Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions

This website, https://pipmagazine.com.au is owned and operated by Pip Media Pty Ltd ABN 77 640 644 944. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact:

Robyn Rosenfeldt

hello@pipmagazine.com.au

PO Box 172 Pambula, NSW 2546

Phone: 0458 286 071

This page sets out the Terms and Conditions you need to be aware of when using this website. Please take a moment to read them, as they set out your important rights and obligations and we at Pip Magazine care about making sure we both know where we stand.

When you visit this website, purchase and read the magazine, purchase a product from our Ethical Marketplace, engage with our content on the blog or engage in discussion on the website comments or social media comments sections, you agree that you are willing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you don’t accept this agreement, you should not continue to visit this website.

All products and services advertised on this website are offered in compliance with Australian Consumer Law.

Privacy Policy

Download our Privacy Policy here.

Editorial Policy and Contributor Guidelines

Download our Editorial Guidelines here.

Editorial Complaint Handling Policy

Download our Editorial Complaint Handling Policy here.

Using our Website

On this website you will find blog posts, podcasts, articles, guides and instructions, hints and tips and information on health/wellbeing. This information is provided solely for your education, entertainment, and personal development as you learn more about living the good life in harmony with the planet.

Please be aware that the generalised information that we provide is not a substitute for specialist advice tailored to your individual circumstances. We may modify the information provided on this website at any time, including by altering or deleting it without notice.

If you choose to follow any suggestions found in our blog posts or podcasts, you need to take full responsibility for your own safety and well-being. This includes being careful when using power tools and gardening tools, or in cooking and food preparation, as well as conducting your own research and making informed decisions before taking inspiration from another person’s story. If you are not familiar with any suggested technique recommended on this site, please make independent inquiries, take it slow and make sure that you feel competent in your use of these methods before you apply them to your own situation. What sounds easy when you read it can be difficult to put into practice, and while we encourage you to expand your horizons and try new things, it is very important that you only do so with common sense and care. We recommend you seek professional advice, instruction or assistance as required to ensure your own safety and that of those around you.

Downloads

We take every care to ensure that any downloads we make available for you are harmless. However, the internet can be a wild place and we are not responsible for attacks that occur without our knowledge or consent. Please ensure that you have up-to-date reliable internet security, as we cannot be held responsible for any viruses or any other damage which might occur to your systems as a result of downloading material from our site.

External Links

We love to share useful and educational resources with you, but we have no control over the content on the sites that we link to. While we make every effort to ensure that external links are relevant and safe at the time of posting, we are not responsible for the content of those external sites or any changes that may occur there over time. Nor can Pip Magazine guarantee the accuracy of information found at any linked site. Links to or from external sites not owned or controlled by Pip Magazine do not constitute an endorsement of the products or information that you might find there.

Third Party Advertisements

To support keeping Pip Magazine affordable, we allow third-party advertisements to be displayed on our site and in our magazine. We also accept 3rd party advertisements for the Classifieds page of our site. Although we make every effort to only partner with reputable and ethical businesses, we are not responsible for the content of any advertisements that may be displayed and we have no part in or responsibility for any transaction entered into between the visitor and the advertiser. Any interaction on our site between you, and anybody else who may post content or offers on our site is at your own risk.

Disclaimer

Our mission here at Pip Magazine is to inform, inspire and educate people about how to live more sustainably using permaculture principles. We provide helpful and supportive articles in our magazine, website, YouTube channel and podcast, as well as offering a small range of related items.

This disclaimer relates to Pip Magazine’s products, including:

  • Pip Magazine,
  • Pip Magazine Kitchen Garden Calendar,
  • Pip Market Tote Bags,
  • Pip Digital Membership,
  • Pip Ethical Marketplace,
  • Other books, gardening tools and related products.

Pip Magazine sources articles from a range of writers, experts and practitioners who draw from their own practical knowledge, qualifications and experience.

Our magazine is created using vegetable inks and recycled and FSC paper.

Contributors to Pip Magazine are sharing their own perspectives, based on their personal and professional experiences. We make every effort to make sure that the information is correct, but do not endorse and are not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, advice or statement they may make.

