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Doctrine of Accord and Satisfaction

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Doctrine of Accord and Satisfaction

Accord and satisfaction is the purchase of the release from an obligation, whether arising under contract or tort by means of any valuable consideration not being the actual performance of the obligation itself. The accord is the agreement by which the obligation is discharged. The satisfaction is the consideration which makes the agreement operative. The consideration may be executory.

Under English law, an accord without satisfaction is of no effect. In Indian law, an accord is an agreement, there must be consensus ad idem; its validity liable to be judged by the general law of contract quite apart from the provisions of sections 62 and 63 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

A liability arising out of breach of contract may be discharged by the doctrine of accord and satisfaction. An accord is an agreement made after breach whereby some consideration other than the legal remedy is to be accepted by the party not in fault, followed by the performance of the substituted consideration.

The question is, whether an arbitration clause in a contract survived despite the purported satisfaction of the terms of the contract. Normally, an accord and satisfaction by itself would not affect the arbitration clause for even rights and obligations of the parties are worked out, the contract does not come to an end. If the dispute is that the contract itself does not subsist, the question of invoking the arbitration clause may not arise. But in the event it be held that the contract survives, recourse to the arbitration clause may be taken.

The doctrine of accord and satisfaction has many underlying principles, including the acceptance of a lesser sum and acceptance of any satisfaction. The Privy Council gave its views on the doctrine in Payan Reena Saminathan v. Puna Lana Palaniappa [41 IA 142]. The doctrine and its usage in India have been derived from the American Common Law.

BACKGROUND OF THE DOCTRINE

Section 63 of the Indian Contract Act allows a party to a contract to dispense with the performance of the contract by the other party, or to extend the time of performance or to accept any other satisfaction instead of the performance.

According to Section 62 of the Indian Contract Act, on the other hand, every person who accepts a proposal may dispense with or remit wholly or in part, the performance of the proposal made to him which he has accepted, or may extend the time for such performance or may accept instead of it any satisfaction which he thinks fit.

In accordance with section 62 and section 63 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, the party who has the right to demand the performance may:

(i) dispense with or remit the performance; or

(ii) extend the time for performance; or

(iii) accept any other satisfaction instead of performance.

The sections 63 and 62 must be construed so as to not overlap with each other. This can be done by holding that agreements referred to in section 62 are agreements which more or less affect the rights of both the parties to the contract discharged by such agreements. Those referred to in section 63 are such as to affect the right of only one of the parties.

The former case necessarily implies consideration, which may be either the mutual renunciation of right, or, in addition to this, the mutual undertaking of fresh obligations, or the renunciation of some right on the one side and the undertaking of some obligation on the other. It is only when the agreement to discharge affects the right of only one party that consideration might be found wanting. There alone the Indian law departs from the English law by making provisions for every such possible case in section 63. The result is that the agreement set up by the defendant which falls under section 63 is binding, though without consideration.

This section enables the defendant in a suit filed by the promise, dispensing or remitting performance or accepting satisfaction and subsequently trying to enforce, the promise made to him, to plead that he was relieved from performance that which the plaintiff told he need not do. It has been held, in the case of New Standard Bank Ltd. v. Probodh Chandra Chakravarty [AIR 1942 Cal 87], that an agreement made between the parties after the breach of contract may be enforced under this section.

Difference from the English Contract Law:

Under the English law, it is competent for both parties to an executor contract by mutual agreement, without any satisfaction, to discharge the obligation of that contract; in other words, reciprocal promises are a sufficient consideration for each other, so are reciprocal discharges. A contract rescinded by an agreement, stands completely discharged and cannot be revived.

But an executed contract cannot be discharged except by release under seal, or by performance of the obligation, as by payment where the obligation is to be performed by payment. Subject to that exception, ‘the new agreement in rescission or alteration of the prior contract must in general satisfy all the requirements of an independent contract’, and so must an agreement to accept satisfaction for a right of action which has arisen by breach of contract.

This section makes a wide departure from the English law, and the principles of that law cannot be relied upon to interpret the section. The intention of the present section to alter the rule of the common law is clear; and this has been recognised in several Indian cases.

Necessity of satisfaction in a contract:

In 1903, the High Court of Bombay had held (Abaji Sitaram Modak v. Trimbak Municipality) that a dispensation or remission under this section involved a promise as defined by section 2(b) or an agreement within section 2(e), so that ‘there must be a proposal of the dispensation or remission which is accepted’: in technical terms, that the effect of the section is only to allow an accord to be good without satisfaction.

Many jurists have continuously protested against this ruling and suggested that the words of the section ought to be construed according to their natural meaning and a promise could discharge the promise not only without consideration but without a new agreement.

Views of the Privy Council:

The principle of accord and satisfaction has been stated by the Privy Council as a principle of substituted agreement thus in the cases of Reena Saminathan v. Puna Lana Palaniappa [41 IA 142] and UOI v. Kishorilal Gupta & Bros [AIR 1959 SC 1362].:

“The ‘receipt’ given by the appellants and accepted by the respondent, and acted upon by both parties proves conclusively that all the parties agreed to a settlement of all their existing disputes by the arrangement formulated in the ‘receipt’. It is a clear example of what used to be well-known in common law pleading as ‘accord and satisfaction by a substituted agreement’. No matter what were their respective rights of the parties inter se they are abandoned in consideration of acceptance by all of a new agreement. The consequence is that when such an accord or satisfaction takes place, the prior rights of the parties are extinguished. They have, in fact, been extinguished by the new rights; and the new agreement becomes a new departure and the rights of all the parties are fully represented by it.”

