TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE (ALPHA BIOLABORATORIES RETAIL LTD)
1. Where to find information about us and our services
You can find everything you need to know about us, Alpha Biolaboratories Retail Limited (us/we/our), and our services on our website www.alphabiolabs.co.uk before you place an order for our services. We also confirm the key information to you before you order, either by email, over the phone, or on paper (depending on how you place your order with us).
2. We only accept orders once we’ve checked them
Once your order has been placed, we will contact you (usually by email) to confirm that we have received your order.
3. We may require additional information from you
We may require you to provide us with additional information before we are able to accept your order. For example, where the services are being provided under the direction of the court, we may ask you to provide us with a copy of a relevant court order or similar documentation (together with a copy of any Legal Aid for DNA Profiling Paternity Service where applicable, including the relevant solicitor’s Legal Aid Board Contract Number).
4. Sometimes we reject orders
Sometimes we reject orders where we do not have enough information to provide the services to you. For example, we may reject orders where we can’t verify your age or your identity, or that you have parental responsibility for a minor who will be the subject of the services, because you are located outside the UK or because the service was mispriced by us. When this happens, we let you know as soon as possible and refund any sums you have paid to us relating to those rejected services in accordance with these terms.
5. Providing the services and Testing Products
The services will be provided with reasonable skill and care.
All Testing Products and other products/goods provided to you under or in connection with the services shall be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.
Our scientific procedures are fully validated in accordance with our Quality Management System, to ISO 17025* and/or Certification to ISO 9001. We are a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No 2773. Note: Sample collection is outside the scope of accreditation ISO 9001.
We will only provide you with the services requested. For example, where we have been requested to provide a DNA profile, we are under no obligation to report any additional information we obtain as a result of performing such services (for example, drug/alcohol biomarkers etc.).
You acknowledge that, in some instances where the fees are paid for by you but relate to testing services relating to another person, we may be unable to provide you with copies of the results of the services. Where this is the case, we will use reasonable endeavours to notify you of the same in advance of the provision of the services.
6. We are allowed to make changes to the services and/or Testing Products
We may make changes to the way in which services are delivered to you where we deem it reasonably necessary in order to comply with applicable law, regulatory requirements or in the interests of health and safety, or to otherwise make minor technical adjustments and improvements.
We can also make the following types of change to the service or these terms, but if we do so we’ll notify you and you can then contact us via email at email@example.com to end the contract before the change takes effect and receive a refund for any services you’ve paid for in advance, but not received:
- Changes in price;
- Changes in timing of delivery of the services;
- Changes of the scope of the services provided;
- The manufacturer/type of Testing Products ordered.
7. We require certain information from you to perform the services
We are under no obligation to perform the services or deliver the Testing Products to you where we do not have information we reasonably require. Such information includes that which we are required to receive and collect prior to delivery of the services under applicable law (including, but not limited to, information required under the Human Tissue Act 2004, the Data Protection Act 2018, the EU-law retained version of the GDPR (2016/679) as it applies to the UK (UK GDPR) and all other applicable statutes, regulations, and guidelines as issued and amended from time to time). Such information may include:
- Your personal information (such as name, date of birth, address);
- Your contact details (such as your email address, postal code and delivery address, phone number etc);
- Your express consent to collect and process special category data (such as genetic data or data relating to your health) for the purposes of delivering the services to you;
- Where you are providing consent on behalf of a minor (or other person lacking legal capacity to consent), formal and demonstrable evidence that you are legally entitled to consent for and on behalf of that person (for example, by providing us with evidence of you having parental responsibility for the child, certification of legal guardianship, interim care order, or other such information as we reasonably request from you). NB: When providing consent for the services relating to a Sample, it is a serious offence punishable by imprisonment to impersonate, or assist in the impersonation of, another person for that purpose; or
- Where you are consenting to the provision of services in respect of a post-mortem Sample, suitable evidence to establish that you have the right to consent to the same under the Human Tissue Act 2004.
8. All tests carry a risk of uncertainty
You acknowledge that each test is subject to a ‘cut-off level’, meaning that if a Sample tests below the relevant ‘cut off level’, a negative test result will be provided. The result for each analyte we test for is compared against a ‘cut-off level’ to which a statistically derived measurement of uncertainty allowance has been added to create the ‘analytical cut-off’, above which the sample will be regarded as positive and below which it will be reported as negative.
Should the need arise for work to be sub-contracted out, a suitably accredited laboratory will be used. The report/certificate of analysis shall clearly identify those tests that have been sub-contracted. Where work is sub-contracted, the cut off and UoM% values will be available upon request.