Under no circumstances will Pip Magazine be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through either the content published through the Pip Magazine website, magazine or podcast, and/or any postings on the community areas. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any content you might access on or through our site. Please seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, before making decisions or taking actions that could affect your financial, mental or physical well-being.

In our Ethical Marketplace, we endeavour to offer quality products that we believe in, but we do not manufacture these products ourselves. As with the purchase of any product or service through any medium or in any environment, you should use your best judgement and exercise caution where appropriate. Our refund policy is set out later in this document. We reserve the right to withdraw any product from sale and correct any mistake – including description or price – at any time. 

Pip Magazine, our podcast, blog, digital membership, ethical marketplace and the community areas are provided on an “As Is”, “As Available” basis. While we do our best to provide accurate information, what you do with that information is entirely your responsibility. You accept that we are not liable for protecting you from injury, loss or damage, even if you are following directions, principles or techniques that we have shared. You are responsible for your own health, safety and well-being, so please, conduct your own research, seek professional advice and make informed decisions before taking action. If something we recommend causes you concern, or results in unexpected consequences, it is your responsibility to seek immediate professional assistance. You are responsible for providing your own safe environment at all times, and especially when trying out new ideas.

Everybody’s situation is different, and what works for one person in one environment may not work for you. When we provide suggestions, or stories about other people experiencing success, we are not promising that you will achieve the same results. There are too many factors and variables outside our control. When you follow any of our guides, suggestions or recommendations, you are embarking on an adventure of exploration, trial and error, and experimentation. Please ensure that you have sufficient knowledge and understanding to make an informed decision about whether particular action is right for you. Any activity you choose to engage in is undertaken voluntarily, and entirely at your own risk.

We enjoy and encourage discussion across a wide cross-section of the community. Unfortunately, sometimes people may be rude or negative, or extreme in their viewpoints. We do not endorse any defamatory, offensive or illegal comments or conduct. Please see our Visitor Information section later in these terms to find out how you can help us keep this space peaceful and friendly.

From time to time we may offer information about financial well-being, including topics such as ethical superannuation. Pip Magazine is not a registered broker-dealer or investment advisor, and none of the information we share should be construed as financial or investment advice. Our provision of this information is simply to increase your awareness of alternative options and give you a starting point for your own research. Please take your financial safety as carefully as you do your physical safety, and consult with your financial adviser and appropriately qualified professionals before making any final decisions.

For your safety

Readers of Pip Magazine and users of this website and our podcast should be aware that the suggestions and recommendations given in Pip Magazine’s content is generally intended for able bodied people enjoying average to above-average health. If this does not describe you, or you suffer from a known or suspected medical condition, please consult your medical support team before undertaking any activity or making any change that could harm you or increase your risk of harm.

We aim to inform and educate people who care about the earth and its inhabitants, reducing human environmental impact and making positive change into the future. We also seek to expand the thinking and ideation of a wider audience regarding care for the earth and its inhabitants. Some of our gardening advice may not suit people who are weak or infirm. We know how easy it is to get excited about new projects – and we share some pretty awesome ideas – but we care about you and want you to stay safe, so please, always put your own safety first and take full responsibility for your own wellbeing.

All of the information that we share with you, including information about financial topics, is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. It is never a substitute for proper, professional advice. You should always consider whether information that we share with you is appropriate to your situation and seek advice from an appropriately qualified adviser who understands your specific needs and circumstances.

Intellectual Property

You agree to respect our intellectual property, trade marks, and all copyrights relating to this website and Pip Magazine. The contents of this website remain the property of Pip Media Pty Ltd, including all materials – written, image, video and audio. Copyright for this website, our magazine, podcast and all content produced by or for us is owned by Pip Media Pty Ltd.

You agree to refrain from attempting unauthorised log-ins or hacks of this website, including sub-domains. This includes attempts to duplicate the website, or any of its components.

You agree that any information that you submit to this website, other than personal identifying information (see our privacy policy), will be treated as non-proprietary and non-confidential. Pip Media Pty Ltd reserves the right to use, copy, display, distribute and publish any submissions that you choose to make via this website.