There have been two interpretations of this doctrine till date, the situation in which the party not at fault accepts any satisfaction in place of the original consideration and most importantly, when he or she accepts a lesser sum as satisfaction until the previous contract is discharged.

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE DOCTRINE

The doctrine of accord and satisfaction is merely a method of discharging a claim whereby the parties agree to give and accept something in settlement of the claim and perform the agreement, the accord being the agreement and the satisfaction its execution or performance, and it is a new contract substituted for an old contract which is thereby discharged, or for an obligation or cause of action which is settled, and must have all of the elements of a valid contract.

To constitute an accord and satisfaction, there must have been a genuine dispute that is settled by a meeting of the minds with an intention to compromise. Where there is an actual controversy, an accord and satisfaction may be used to settle it. The controversy may be founded on contract or tort. It can arise from a collision of motor vehicles, a failure to deliver oranges ordered and paid for, or a refusal to finish constructing an office building, etc.

An accord and satisfaction can be made only by persons who have the legal capacity to enter into a contract. A settlement is not binding on an insane person, for example; and an infant may have the right to disaffirm the contract. Therefore, a person, such as a guardian, acting on behalf of a person incapable of contracting for himself or herself may make an accord and satisfaction for the person committed to his or her charge, but the law may require that the guardian’s actions be supervised by a court.

An executor or administrator may bind an estate; a trustee can accept an accord and satisfaction for a trust; and an officer can negotiate a settlement for a corporation.

A third person may give something in satisfaction of a party’s debt. In such a case, an accord and satisfaction is effected if the creditor accepts the offer and the debtor authorizes, participates in, or later agrees to, the transaction.

For example, a widower has an automobile accident but is mentally unable to cope with a lawsuit because his wife has just died. He gratefully accepts the offer of a close family friend to talk to the other driver, who has been threatening a lawsuit. The friend convinces the other driver that both drivers are at fault to some extent. The friend offers to pay the other driver $500 in damages in exchange for a written statement that she will not make any claim against the widower for damages resulting from the accident. The family friend and the other driver each sign a copy of the statement for the other, and when the payment is made, the accord and satisfaction is complete. If the other driver then sues the widower for more money on account of the accident, the widower could show that he agreed to let his friend negotiate an accord and satisfaction, and the court would deny relief.

Most commonly, this is seen in situations where people lack the capacity to consent and negotiate legal agreements, and the person negotiating the contract may be supervised to confirm that the agreement is in the best interests of the person being represented. People can also reach accord and satisfaction on behalf of someone else more informally; for example, a parent may help an adult child settle a debt to a landlord, acting on behalf of the child to resolve the matter. However, the law may require that the guardian’s actions be supervised by a court. An executor or administrator may bind an estate; a trustee can accept an accord and satisfaction for a trust; and an officer can negotiate a settlement for a corporation.

An accord and satisfaction is a contract, and all the essential elements of a contract must be present. The agreement must include a definite offer of settlement and an unconditional acceptance of the offer according to its terms. It must be final and definite, closing the matter it covers and leaving nothing unsettled or open to question. The agreement may call for full payment or some compromise and it need not be based on an earlier agreement of the parties. It does not necessarily have to be in writing unless it comes within the statute of frauds.

Unless there are matters intentionally left outside the accord and satisfaction, it settles the entire controversy between the parties. It extinguishes all the obligations arising out of the underlying contract or tort. Where only one of two or more parties on one side settles, this ordinarily operates to discharge all of them. The reason for this is the rule that there should be only one satisfaction for a single injury or wrong. This rule does not apply where the satisfaction is neither given nor accepted with the intention that it settle the entire matter.

An accord without satisfaction generally means nothing. With a full satisfaction, the accord can be used to defeat any further claims by either party unless it was reached by fraud, duress, or mutual mistake.

A valid accord does not discharge the prior contract, it suspends the right to enforce it in accordance with the terms of the accord contract, in which satisfaction, or performance of the contract will discharge both contracts (the original and the accord). If the creditor breaches the accord, then the debtor will be able to bring up the existence of the accord in order to enjoin any action against him.

The accord agreement must be transacted on a new agreement. It must therefore have the essential terms of a contract, (parties, subject matter, time for performance, and consideration). If there is a breach of the accord there will be no “satisfaction” which will give rise to a breach of accord. In this instance the non-offending party has the right to sue under either the original contract or the accord agreement.

A mere retaining of the money sent by the promisor does not imply satisfaction. Whether or not the money is taken in satisfaction is a question of fact to be determined keeping in view all the circumstances of the case. An award of damages for breach of a contract is not the same thing as a party to the contract accepting satisfaction of the contract other than in accordance with the original terms thereof.

ACCEPTANCE OF ANY SATISFACTION

According to the doctrine of accord and satisfaction, the promise may accept, instead of performance of the promise, such satisfaction as he thinks fit. But until the satisfaction agreed upon remains executory, the original cause of action is not discharged. But where the promise accepts the promise itself in satisfaction, the original cause of action is discharged.

In the case of Manohur Koyal v. Thakur Das Naskar [(1888) ILR 15 Cal 319], the defendant executed a bond of a certain sum of money in favour of the plaintiff, to be repaid on a certain date at eighteen percent per annum. If not paid on that date, the rate would be increased to twenty – four per cent per annum. The defendant came to the plaintiff on the day of repayment and expressed his inability to pay the said amount. Instead, he offered to pay Rs.400 cash and agreed to issue another bond in favour of the plaintiff to be paid at a much later date. The plaintiff accepted theses terms, but the defendant failed to carry them out. The plaintiff filed a suit for recovery of the original balance and the later promised amount from the defendant. The Court applied the principle of accord and satisfaction from section 63 of the Indian Contract Act and entitled the plaintiff to the entire sum demanded by him, stating that the reason was that the plaintiff had accepted the promise to carry out a different set of terms and conditions as the satisfaction for the later contract.