Further, due to scientific and technical limitations, there is always level of uncertainty as to the accuracy of test results provided.
The various uncertainty % and minimum ‘cut off levels’ for each type of testing service are detailed in Schedule 1 of our testing schedules.
Where appropriate, we work to Society of Hair Testing and European Workplace Drug Testing recommendations.
9. We will not be responsible for test results unless we have done something wrong
It is important that you provide all relevant information to us prior to us carrying out any testing services. Any failure to do so may result in a delay in the provision of services, or otherwise in an inconclusive or false test result, for which we will not be responsible. In particular, you acknowledge that we will not be responsible in the following circumstances:
- you fail to disclose to us any known genetic anomaly or abnormality relating to the subject of the Sample when submitting that Sample for analysis;
- you fail to disclose to us the fact that the subject of a Sample has undergone/received a bone marrow transplant;
- we discover a previously unknown genetic anomaly during the course of testing;
- we reasonably believe that a Sample provided by you belongs to a person other than the person specified to be the subject of the Sample. We understand that mistakes may happen, but after two attempts, any further kit / testing requests will be charged at the full price of the test;
- you fail to follow our instructions (as set out below);
- the Sample produces an inconclusive or false result due to individual biological anomalies of the subject (for example, where the growth rate of a subject’s hair is outside the norm, or where the Sample has an inadequate uptake of metabolites, or where the Sample contains hair dyes, bleaching agents or other substances which reduce (or increase) the detectible level of metabolites in the Sample); or
- you fail to provide to us additional Sample(s) when reasonably requested.
- If we discover possible fraudulent behaviour, results will be withheld and where payment has already been made and testing carried out, no refund will be payable. Any future requests for additional testing may be refused.
10. You must follow all given instructions when collecting, storing and transporting a Sample
It is important that all Testing Products and Samples are used and collected, stored and transported in accordance with the instructions provided to you. Where the use of the Testing Product or collection, storage or transportation of a Sample does not follow our instruction, you acknowledge that:
- we cannot guarantee the accuracy or suitability of any testing results provided to you;
- we will not be responsible for the delay in providing any testing results to you; and
- you will not be entitled to any refund in respect of those services.
All instructions are as provided below or are as provided to you either in writing by us or as contained on/within the relevant Testing Product packaging. If you are in any doubt as to how best to use the Testing Product or to collect a Sample, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0333 600 1300.
In particular, you must pay particular attention to the following:
- Hair and nail samples must be kept dry and stored in the dark at room temperature.
- Oral fluid samples must be collected in an oral fluid collection device and delivered to the laboratory promptly. Samples that are more than 7 days old will not be analysed, unless it is a B sample submitted for a non-quantitative analysis.
- Urine samples must be delivered to the laboratory promptly and must be received at the laboratory for refrigeration within a maximum of 5 days. Samples that are received after this time will not be analysed. Urine samples received at the laboratory are refrigerated but will not be analysed if they are more than 10 days old in total, unless it is a B sample submitted for a non-quantitative analysis.
- For health testing, all samples must be returned to the laboratory promptly to ensure that the sample hasn’t degraded during transport. Blood samples must be received at the laboratory within 5 days of sample collection. COVID-19 PCR samples, buccal swabs, blood samples on Whatman FTA or Protein Saver cards, urine, vaginal swab, and genital lesions samples must be received at the laboratory within 7 days of sample collection. If samples are improperly stored or transported the samples may not be suitable for analysis.
- For DNA testing, the incorrect collection, storage or transport of samples may have a detrimental impact on the condition of the sample meaning it may not be possible to obtain a full DNA profile for analysis.
- Buccal swabs must be kept dry and stored in a sample envelope at room temperature – samples must be analysed within 12 months of collection. Toothbrush and nail samples must also be kept dry, in sample envelopes and at room temperature until analysis; other viability samples may have different storage conditions which should be agreed with the customer before transport. Viability samples should be processed promptly to avoid degradation. Prenatal blood samples (collected in STRECK BCT) must remain at room temperature (6-30°C) and must be returned to the laboratory promptly; samples can begin to deteriorate after 1 week and cannot be analysed if they are more than 2 weeks old.
11. Your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
If you think the services have not been provided with reasonable skill and care and/or that the Testing Products or other products/goods provided to you under or in connection with the services are not as described, fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality, you have certain rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. These rights include:
- You can ask us to repeat a service if it’s not carried out with reasonable care and skill.
- If a time for delivery of the services hasn’t been agreed upfront, it must be carried out within a reasonable time.