Pip Magazine and this website is offered solely for your personal use and any commercial use of our content is strictly prohibited without written permission. You are welcome to share links to our content, so long as they are publicly accessible and not provided as part of a paid product or service, and the link points back to the website or social media channel where you found the content. If in doubt, contact Pip Magazine via our contact form.

Subscription Terms

Each printed issue will be mailed to subscribers, separately, throughout the subscription term. Pip Media Pty Ltd accepts no responsibility for late, lost or misdirected subscriptions via mail, whilst we make every attempt to deliver your subscriber copy by the time it is available in-store, we do not guarantee this.

By subscribing to Pip Magazine, you acknowledge that you understand that any gifts that may be available with retail copies, may not be provided with subscriber copies, at the sole discretion of Pip Media Pty Ltd.

You may suspend or claim a refund of your subscription on any unsent issues, by emailing subscribe@pipmagazine.com.au. Any refunds will be deposited into the same credit card used by the original purchaser, otherwise by EFT transfer.

Ethical Marketplace Terms

We operate an Ethical Marpletace service via our website where we connect Buyers (being a person who purchases a good or service) and Vendors (being a person who sells a good or service). We facilitate transactions between Buyers and Vendors, and provide assistance in relation to customer service, payment, fulfilment, and refunds. We are not a direct party to the transaction between a Buyer and a Vendor under these Terms. 

While we make every effort to only include Ethical Businesses as Vendors on the Marketplace and endeavour to review each product listing, we do not warrant the accuracy or currency of the materials and product listings that are made available via the Marketplace.

When you register and activate your account, or when you otherwise transact via the Marketplace, you will provide us with personal information such as your name and email address, telephone number, address, and credit card or bank account details. You must ensure that this information is accurate and current. We will handle all personal information we collect in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

All users agree that when they enter into a transaction for the sale and purchase of a good or service a legally binding agreement is formed between the Buyer and Vendor. Each user agrees to comply with its obligations under those agreements as formed from time to time.

The contract for the sale of the goods or services entered into via the Marketplace is solely between the Buyer and Vendor, and Pip Media Pty Ltd will not have any liability to a Buyer or Vendor in relation to a sale transaction other than as expressly set out in these Terms or otherwise to the extent such liability cannot be excluded by law.

Terms applicable to Buyers

  • We do not charge fees to Buyers for the use of the Marketplace. Prices displayed on the Marketplace are set by Vendors and are inclusive of GST.
  • Buyers acknowledge and agree that goods and services available via the Marketplace, excluding Pip Media Pty Ltd products, are sold by Vendors and not by us. Accordingly we have no liability to Buyers in respect of such goods and services other than as expressly set out in these Terms.
  • Any order Buyers place on the Marketplace will only be finalised after your payment is authorised and verified, and you receive a confirmation email. Please keep this email as proof of your purchase. Once your order is confirmed, it will be fulfilled by the Vendor. It is your responsibility to ensure you have correctly entered all order details, including your contact details, to enable the Vendor to fulfil your order.
  • Buyers should contact Vendors directly with any queries about their order and postage.  
  • We exclude all liability in relation to goods and services produced by Vendors other than Pip Media Pty Ltd sold via the Marketplace to the fullest extent possible at law. To the extent we have any liability to a Buyer in respect of such goods and services our liability is limited to the amount paid by the Buyer for the relevant product or service.