A contract between a debtor and a creditor that the debtor should sell and the creditor should accept any property in satisfaction for the debt, may operate in one of three ways, namely:

(i) the contract by itself may operate as an absolute discharge of the debt, giving the creditor thereafter only the remedy by way of the specific performance of the contract; or

(ii) it may operate only as a conditional discharge of the debt, giving the creditor in case of the debtor’s default, a right to claim either a performance of the contract or if he elects to put an end to it, the payment of the debt; or

(iii) the contract may be an independent transaction, in the sense that it does not affect the rights of the creditors or the obligations of the debtor till the sale is actually completed.

In which of these ways the contract is to have operation will depend upon the intention of the parties to be gathered in the absence of any express stipulation, from their conduct and the surrounding circumstances in the particular case.

It was held in the case of Sakarchand Shamji v. Ismail Hoosein [AIR 1931 Rang 189], that where on the breach of contract for sale, the buyer accepted a promissory note to reimburse loss on breach, and the receipt for one of the payments stated that the whole amount was not paid within a particular time, there was no agreement to revive the original cause of action.

In the case of Ram Swaroop Mam Chand v. Chhaju Ram & Sons. [(1937) 1 Cal 757], the Court held that before a party can be said to accept something other than the performance stipulated for in satisfaction of the contract, it should be open to him to refuse such satisfaction and to insist on the performance of the contract in accordance with its terms.

Thus, if any party instead of original satisfaction of a claim accepted another satisfaction, deemed fit by it, such unilateral acts were covered under section 63 of the Indian Contract Act.

ACCEPTANCE OF A LESSER SUM

Although the rule that the court does not enquire into the adequacy of the consideration is applicable in general, and therefore anything different in kind from what is due may be good satisfaction without regard to its apparent value, yet the court cannot help knowing that nineteen pounds is not equal to twenty pounds. Accordingly, a less sum of money cannot be good for a greater sum already due. This last rule was confirmed with great reluctance by the House of Lords in the case of Foakes v. Beer [[1881 – 85] All ER Rep 106].

However, in Indian law, neither consideration nor an agreement is necessary for enabling a promise to dispense with or remit the performance of the promise or accept any other satisfaction in place of the original satisfaction.

This is one of the most common manifestations of the doctrine of accord and satisfaction. Where there has been a true accord under which the creditor voluntarily agrees to accept a lesser sum in satisfaction and the debtor acts upon that accord by paying the lesser sum and the creditor accepts it, then it is inequitable for the creditor afterwards to insist on the balance.

The real emphasis is not on the acceptance of a smaller sum, but on the debtor’s condition that if the tendered money be at all accepted, it must be in discharge of the entire debt. A creditor accepting payment on a condition cannot accept the payment and repudiate the condition. Such accord and satisfaction are a question of fact, implying an agreement to take the money in satisfaction of the claim in respect of which it is sent; and preclude the creditor promise from claiming the amount under the original contract.

This was seen in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Nav Bharat Builders [(1994) SC 3 SCC 83], where in a mutual agreement pending a suit, a contactor agreed to receive on account of his claim, labour escalation charges, an amount calculated according to specified principles aand in order to withdraw the suit, there was accord and satisfaction after he had accepted the amount and withdrawn the suit.

The same principle was applied in the case of PK Ramaiah v. CMD, National Thermal Power Corpn. [(1994) Supp 3 SCC 126], in which when the creditor accepted the final measurements of the work completed and issued a receipt stating that the amount had been received in full and final settlement, there was accord and satisfaction and the creditor was not entitled to claim the balance.

Once any dispute is settled in this manner, no arbitral dispute remains, and the arbitration clause cannot be invoked.

If a cheque for a smaller amount than the debt due is sent to the creditor in full satisfaction, it does not discharge the debt if the latter does not accept it as such. It depends upon the intention of the parties as expressed in the correspondence and the character of the transaction.

For instance, in the case of Union of India v. Gangaram Bhagwandas [AIR 1977 MP 215], the railway sent a cheque for a smaller sum than the claim of the plaintiff in court in full and final satisfaction as settlement of the claim. The plaintiff encashed the cheque but continued his suit for the balance. The court held that the plaintiff had not accepted the cheque in full and final settlement as he continued the suit.

Similarly, in the case of Tata Locomotive & Eng. Co. Ltd. v. Sardar Kartar Singh [AIR 1961 Pat 37], a cheque for a smaller sum was sent to the creditor with the request that it be accepted in full payment, accompanied by a receipt to be signed by the creditor in full satisfaction. The cheque was cashed but no receipt was sent. On the contrary, before cashing the cheque a demand for the rest was made. The payment was held not to be in discharge of the entire debt.

Further, in respect of a works contract, if a contractor accepts the final bill, it would not mean that he was not entitled to make any claim. He was not precluded in law from raising the rest of his claim. The judgement is clearly right since under section 63 of the Indian Contract Act, there have to be accord as well as satisfaction to discharge the liability of the debtor.

The acceptance of a lesser sum of money where more is due, is a good discharge of the whole liability. The Supreme Court decision in Kapur Chand Godha v. Mir Nawab Himayatali Khan [(1963) 2 SCR 168] illustrates this. In this case, the liability was above twenty-seven lakhs of rupees. A Committee was formed to clear up the matter, which offered the creditor twenty lakhs in full satisfaction of the debt. The plaintiff after some initial protest expressed his readiness to accept the sum sent in full satisfaction of his claim and discharge the promissory note making endorsement of full satisfaction and received the payment. After the settlement, the creditor sued the debtor for the balance amount.

