Resolving terms violations

At Shopify, we believe the free and open exchange of ideas and products is a key tenet of commerce, but some activities are incompatible with Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone. We enforce our terms through guidance outlined in Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy, Terms of Service, and Supplementary Terms of Service. Review this article to learn how Shopify applies our guidelines and the potential consequences for violating our terms.

Understanding Shopify’s terms

We understand that laws and regulations can be complex, and sometimes issues arise due to misunderstandings. Therefore, Shopify’s terms are carefully calibrated to differentiate between honest mistakes and deliberate violations. Depending on the nature of the issue, if you violate Shopify's terms, then we may take the following actions:

  • Ask for more information by email and require you to respond.
  • Block you from contacting Shopify Support if you’re abusive to Shopify’s support staff.
  • Change shipping settings in your store's Shopify admin to prevent the sale or shipment of certain products to specific regions.
  • Communicate the issue by email and ask you to remove certain content.
  • Remove violating content from your online store.
  • Prevent you from receiving payments, purchasing shipping labels, processing charges, initiating refunds, or transferring funds.
  • Temporarily prevent you from accessing your Shopify admin.
  • Temporarily lock your online store.
  • Terminate your account.

Working with Shopify to fix terms violations

As a Shopify merchant, it's important to understand how to address and resolve terms violations that may arise while using the platform.

Deactivating payments to merchant

Payments to merchants can be temporarily deactivated for different reasons, including anti-fraud protection measures. If you receive an email notifying you about deactivated payments, then you need to follow the instructions provided in the email. These instructions will outline the next steps you can take or provide more information about your specific situation.

Product removal

Shopify may remove products from your online store in certain situations, such as potential copyright or intellectual property infringement, or if the sale of a product is illegal or violates Acceptable Use Policy, Terms of Service.

If you receive a notification stating that a product has been removed, then it's important to review the instructions in the email or Shopify admin notification that you received. These instructions will guide you on the next steps to take or provide additional information about your specific situation.

Restricted Shopify admin access

In rare cases, Shopify may lock admin access to your online store if critical information is required from you and you haven't responded to our emails. For example, this could include providing proof that you are authorized to sell a regulated product.

If you can’t access your Shopify admin, then check your email for any communication from Shopify. The email will provide instructions on how to proceed and provide the requested information.

Shopify Payments account on hold

Shopify may temporarily or permanently pause or restrict your ability to use Shopify Payments for various reasons. If your Shopify Payments account is on hold, then the fastest way to resolve the hold is to respond to the email that Shopify sent you. Learn more about Shopify Payments account holds.

Shopify store termination

If your Shopify store has been terminated and taken offline, and you believe this action was a mistake, then Shopify provides a process for appealing the termination. The notification that you received by email will outline the steps to follow for submitting an appeal. Shopify will review your appeal and inform you if your Shopify Store can be reopened.

Automated processes and account restrictions

Shopify uses a combination of automated and human review processes to identify and take action against violations of Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy. If your account is restricted, then you have the option to appeal the decision. Each appeal is reviewed by a Shopify team member, which ensures that a human reviews your case.

Appealing account restrictions

If your account is restricted due to a terms violation, then Shopify will notify you either by email or in your Shopify admin. If you believe that there's been a mistake, then you can submit an appeal by following the instructions provided in the notification. We'll consider the information that you've provided and may reach out for additional details or documentation. Shopify will then notify you by email whether your appeal has been approved or denied.

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