Terms applicable to Vendors

  • Prospective Vendors must express their interest in providing goods or services via the Marketplace by contacting us. We will review each expression of interest and will use reasonable efforts to respond in writing within 14 days of receipt. Prospective Vendors agree that we may decline to allow any person to sell via the Marketplace at our discretion and that we are not obligated to give reasons.
  • To sell products or services via the Marketplace the Vendor must be making efforts to reduce their environmental footprint by using environmentally friendly, sustainable and ethical solutions where possible. Vendors agree that we may determine what this constitutes in our discretion.
  • Vendors must have clear legal title and ability to sell the products they list on the Marketplace in accordance with Australian law. 
  • By using the Marketplace, you are giving us permission to accept full payment on your behalf from Buyers for sales of products prior to us accounting to you for such sales. 
  • You acknowledge that you are responsible for product fulfilment, service returns, refunds, customer service, and dispute resolution with regard to the sales of products on the Marketplace. 
  • Each Vendor agrees that it will fulfil each order as soon as is reasonably practicable following receipt of notification of the order. In the event that fulfilment of an order will be delayed it is the Vendor’s responsibility to contact the Buyer and to keep the Buyer and us reasonably informed of the status of the order. 
  • Any content that a Vendor publishes, uploads, posts or distributes on the Marketplace will always be accurate, correct and up to date and you will maintain reasonable records of your content. 
  • By placing a product listing on the Marketplace, all Vendors accept and must conduct themselves in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. 
  • Each Vendor acknowledges and agrees that the provisions of the Vendor Refund Policy (as defined below) apply in respect of any delayed order, or any order that is unable to be fulfilled.
  • You agree that Pip retains complete editorial control over the Marketplace and may reject or cancel product listing requests at any time; refuse to include content at any time; remove content at any time; position content as it sees fit. 
  • You grant us the non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide right for the duration of the Term of this agreement to use, store, edit, adapt, and display all materials you provide us in connection with any product listing and/or your use of the Marketplace, including but not limited to your business name, logo, product details, and images.
  • If you want to terminate the Terms, you may do so by providing us with 30 days’ notice of your intention to terminate.
  • We may terminate the Terms at any time with you if you have breached or intend to breach any provision of the Terms; we are required to do so by law; we are transitioning to no longer providing the Marketplace service; or, you have not complied with Pip’s Ethical Marketplace Vendor Standards and Guidelines. 
Privacy

We collect personal information about you in order to respond to your enquiry, process your registration, provide you with our goods and services, to assist in the fulfilment of orders placed via the Marketplace, and for purposes otherwise set out in our Privacy Policy. 

Buyers expressly agree that we may provide your contact details to relevant Vendors to facilitate fulfilment of orders placed via the Marketplace.

We may disclose that information to third parties that help us deliver our services (including information technology suppliers, communication suppliers, our business partners, and Buyers and Vendors as relevant) or as required by law. If you do not provide this information, we may not be able to provide all of our goods and services to you, or enable you to place orders via the Marketplace. 

Read our Privacy Policy for more information. 

Promotions, Giveaways and Contests

For certain campaigns, promotions or contests, additional terms and conditions may apply. If you want to participate in such a campaign, promotion or contest, you need to agree to the relevant terms and conditions applicable to that campaign, promotion or contest. In case of any inconsistency between such terms and conditions and these Terms, those terms and conditions will prevail.

Pip Media Pty Ltd collects personal information (“PI”) to conduct promotions, giveaways and contests and may, for this purpose, disclose such PI to third parties, including but not limited to agents, contractors, service providers, prize suppliers and, as required, to Australian regulatory authorities. Redemption of the offer is conditional on providing this PI. Pip Media Pty Ltd will also use and handle PI as set out in its privacy policy, which can be accessed by visiting com.au/privacy.

Nothing in these Terms and Conditions limits, excludes or modifies or purports to limit, exclude or modify the statutory consumer guarantees as provided under the Competition and Consumer Act, as well as any other implied warranties under the ASIC Act or similar consumer protection laws in the State and Territories of Australia (“Non-Excludable Guarantees”). Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, Pip Media Pty Ltd (including its respective officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of anythe promotion, giveaway or contest.

Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, Pip Media Pty Ltd (including its respective officers, employees and agents) is not responsible for and excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under Pip Media’s control); (b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or prize claim that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by Pip Media Pty Ltd) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of Pip Media Pty Ltd; (d) any variation in prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions; (e) any tax liability incurred by a winner or entrant; or (f) use of the prize.

In addition to any use that may be outlined in Pip Media pty Ltd’s Privacy Policy, Pip Media Pty Ltd may also, for an indefinite period, unless otherwise advised, use the PI for promotional, marketing, publicity, research and profiling purposes, including sending electronic messages or telephoning the bearer/subscriber. Bearer/subscribers should direct any request to opt out, access, update or correct PI to Pip Media Pty Ltd and direct any complaints regarding treatment of their PI according to the Privacy Policy. All redemptions of the offer become the property of Pip Media Pty Ltd.