Justice S.K.Das held that “the facts of the case are completely covered by section 63 and illustration (c) thereof. The appellant having accepted the payment in full satisfaction of his claim was not entitled to sue”.

For this principle to lie, there must be proof that the a lesser sum has been accepted by the party not at fault.

FULL SATISFACTION AS THE ACCORD

It is the general rule that full satisfaction equals the accord. That is, after a party not at fault has accepted the satisfaction for an extension in the performance of the previous contract, the accord is complete and the other party cannot back out of the performance of his part of the contract so formed.

This rule has certain exceptions. If the party was made to enter into the contract despite protesting against it, the accord does not hold good. For instance, in the case of Union of India v. Gangaram Bhagwandas [AIR 1977 MP 215], the railway sent a cheque for a smaller sum than the claim of the plaintiff in court in full and final satisfaction as settlement of the claim. The plaintiff encashed the cheque but continued his suit for the balance. The court held that the plaintiff had not accepted the cheque in full and final settlement as he continued the suit and this was clearly a protest against the acceptance of the satisfaction.

Similarly, if the second party gave his assent to the accord under undue influence, mistaken belief or coercion, this rule is not applicable. Also, if the second party entered into the agreement for accord and satisfaction under the pressing circumstances, the doctrine does not apply, as in the case of Usman v. Union of India.

POSITION IN THE AMERICAN COMMON LAW

In the American common law, the term “accord and satisfaction” is used to express “the legal consequence of a creditor’s acceptance of a substitute performance for a previously existing claim or prior original duty.” As the conjunctive name implies, accord and satisfaction consists of two distinct parts. The “accord” of an accord and satisfaction is an agreement in which the creditor promises to accept the substitute performance for the pre-existing claim or duty. The “satisfaction” is the actual acceptance by the creditor of that substitute performance. Used together, these terms represent the legal consequence of accepting performance of the accord as satisfaction, the legal consequence being the discharge of the prior claim or duty.

There are three requirements for a valid discharge of an existing claim or duty by accord and satisfaction:

(1) existence of a claim or duty,

(2) offer and acceptance of a substitute performance in full settlement, and

(3) proper consideration.

The first requirement-existence of a prior claim or duty-is clearly met in the hypothetical. An existing claim or duty is required, because, without it, there is nothing for which to offer a

substitute performance.

For the second requirement to be met, the offer and acceptance must be for a substitute performance. In the common law, a substitute performance must be distinguished from a substitute contract. Though the two are very similar, the distinction between them for the purposes of accord and satisfaction is the timeline by which each discharges the prior existing claim or duty. A substitute contract discharges the prior duty at the moment the parties reach an agreement. A substitute performance does not discharge the existing duty until the performance is executed.

The last requirement for a valid accord and satisfaction to exist is that “new, valuable, and legal consideration” be present. Consideration is a bargained for performance or return promise. Therefore, for a promise to give, do, or not do, there must be a quid pro quo, something given, done, or not done in return. In the context of accord and satisfaction, courts have held that “the consideration is the resolution of the disputed claim”.

A COMPARATIVE STUDY

Although the principle of accord and satisfaction has been said to be similar to other forms of dispute settlement and often confused for being synonymous with compromise and settlement and some forms of arbitration, it can clearly be distinguished from them.

Accord and satisfaction is the purchase of the release from an obligation, whether arising under contract or tort by means of any valuable consideration not being the actual performance of the obligation itself. The accord is the agreement by which the obligation is discharged. The satisfaction is the consideration which makes the agreement operative.

An accord and satisfaction can be distinguished from other forms of resolving legal disputes. A payment or performance means that the original obligations were met.

A release is a formal relinquishment of the right to enforce the original obligations and not necessarily a compromise, as in accord and satisfaction.

An arbitration is a settlement of the dispute by some outside person whose determination of an award is voluntarily accepted by the parties.

A composition with creditors is very much like an accord but has elements not required for an accord and satisfaction. It is used only for disputes between a debtor and a certain number of his or her creditors, while an accord and satisfaction can be used to settle any kind of controversy-whether arising from contract or tort-and ordinarily involves only two parties.

Although distinctions have occasionally been drawn between an accord and satisfaction and a compromise and settlement, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

A novation is a kind of accord in which the promise alone, rather than full performance, is satisfaction, and is accepted as a binding resolution of the dispute.

CONCLUSION

The principle of accord and satisfaction implies that after a breach of contract has been made, the parties may enter into a subsequent contract by which the party not at fault may accept some other consideration other than the legal remedy.

This principle has also been described as only a method of discharge of a contract, as not annihilating the contract itself, but only making the obligation arising out of it unenforceable. The principle of accord and satisfaction is seen as a defense to legal action.

As per Chitty on Contracts,

‘It is a good defense to an action for the breach of any contract that the cause of action has been discharged by accord and satisfaction, that is to say, by an agreement after breach whereby some consideration other than his legal remedy is to be accepted by the party not in fault’.

An accord and satisfaction which secures a release from such an obligation is really based on the existence of the contract instead of treating it as non-existent. When an action is brought for non-performance an accord and satisfaction furnishes good defense. The defense is not that the contract has come to an end, but that its breach has been satisfied by accord and satisfaction, and therefore the plaintiff in the action is not entitled to the usual remedy for the breach.

Through accord and satisfaction, a lessee can agree to acceptance of a lesser amount by way of full satisfaction of all claims. But when the debtor paid still lesser amount, his liability could not come to an end. In such a case, there would be no accord even though the creditor had accepted the said amount.