- If any Testing Products are faulty, not as described, or not fit for purpose, then you may request a refund within 30 days of delivery. After the first 30 days you may otherwise request a replacement (or refund where they can’t be replaced) up to the date of expiry of any shelf life of the product.
If there is something wrong with the services or Testing Products, you must contact us via email@example.com or 0333 600 1300 as soon as reasonably practicable.
For detailed information please visit the Citizens Advice website www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
12. Fees and payment
The fees due for any delivery of service will be prominently displayed prior to you placing your order. Unless we otherwise agree in advance, we must be in full receipt of payment prior to deliver of any services to you.
Any quoted fees are subject to change at our sole discretion until we have accepted your order for services.
Fees must be paid via online card payment or, where agreed in writing, bank transfer and paid in advance prior to delivery of the services (unless otherwise agreed). Where we have agreed to allow the fees to be paid following delivery of the services, or in instalments, you must provide us with relevant debit/credit card details prior to delivery of the services and you hereby authorise us to charge the relevant instalments at the times and on the date that we have agreed with you in advance.
You shall have no right to withhold any fees payable because of any set-off, counter-claim, abatement, or other similar deduction.
If you otherwise have any queries regarding invoices, please contact us via email to Finance@alphabiolabs.com and we will help you where we can.
13. Price match promotions
We may offer price match promotions from time to time. Any price matching promotion is subject to you providing us with a written quotation issued by an ISO 17025 accredited company relating to a fully inclusive, like-for like service. Our agreement to match pricing in respect of a service is subject always to our written confirmation relating to your specific order, and is at our discretion at all times. We may choose to withdraw any offer to price match at any time.
Quoted delivery times are approximate only and time for delivery is not of the essence. However, we are required to ensure that the services and Testing Products are delivered to you within a reasonable period of time from acceptance of the order for the same.
We will endeavour to deliver within the timeframes provided to you subject to the below:
- For “Same Day” service delivery of DNA relationship testing, all samples must be received prior to 10.30am of the first working day. The service delivery of cases for which this criterion is not met shall be counted from the following working day (Please note, this does not include weekends);
- For “Next Day” service delivery of DNA relationship testing, all samples must be received prior to 10.30am of the first working day. The service delivery of cases for which this criterion is not met shall be counted from the following working day (Please note, this does not include weekends);
- For all other services, all samples must be received prior to 10.30am of the first working day. The service delivery of cases for which this criterion is not met shall be counted from the following working day (Please note, this does not include weekends or public holidays).
We cannot be held responsible for delays by couriers, mail services, or delays in Customs, which are outside our control.
15. Cancellation and refunds
Where you wish to cancel your order, you may do so at any time within 14 days following our acceptance of your order by notifying us in writing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on 0333 600 1300 (Cancellation Request). Please ensure that all Cancellation Requests include your name, date of birth and order number, as we may not be able to provide you with a refund if this information is missing.
Where we are unable to deliver services to you and have promised to do so (for example, if we are unable to provide a sample collector at the location required), that you have requested at the time of placing your order, or where you have failed to pay the fees due or have failed to provide relevant information to us within a reasonable period of time), we may cancel your order and issue you with a full refund.
Please note that the following exclusions apply:
- You will lose the right to cancel your order and receive a refund where any testing kits or products sealed for hygiene or health safety reasons (Testing Products) have been opened or otherwise used by you for the purpose of collecting a test sample (Sample), or where the provision of services has already commenced;
- Where you wish to cancel your order after we have dispatched a testing product(s) to you, you may be entitled to do so provided the Testing Product has not been opened or used by submitting a Cancellation Request to us within 14 days of us accepting your order. The non-refundable administration fee for this is:
- Prenatal testing kits – £95
- Non-prenatal testing kits – £35
- Where you have returned a Sample to us for the purpose of us conducting prenatal testing services but submit a Cancellation Request to us before any testing services have commenced, you will be entitled to receive a refund of 50% of the fees paid in respect of that Sample.
Refunds will be given as soon as possible and within 14 days of you telling us you’ve changed your mind. We refund you by the method you used for payment.
16. Test specific terms: Prenatal paternity/ gender testing
Where you have requested prenatal paternity and/or gender testing services, please note the following:
- Whilst we will use reasonable endeavours to provide a conclusive test result, scientific and technical limitations mean that this is not always possible;
- We will reperform the test at our own cost in the following circumstances:
- an inconclusive prenatal test result is provided;
- you are receiving the test as a private individual;
- you are at least 12 weeks gestation;
- the test is not being carried out under the mandate or order of a court (or otherwise as mandated under statute or other applicable law); and
- you have collected the Sample correctly in accordance with our written instructions.