Payment Terms

PIP MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION FORMS OF PAYMENT

We accept payment via credit card and debit card using Stripe and PayPal. In cases where you do not have the means to purchase using a credit card or PayPal, other payment forms may be arranged. Please contact us by emailing subscribe@pipmagazine.com.au.

To make it easier for you to receive Pip Magazine regularly, we offer auto-renew and subscriptions to purchase Pip Magazine.

ETHICAL MARKETPLACE FORMS OF PAYMENT

We accept payment via debit card and credit card via PayPal and Stripe. We process Ethical Marketplace purchases via our account and refunds will be issued by us. It is a condition of the use of the Marketplace that all transactions are managed and processed by us. Buyers and Vendors agree that we have no liability to Buyers and Vendors to the extent such liability arises out of any act or omission of PayPal or any other third-party payment processor. 

When a Buyer enters into a transaction via the Marketplace we will debit the Buyer’s nominated payment method for the full transaction amount. Transactions will be recorded on the Buyer’s statement as being from Pip Media Pty Ltd. We will deal with transaction funds and account to Vendors in accordance with the Vendor Terms.

When a Vendor agrees to use the Marketplace, you agree that fees are subject to review and change. Each Vendor agrees that we may update these Terms at any time on 30 days written notice.

SECURITY POLICY

Our website https://pipmagazine.com.au has an SSL certificate to ensure your details are protected by encryption. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers. We do not keep a record of your credit card details in any of our databases. Our third-party payment providers have their own terms, conditions and privacy policy which can be found on their websites.

Shipping

PIP MEDIA PRODUCTS AND MAGAZINES

We use Australia Post pre-paid satchels for Pip Media Pty Ltd products and magazine orders over 500g. We hope for you Pip Media Pty Ltd products to arrive within a few days of shipping, but please note that Australian Post shipping times can vary. If you have issues with a parcel being delivered please contact us at hello@pipmagazine.com.au. It is also important for you to make arrangements with Australia Post via their app or using their online service to set up your parcel drop preferences. We make all efforts to ensure your Pip Media products and magazine subscription gets to you with double checking and quality control within our order processes. It is also important for you to maintain your postal details and credit card details for renewals with us via email at hello@pipmagazine.com.au.

THIRD-PARTY ETHICAL MARKETPLACE PRODUCTS

Products bought through Pip’s Ethical Marketplace from Third Party Vendors will be shipped by the Vendor. Before making a purchase on the Marketplace, Buyers should read the Vendor’s shipping policy so that you can understand when to expect your order. 

Each Vendor agrees that it will fulfil each order as soon as is reasonably practicable following receipt of notification of the order. In the event that fulfilment of an order will be delayed it is the Vendor’s responsibility to contact the Buyer and to keep the Buyer and us reasonably informed of the status of the order. 

Returns Policy

PIP MAGAZINE, PIP MAGAZINE KITCHEN GARDEN CALENDAR AND PIP MARKET TOTES

You may suspend or claim a refund of your subscription on any unsent issues, by emailing subscribe@pipmagazine.com.au. Any refunds will be deposited into the same credit card used by the original purchaser, otherwise by EFT transfer.

Please be advised that we do not provide a refund due to change of mind, so consider your purchase carefully before you buy.

We accept returns if goods are damaged or if orders are sent out incorrectly. Please contact hello@pipmagazine.com.au to arrange a postage paid satchel for returns if the order has been sent to you incorrectly or your goods are damaged. Faulty or incorrect items must be placed in the satchel and returned to us by Australia Post (at no cost to you) before a replacement item will be sent.

ORDER FULFILMENT POLICY

If a product is no longer available due to it being out of stock, discontinued or if we cannot fulfil the order in a reasonable time, we will discuss your purchase with you via email and arrange a store credit or refund. For all subscription enquiries please email subscribe@pipmagazine.com.au

CANCELLED SUBSCRIPTION

Subscribers may cancel an auto-renew at any time.