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Important Elements of PPC Management Campaign

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Nowadays, most search marketers are complaining about the escalating level of complexity with the PPC management services. It is practically not feasible to stay up-to-date with the infinite stream of updates to AdWords search targeting. The newest AdWords feature keeps PPC management services providers so heavily occupied that they often miss out the basic pay per click best practices. Naturally, this ends up in account winds up suffering. The situation is worse for small businesses, budding entrepreneurs and busy marketing director. None of these people can learn all the newest Ad Words features and functionality on their own.

And without these updates, the idea of maintaining a clear, organized approach to PPC management services seems impossible. Current researches and analysis show that a good number of SMBs spend thousands a month on paid search and put on show advertising at every possible every ad extension. Also, they are avidly making efforts to turn on all experimental features. But unfortunately, in the race to get better and more advanced, they are missing out on basic things. Many basic requirements such as blocking and tackling negative keywords, sound use of match types, ad copy testing, and more have been neglected.

Essential to Begin a PPC Campaign

In the game of PPC management services, it is much more important to understand the basics, than starting to learn the way to build a solid methodology around it. Hence in this article, we are going to brief our readers on the basic essentials of it to help advertisers understand the right approach to begin the set up of their campaign with the list of primary sections needed to be focused on. The list includes:

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It goes without saying that all the small business owners attempting to discover a way to collect maximum returns from AdWords should strengthen their ability to understand what makes for solid, efficient campaigns.

The PPC Campaign Maintenance

Post the launch; it is the task of maintenance that boggles your head completely. PPC management services mean much more than just measuring results and moving more and more close to increasing ROI. People often tend to get lost at this stage. The road seems foggy. This is the time when owners should go through the sessions of trouble shooting specific issues you may choose to read a good range of FAQs regarding issues. Also may learn how to make your campaign deliver improved results. Purposeful and efficient insights can be gained from the various available resources, guides and e books on PPC management services.

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Be Aware of a Common Cause of Lung Cancer

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Cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people and often has no known cure. Environmental surroundings or lifestyle choices can contribute to some kinds of cancer. There are many people who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos without ever realizing it. The production of asbestos as a commercial insulation material began more than 125 years ago. It was only a generation after that, at the turn of the 20th century, that physicians and scientists began to make connections between asbestos exposure and lung diseases. Since then, researches have continued to learn about mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affect the pleura (a sac or lining) around the lungs and lining the chest wall. Scientists continue their research about mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, you can take steps to make sure that you are not putting yourself in further danger. Higher levels of exposure increase the chances of acquiring cancer. If you have been exposed to asbestos, you should consider being screened for cancer as soon as possible. It is never too early and never something that should be put off. Even if you do not have cancer, it is worth going through the screening just to be sure of it. Should you be diagnosed with an early onset of lung cancer, it is better to discover this early as more treatment options may be available.

Chemotherapy is one of the most common methods used to treat cancer. The most frequent chemotherapy technique is by injection into a vein. Depending on the type of cancer and the drug used, chemotherapy drugs can also be administered by mouth, injected into the muscle or skin, or placed directly into a body cavity which is known as intracavitary chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs may be given as single agents, but often, two or more drugs are given simultaneously in combination therapy.

As science advances, treatments for mesothelioma and other lung affiliated diseases move forward as well. In February of 2004, the FDA approved a new drug called Alimta for victims of mesothelioma. Patients treated with Alimta along with cisplatin experienced measurable improvement in their symptoms, including less pain and shortness of breath. Trials also indicate that patients who use this treatment may live up to 30 percent longer.

The more you learn about asbestos and the relation it has to cancer and other serious illnesses the less likely you are to neglect potential symptoms. If you have been exposed to asbestos, stay educated and keep current with screenings, tests and regular checkups.

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Service Scheduling Software: Improve the Appointment Process by Turning to Cloud Applications

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Ask a service provider what’s one of the most important considerations in running a successful business, and he or she is most likely to say accurate appointments. From massage therapists and chiropractors to auto service centers and pet groomers, these small business operators rely on effective and efficient appointment-setting methods to ensure a good customer experience, the best use of staff time and resources, and, ultimately, a full calendar with every available time slot taken.

The appointment-setting process seems simple enough, but in many cases it’s a tedious and time-consuming task that requires a significant amount of staff hours and resources to properly handle. This is especially true for service providers who continue to rely on traditional and outdated scheduling methods, such as booking appointments and reservations primarily over the phone and recording the details and customer contact information in a paper appointment book, file or spreadsheet.

In today’s tough economy, few businesses have the option of one or more staff members devoted entirely to answering phone calls and writing down appointment information. That’s why a growing number of service providers are turning to Web-based scheduling systems to help them improve this important process.

INTERNET CONNECTION IS ONLY REQUIREMENT

Many small business owners and operators cringe at the very mention of computers, software and technology, as thoughts of expensive installations, hardware and ongoing maintenance flood their head. Cloud technology has eliminated the need to spend a small fortune on most software programs, and now many are as easy to access and utilize as online banking, social media sites or e-mail. They function in the same manner as any other Web site. Users simply go to the Web site or online portal, log in, and access their software. Such is the case of most Web-based appointment-scheduling software applications, which only require an Internet connection to implement.

The Web accessibility aspect also makes online scheduling software ideal for businesses with multiple locations and owners, administrators and staff that routinely conduct business from outside the office and need access to their appointment schedule from home or on the road. It’s also what differentiates itself from the more traditional “boxed” software that’s installed on individual computers. Those software programs typically confine the appointment calendar or schedule to one local computer, making access difficult unless the individual is working on that specific computer.

