lose all rights to the Services and shall have no right to make any claim against GSA at the time he/she loses membership.


Paragraph 6
If GSA or a third party suffers any damage due to any act etc. by User, User shall be legally liable for and shall hold GSA harmless in all cases from any and all such damages even if User has lost his/her membership.



Article 15 (Notification by E-mail)


Paragraph 1
If there is important information pertaining to the Services to be transmitted, GSA shall have the right to transmit an e-mail message containing such information to User even if User has opted not to receive any notices by e-mail, etc. from GSA.


Paragraph 2
Notices transmitted by e-mail will be deemed to have been given when transmitted to an e-mail address specified in User’s registration information (hereinafter "Designated E-mail Address").


Paragraph 3
User must change its membership account settings, etc. to authorize transmission of e-mail messages from GSA (domain name: gsacademy.com) to User at the Designated E-mail Address.


Paragraph 4
In no event shall GSA be liable for any failure in the transmission of its e-mail messages to User at the Designated E-mail Address for any reason whatsoever. User shall be liable to compensate GSA for, and hold GSA harmless from any and all damages arising from such non-delivery.



Article 16 (Handling of Registration Information)


Paragraph 1
GSA shall use User’s registration information for purposes of providing the Services and for such other purposes as stipulated by GSA.


Paragraph 2
GSA shall not disclose User’s registration information to any third party without User’s prior agreement, provided that this shall not apply in the following cases:
* When User’s name, age and past records of class participation are used jointly with GSA’s business partners;
* When GSA is required by laws and regulations to disclose such registration information;
* When GSA takes necessary measures, including legal action, against User for User's breach of these Terms of Use;
* When disclosure is necessary for GSA to satisfy any other requirements under laws and regulations.


Paragraph 3
GSA shall handle User’s registration information that falls under "Personal Information" and "Personal Data" in accordance with the terms of the Privacy Policy and the rules on "Handling of Personal Information of Users."



Article 17 (Use of Photographs and Videos)


Paragraph 1
In the course of providing the Services, GSA may for public relations purposes take photographs and videos, mainly of learning scenes, and post them on its websites, SNS, etc. Such photographs and videos may include User’s image and personal information. User’s image and personal information may only be used in moderation in public relations activities for the Services. Upon his/her application for the Services, User shall be deemed to have accepted the above conditions, provided that User may request to opt out of such posting of his/her image and personal information by contacting GSA at: gsainfo@gsacademy.com.


Paragraph 2
GSA may record or tape-record classes offered under the Services for purposes of improving the quality and for management of the Services, etc. Upon application for the Services, User shall be deemed to have agreed to the above conditions.



Article 18 (Discontinuation or Termination of the Service)


GSA may discontinue or terminate the Services by giving prior notice through a posting on this Website or transmitting an e-mail message to User. In addition, if it would be difficult to provide the Services due to the political situation in Japan or overseas, natural disasters, etc., maintenance or failure of server provided, etc. or for other unavoidable reasons, the Services may be discontinued without prior notice.



Article 19 (Liability for Damages)


Paragraph 1
If User breaches these Terms of Use, GSA may claim against User for compensation for direct and indirect damages or losses caused by the breach.


Paragraph 2
In no event shall the amount of damages to be compensated by GSA to User due to deficiencies, defects, etc. in the Services exceed the basic fee paid by User for one (1) Period of Use. (If User uses more than one (1) basic fee plan, such limitation shall be based on the cheapest basic fee plan).



Article 20 (Intellectual Property Rights and Titles)


Paragraph 1
All copyrights, other intellectual property rights and titles in and to the trademarks, logos, descriptions, etc. pertaining to the Services shall be vested in GSA. User shall not use or reproduce the trademark, etc., in magazines or on other websites, without GSA’s prior consent.


Paragraph 2
If User breaches the preceding Paragraph, GSA may take any measure against User based on the Copyright Act, Trademark Act, etc. (including issuing a warning, complaint, claim for damages, demand for injunction, demand for recovery of reputation, etc.).



Article 21 (Exemption from Liability)


User hereby agrees in advance that GSA shall not be liable for any damage arising out of or in connection with the following:
* When User is unable to use the Services satisfactorily (including but not limited to the following cases):

- When such damage is caused by shortage of classes provided due to a rapid increase in Users;
- When such damage arises from a change in the content of classes provided by GSA;
- When User fails to book classes at a preferred timing;
- When User fails to book classes conducted by a preferred teacher;
- When User fails to book classes with preferred contents;

* When GSA is required to suspend classes for any of the reasons set forth in Article 18 of these Terms of Use;
* Unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration of User’s messages or data, or any other cases caused by an act of a third party;
* The lack of effectiveness, accuracy, truthfulness, etc. of the Services and the classes provided under the Services;
* The effect, effectiveness, and safety or the accuracy, etc. of the services and teaching materials, etc. of other companies introduced and recommended by GSA in connection with the Services;
* When the Services are not available due to defects, issue, etc. with the services provided by GSA's partner company/companies;
* When the Services are unavailable due to the loss or unavailability of Password, etc. as a result of User’s negligence;
* When any dispute or issue, etc. arises between User and other Users or third parties;
* When any information or link provided on this Website is incomplete, inaccurate, out-of-date or unsafe.
* When there is any issue with the contents or usage, etc. of any websites operated by third parties (other than GSA) that are accessed from or linked to this Website.



Article 22 (Indication of Date and Time of Service)


With respect to the Services, all references to commencement date, date of commencement of Period of Use, payment due dates of various fees, closing date of various applications, etc. shall be based on Japan Time (GMT + 9: 00).



Article 23 (Revisions to These Terms of Use)


GSA may revise these Terms of Use without giving any notice to User. The revised Terms of Use shall become effective when they are posted on this Website, and User hereby agrees in advance to the method of such revision.



Article 24 (Compliance with COPPA)


GSA is in compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), a United States federal law.



Article 25 (Governing Law and Court as Agreed Exclusive Jurisdiction)


These Terms of Use shall be construed in accordance with the laws of Japan. GSA and User hereby agree in advance that the Tokyo District Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in the first instance over the resolution of disputes between GSA and User arising out of or in connection with the Services or these Terms of Use.




Supplementary Provision These Terms of Use will come into force as from September 30, 2014.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from August 25, 2016.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from July 1, 2017.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from March 1, 2018.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from July 1, 2018.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from December 27, 2018.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from June 7, 2019.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from November 28, 2019.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from December 10, 2019.
Supplementary Provision These revisions to these Terms of Use will come into force as from January 14, 2020.