THIRD-PARTY ETHICAL MARKETPLACE PRODUCTS

Marketplace Vendors offer repairs, replacements and refunds in accordance with the Australian Consumer Law and on the terms set out in the Vendor’s refund policy.

Before making a purchase on the Marketplace, Buyers should read the Vendor’s refund policy so that you can understand your rights and what you can expect from the Vendor if you are not satisfied with your order.

In the event that the product you ordered has been damaged during delivery, please contact the Vendor as soon as possible. It is the Vendor’s responsibility to arrange to repair, replace or refund the product in accordance with their refund policy.

It is your responsibility as the Buyer to return any damaged product in the condition in which it was received, together with any packaging and other items which you received with the damaged product.

As the operator of the Marketplace, we are only a facilitator in introducing a Buyer to a Vendor and providing a system to make safe payment. We are not a party to any Contract between a Buyer and a Vendor. Therefore, we do not hold any liability to the Buyer directly and will not personally refund you any payments made in the use of Services.

Visitor Information

RESPECTFUL COMMUNICATION

While we allow comments on blogs, and other ways for you to interact with us through our website and social media, we ask that you do so politely. This includes showing respect for different opinions, stages of evolution and choices. We reserve the right to delete comments we find offensive, unacceptable due to rudeness, or for any other reason we deem necessary. We try to maintain a calm and respectful atmosphere. If you feel that there is a posting that should be removed for any reason, please let us know so we can decide on an appropriate response.

You expressly agree that your use of and interaction with Pip Magazine is at your sole risk. We do not warrant that our services will be uninterrupted or error free; nor do we make any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from following or applying our content. It is your responsibility to investigate and make an informed choice regarding the accuracy, reliability or suitability of any information, service or products that may be provided through Pip Magazine or any of our community areas.

Indemnity

You agree to indemnify Pip Media Pty Ltd, its affiliates, employees, agents, contributors, third party Vendors and licensors from:

  • all actions, suits, claims, demands, liabilities, costs, expenses, loss and damage (including legal fees on a full indemnity basis) incurred, suffered or arising out of or in connection with content;
  • any direct or indirect consequences of you accessing, using or transacting on the Marketplace or attempts to do so; and/or
  • any breach of the Terms.
Jurisdiction & Dispute Resolution

JURISDICTION

PPip Magazine is located in NSW. This agreement is subject to the governing law of NSW.

NEGOTIATION

If you have any issue or complaint arising out of your use of this website or these terms and conditions, you and Pip Magazine Australia agree to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute through negotiation and discussion.

Where there is a dispute between a Buyer and Vendor of the Marketplace, you should seek to resolve the dispute directly in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve the dispute you should notify us and we may, but are not obliged to, assist in resolving the dispute. If we agree to become involved in any dispute and make a determination in relation to such dispute Buyers and Vendors agree that our determination is final.

You release us from all claims, demands, loss, liability, expenses, and damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of any dispute between a Buyer and Vendor.

MEDIATION

If we are unable to resolve a dispute by negotiation and discussion within 14 days, the parties must proceed to mediation with the assistance of an accredited mediator who is independent of the parties. The mediator is to be appointed by agreement of the parties or, failing agreement within twenty-one (21) days of the first notification of the dispute, by a person appointed by the Chair of Resolution Institute, (ACN 008 651 232, Level 2, 13-15 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000; telephone: 02 9251 3366, email: infoaus@resolution.institute) or the Chair’s designated representative. The Resolution Institute Mediation Rules shall apply to the mediation. We agree to share the costs of mediation equally between us.

LITIGATION

It is a condition precedent to the right of either party to commence litigation other than for interlocutory relief that it has first offered to submit the dispute to mediation. Litigation is to be considered a last resort and may not be commenced until, in the opinion of the independent mediator, the potential for negotiation and mediation have been exhausted. This means that we will do our best to work out any problems between us, with the help of a mediator if necessary, and we won’t go to court unless the mediator tells us we need a judge to make the decision for us because we can’t resolve the issues ourselves.