The science behind cloud-based scheduling applications also allow for some really beneficial features for both the service provider and its customers. Standard functionality found in online scheduling services includes:

• Online customer self-scheduling. This gives individuals the option to book their own appointments and reservations at their own convenience. The Internet is always open for business, and so are service providers who offer online customer self-scheduling. In addition to the benefit to customers who are increasingly conducting tasks online, this feature can also dramatically reduce the number of telephone calls, which in turn frees up staff for more pressing responsibilities.

• Automated e-mail and text message reminders. Reminders are appreciated by customers. They can also reduce the number of “no-shows” who fail to arrive at their scheduled times. They also can also require a considerable amount of staff time, resources and money. Some online appointment-scheduling programs will automatically send e-mail and text message reminders to customers prior to their scheduled appointment and reservations times.

• Record-keeping and reporting. Proper record-keeping is important for most business operations. But for many service providers, managing appointment details and contact information involves managing separate calendars, appointment books and spreadsheets. This information must then be sorted and organized to include in operating reports. Online appointment-scheduling software helps simplify this important task by centralizing all inputted information in one easy-to-reach location. Some programs even provide standard reports that take only a mouse click or two to generate.

• E-marketing capabilities. It goes without saying that accurate e-mail addresses are a key component of a successful e-marketing campaign. But maintaining and continually updating customer e-mail can be a job in itself. Just as online appointment scheduling software makes record-keeping and reporting a snap by centralizing and maintaining information, this concept also makes e-marketing a simple process. In some instances, a service provider may be able to send the marketing message right through the schedule without any additional steps. And because customers have the ability to update their contact information, the likelihood that the e-mails pulled are current is much greater.

Regardless of the type of service a business provides, chances are it can benefit from online appointment-scheduling software. Users of this technology include spas, salons, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, home service providers, remodelers, pest control technicians, auto service shops and many others. For most operations, there’s not a more efficient or effective approach for managing, automating and improving their appointment-scheduling and reservation-booking processes. And since most appointment-scheduling providers offer a free trial of their service, there’s nothing to lose. Except, of course, the old and tedious way you previously scheduled appointments!

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Behavioral Sciences Online Career Training Options

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Gaining the education needed to pursue a career in behavioral sciences can be done by enrolling in an accredited online school or college. Students can choose to pursue their desired career by gaining the necessary skills and knowledge from the comfort of home. Online educational training is available at various levels of study for those looking to enter into this exciting field. Students can pursue an accredited associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral degree in behavioral sciences. Training is available in a number of specialized areas for students to choose from.

*Counseling

Students can train for a career in counseling or pastoral counseling with an online school or college. Training can last anywhere from four to eight years with a bachelor, master, or doctoral level degree. Coursework will vary by level of education and desired career. Subjects can include biology, human development, statistics, psychology, and many other relevant courses. Training in counseling will prepare students to enter into careers as mental health counselors, school counselors, counseling psychologists, school counselors, and other professions. Training online for an accredited education in this area will open a world of career opportunities for students.

*Human Development

Online schools and colleges allow students to train for a career in human development at their own leisure. Accredited programs can be completed at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degree levels. Students can expect to spend two to eight years on study depending on the level of education desired. Training is available through a number of subjects such as adolescent development, child abuse, adulthood, gerontology, and much more. Students can gain the skills needed to pursue careers in education, counseling, and more. Accredited online training in this area of the field can provide students with the means to enter the workforce.

*Sociology

Students who wish to gain the education needed to pursue careers in sociology can do so by enrolling in an online educational training program. Online studies are available at the diploma, certificate, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral level. Programs can range from six months to eight years depending on the level of education. Coursework may consist of social problems, humanities, social theory, communication, and more. Training will allow student to enter careers in administration, corrections, education, counseling, business, and much more. Students can prepare for their desired career by enrolling in an online sociology program.

*Psychology

Training for an accredited education in this area of the field can be done through various online schools and colleges. Students can gain degrees ranging from the associate level to the doctoral level. Training can be completed in two to eight years based on the individual student’s desires. Courses can include the study of biology, statistics, cognition, social science, development, and more. With training in these areas students can seek employment in therapy, psychological research, social services, and much more. Training in psychology will prepare students for the exciting career they desire.

An accredited education can be obtained through a variety of online programs. Students can gain the quality education they desire by ensuring that the school or college they choose carries full accreditation. Agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (http://www.detc.org) are approved to accredited online behavioral sciences career training programs. Students can start by enrolling in the program of their choice today.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

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Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Satellite Internet Service Provider

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If you are a corporation in search of disaster recovery networking solutions, a first responder who may need connectivity from anywhere at any time, or you simply need broadband internet connectivity from remote locations you have probably considered that satellite may be your only reliable option. In the midst of a disaster many businesses and first responders may find themselves without communications of any kind due to the loss of terrestrial infrastructures, or the lack of it ever existing in the first place.

The problem is that most business professionals and emergency service workers do not have a complete understanding of the satellite business and the idiosyncrasies of communications via satellite, and why should they? Satellite communications is not their profession. In the quest for a satellite internet service provider there are certain questions you should be prepared to ask before you get locked into a contract for services that won’t satisfy your needs:

1) Do you have Non pre-emptible satellite space segment?

Satellite operators such as SES Americom, Intelsat among others lease space segment to satellite service providers. There are different levels of protection available in varying price ranges. Many service providers will opt to contract for pre-emptible space segment because it’s much less expensive and they can make larger profit margins which they may or may not pass on to their end users. Pre-emptible space segment gives the satellite operator the ability to deny access to the satellite for the service provider in the event of an on board equipment failure, or to make room for a service provider who is willing to pay the Non pre-emptible premium.

During large scale disasters such as the hurricanes in the Gulf States in 2005 many pre-emptible segments of satellite space were cleared to make room for government requests for satellite service leaving other service providers with no access. If you are considering contracting for service for disaster recovery applications it is highly recommended that you find service providers that guarantee that they have contracted for Non pre-emptible space segment. The service provider should be able to provide you with evidence of their service agreement with the operators if you ask. You may pay a little more each month for your non pre-emptible service, but at least it will be available when you most need it.

2) What is your “Over Subscription” or “Contention Ratio”?

Most satellite service providers who are providing Internet services are operating systems that use TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) based systems. A TDMA system is normally controlled by a central hub location which will command the remote units in the field to transmit their data when the hub is ready to receive it. This allows for many remote units to share the same slice of bandwidth improving the overall efficiency of the system. The transmissions from the remote units are sequenced at a very high rate, many times per second, which makes the service appear to be continuous.

However, the more units that are added to the system, the slower the service will be. A true enterprise level operator will never allow their contention ratio to exceed 20:1 or essentially 20 terminals per segment of bandwidth. Many operators that offer lower grade services will over subscribe their systems as high as 40, 80, 120:1 or more. Some operators may not be willing disclose this information to their end users. If a service provider will not tell you their contention ratio, you might consider looking elsewhere as their ratios are likely to be high. This will directly affect the quality of the service you receive. Enterprise level operators with contention ratios of 20:1 or less will charge more for their services since they have fewer users for their contracted space segment. But, you get what you pay for.

3) What is your system Latency, and does your hardware or software include TCP/IP acceleration?

Any IP transport platform will have a certain amount of latency that is inherent to the structure of the system. Latency is normally measured by how long it takes for a TCP/IP “Ping” to be sent to a server on the other side of the transport link and be returned back over the link to the point of origin. Satellite systems, due to the physics involved will have much higher latency figures that any terrestrial link. Data is transmitted to the satellite at the speed of light, or 186,000 miles per second. The satellite is located 22,223 miles above the equator.

For a ping to make its round trip it must travel up to the satellite, back to earth to the server, up to the satellite again and back to the origination point. This is a round trip is approximately 88,892 miles. When calculated with the speed of light, in a perfect world the round trip will take about 448 milliseconds. When you add in coding delays and processing delays you can increase that figure by 100 to 250 milliseconds. On an efficient system, a round trip ping should take between 550 and 700 milliseconds (225 ms one way in each direction).

Many lower grade systems on the market today will actually return ping times of 1200 milliseconds or greater which is too slow to allow for functionality of certain software applications. Some system operators have added TCP/IP acceleration products to their equipment. This can either be a hardware or software solution. Acceleration of TCP/IP does not speed up the actual transmission as it is already being transmitted at the highest speed possible, the speed of light. The acceleration is achieved by modifying the TCP protocol in ways that allow for more efficient transmission over high latency networks such as satellite. Acceleration can significantly improve the speed of loading web pages, so it is a highly desirable product to have. Most of the products are not capable of accelerating encapsulated data such as VPN’s, but the system should still pass that data, however more slowly. Be sure to ask whether or not the system has an acceleration product included.

4) Does your system support VoIP, VPN, and Streaming Video transmissions?

If you have certain applications that you intend to operate, be sure to inquire whether or not these applications are supported on the system. VoIP (Voice over IP) for telephone connectivity is becoming a very common need in satellite communications. All types of users from emergency services to business continuity are asking for telephone connectivity. The biggest concern most prospective users of VoIP over satellite have is that the latency will be too high for effective voice communications. This has largely been proven to not be true. In fact, most cellular telephone systems will experience as much or more delay in their systems than VoIP over satellite. Most satellite providers will support these systems, but if the system latency is more that about 800 milliseconds, you may experience difficulty carrying on a conversation. Some service providers will also sell VoIP equipment. If you choose to purchase from them, or on your own you will want to make sure the equipment includes good voice compression.

Most off the shelf VoIP systems that are not designed for use with satellite will occupy between 40 Kbps and 90 Kbps of bandwidth to complete each call. If you purchase 128K of satellite uplink bandwidth you may consume all of your bandwidth with one or two phone calls leaving none for internet access for your computers. There are compression VoIP systems available that have been designed for use over satellite that will use as little as 8 Kbps per phone call and the call is toll quality. There are even compression systems that will allow for a 1544 Kbps T1/PRI connection over less than 256 Kbps of satellite bandwidth. You will also want to inquire about connectivity to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). When the signal lands at the hub it will need to connect your VoIP traffic to a telephone line. Some service providers will provide this service for a fee; some will not provide it at all, so be sure to ask. If you need to operate a VPN over the system, keep in mind that it will likely not be accelerated over the satellite.

Acceleration of VPNs can be achieved with external hardware; however it is normally up to the customer to provide that equipment. There are some systems, mostly consumer grade, that will not support VPN’s at all or there are additional charges so be sure to ask. The same goes for Video transmissions from a streaming device, or a web cam. Video streams are highly bandwidth intensive applications and most service providers will require dedicated bandwidth for these applications. The pricing for dedicated bandwidth will be substantially higher than the shared ratio pricing as it consumes 100% of the bandwidth 100% of the time. If you are planning to stream video to multiple receive sites it is recommended that you stream the video over the satellite to a server, and allow other users to get the stream from the server. This way there is only one active stream over the satellite where the bandwidth is expensive.

5) Do you offer CIR or CRA services?

CIR (Committed Information Rate) and CRA (Committed Rate Assignment) are different acronyms with the same meaning. It is dedicated satellite bandwidth that is usually required by the service provider if you intend to operate high bandwidth applications such as video streaming over the satellite. Most enterprise level service providers offer CIR/CRA packages, most consumer level operators do not. The pricing for these services will be significantly higher than shared ratio services, so be prepared. Some providers also require CIR/CRA services for VoIP. Be sure to inquire if this is something you need as some operators may not volunteer this information until it’s too late.

6) How many public IP addresses do I get?

Many consumer level services do not assign public static IP addresses for you to use. This is primarily why they don’t support services such as VoIP and VPN. Enterprise level providers usually provide at least one address, some will provide more. Most providers will give you a fixed number of addresses with your service and charge you if you want additional static IPs. The recommended way to avoid the additional charges is by using your own router on the system and natting your own addresses. Some systems will not support natting so be sure to inquire if this is what you need.

7) Do you have a FAP?

A FAP or Fair Access Policy is a set of rules that you agree to abide by when contracting for their services. They also will include certain restrictions on your service. Read this policy very carefully as the providers like to include wording that can seriously restrict your usage. Some service providers will “meter” your throughput on the system. If you reach a certain level of usage, usually recorded in Kbps, or Mbps they may restrict your bandwidth to a low level, or cut off your service entirely until the next billing cycle. It is very difficult to measure your own usage since most people have no Idea how many Kbps are sent or received when loading a web page. The FAP is also where the provider will spell out the rules of usage concerning applications such as streaming video and VoIP. Going over that document with a fine toothed comb will be in your best interest.

8) What will be my actual measured speeds?

The service providers will sell you a specific rate plan that will have an uplink or return data rate, and a downlink or forward data rate. This will usually be expressed in a manner such as “128/512” or sometimes “512/128”. The larger number will always be the forward channel which is your downlink as a user. Most providers will not tell you that the speeds include IP overhead. Every internet system whether its satellite or terrestrial uses IP protocols that require a certain amount of bandwidth to process the IP traffic. Because of the overhead you can expect that your actual measured payload speeds will be around 20% lower than what you are paying for. Actual speeds can be measured by running a speed test from a PC over the satellite link.

If the service provider has their own speed test server at the hub location this will give you a more accurate test of the satellite link than an Internet based speed server. The internet based servers have too many variables to obtain accurate results since the data is being transferred over connections that are not under your control, or theirs. Most systems will be similar in their IP overhead usage, but be aware of this when you purchase your service. If you don’t think the speeds will be high enough when you factor in the 20% overhead you may want to consider a higher service level plan.

9) What Pricing plans do you offer?

In your search for a service provider you will likely encounter a multitude of pricing plans. Each provider will create pricing structures that meet their business model, and that will give them an edge over their competition. Because of this you may find it difficult to compare price. All providers will offer full time 24x7x365 service plans. Some will also offer plans based on usage, and some will sell daily or hourly plans. There are even providers that will sell service for a fixed number of days each month. These plans can be attractive as you will not likely use a system designed for disaster recovery every day of the month, so why should you pay for full time service? If you are comparing price between providers it is easiest to look at their full time rates to determine the cost. However, keep in mind that operators base their pricing on their cost for the satellite space segment. If they are charging less it may be because they don’t have non pre-emptible space or because they operate with high contention ratios, or both.

10) Do you offer other services such as terrestrial connectivity and collocation?

Be sure to inquire about value added services such as collocation space and terrestrial connectivity. Unless you are only buying internet access and have no need for VoIP, streaming, or data backup, you will likely need these services. Some service providers will provide connectivity to the telephone network, and some will not. If you need dial tone you will probably want to contract for that as well. For disaster recovery solutions it is highly recommended that you originate your dial tone from a safe location that is far away from the affected area.

In many disaster scenarios the terrestrial connectivity including cellular phones will not be available. It is important that this is taken into account when designing a backup network. Some of the satellite providers will also offer services to back up corporate or government server data at the satellite hub location. This is highly beneficial to the customer as it provides both off site storage of valuable data, and easy access to that data via the satellite when it is most needed. A satellite hub with a collocation facility can be a powerful tool, and should be highly considered when contracting for satellite services.

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Preparing The Merchandising Mind: How To Use The Four P’s Of Marketing

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In the business world of merchandise marketing, competition is fierce. So if you’re planning on trying your own luck in the game, you better come prepared with business strategies and marketing plans that will be sure to hold their own against the competition. If you’ve ever taken a marketing class while studying for a merchandise marketing degree or independently, then you have probably learning about the four P’s of marketing. If not, or if you need a review, we have listed the four P’s below, and how they all contribute to a stellar marketing strategy.

1. Product. In merchandise marketing, it is important to remain impeccably true to the product you are trying to sell. Think hard about all of the different features of the product. What sets your product apart from all the others? Why would someone benefit from choosing your product or service compared to others in the market that are similar? Make sure you play up these aspects in your marketing plan, and make it clear to consumers why your product is superior.

2. Placement. Nowadays, many people choose to shop online instead of going to stores. When it comes to strategizing how to market your product, you must consider if you think sales would do better on the internet, in stores, or perhaps both. Given your industry, where might your customers expect to find you? Are your locations convenient and accessible? Do they make sense, given the product you are marketing?

3. Promotion. Promotion is where the real marketing strategy comes in. A promotion strategy usually refers to the way in which you are going to let people know about your product. Additionally, a promotion strategy gives you the chance to offer incentives for interest in your product. Maybe you are going to give away coupons with purchase. Maybe you are holding a grand opening gala event of your store, etc…

4. Price. How will you determine your product’s pricing structure? Setting a price often requires a little bit of industry research. Look for other similarly-marketed products that are similar to your own. Find out the pricing range of this type of product. Determine what the cheapest prices are versus the most expensive you can find. The trick is to price your item competitively without unnecessarily lowering your product’s value.

This concludes your review of the four P’s of marketing. Now it is up to you to launch your product successfully, using your very own merchandise marketing skills!

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