If, after the test has been performed three times and an inconclusive result persists, you will be entitled to receive a full refund in respect of the services (exclusive of the sample collection costs).
Where you have submitted a Cancellation Request in respect of a test, you must return the testing kit to us, at your own cost, within 14 days of you submitting that Cancellation Request.
17. Test specific terms: SCRAM testing
Where the services include us providing you with a continuous alcohol monitoring tag (known as a ‘SCRAM CAM’), you acknowledge and agree:
- that all equipment provided to you in connection with the SCRAM testing services shall at all times remain our property and that you have no right, title or interest in or to that equipment (except where otherwise agreed in advance in writing);
- to ensure that the equipment is used only for the purposes for which it is designed and is operated in a proper manner in accordance with any operating instructions and directions provided to you from time to time;
- to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the equipment is at all times safe and is not lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed;
- You will otherwise comply with our reasonable written instructions issued from time to time relating to your use of the SCRAM CAM equipment.
In the event of any loss (including failure to return the equipment to us) or damage to any equipment, you will be liable for the full cost of replacement or repair of that equipment. Where replacement is required, those costs include, but may not be limited to, the cost of a full bracelet (circa £1300), bracelet strap (circa £69), and a base station (circa £705). In such circumstances, you agree to pay to us on demand all such amounts fairly and necessarily invoiced to you in connection with the same without undue delay and, in any case, no later than 30 days of the date of invoice.
18. Test specific terms: non-invasive pre-natal (NIPT) screening to detect chromosomal abnormalities in foetal cell-free DNA
This is a screening test used to detect chromosomal abnormalities in foetal (placental) cell-free DNA. The Standard NIPT test screens for Trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards’ syndrome) and Trisomy 13 (Patau’s syndrome). The Advanced NIPT test screens all chromosomes and sex chromosomes for abnormalities. Testing cannot diagnose or eliminate the chance of a foetus having a chromosomal abnormality and further invasive testing will be recommended for high-risk cases. Optional foetal sex determination can be provided with Standard and Advanced NIPT options with an accuracy above 99%; if there is insufficient data to support sex determination analysis, this will be reported as “sex determination failure”, this does not affect the results of testing and Samples will not be retested.
Testing is not available until the expectant parent is more than 10 weeks pregnant. NIPT is not suitable for sample donors that have cancer, complete or partial monosomy X (Turner’s syndrome), have received a heterologous blood transfusion or stem cell therapy in the last 12 months or an organ transplant. This test may not be suitable for donors with a chromosomal imbalance. This test may result in incidental findings. NIPT cannot replace routine ultrasound scans.
Prior to sample collection, pregnant test participants must have had an ultrasound to accurately date their pregnancy and confirm the number of foetuses they are carrying; Standard and Advanced NIPT testing is suitable for single and monochorionic twin pregnancies as well as IVF, donor egg and surrogate pregnancies; for dichorionic twins, only the Standard NIPT test is suitable; sex determination is not available for dichorionic twin pregnancies.
19. Test specific terms: hair and nail drug and alcohol testing
On occasion, due to the sensitivity of the analytical processes the result does not meet the full requirements of the ISO 17025 specifications, therefore, no result can be reported. In this event, we will re-analyse the Sample once and, should it still not be possible to report a result, a ‘no result’ report will be issued.
In hair samples under 3cm in length, we can only test for EtG. FAEE will not be tested for.
In hair samples under 2cm in length, we can only test for excessive (and not chronic) alcohol use.
20. The use of ‘B’ samples
In some instances, you will have provided two (or more) Samples to us for the purpose of the second Sample (‘B Sample’) being used for the following purposes:
- For the purpose of conducting the services where the initial Sample provided is inadequate;
- Otherwise with your permission which may include, without limitation, providing the B sample to an independent third-party laboratory (as agreed between the parties) for the purpose of testing the B sample.
If the results from the independent laboratory are substantially in agreement with the results provided by us, you shall be liable in full for the fees incurred by the independent laboratory.
Should the results from the independent laboratory differ from those provided by us sufficiently to give rise to an alternative interpretation, we shall be responsible for the fees incurred by the independent laboratory.
Similarly, no documentation relating to the case will be released by the laboratory unless written authorisation is obtained from the donor. Any request must clearly identify to whom the Sample or documentation should be released.
21. We are allowed to destroy Samples
We are entitled without liability to destroy any and all Samples (including B samples) after expiry of three (3) months of the date of the relevant test result report in respect of Samples of DNA and hair strand analysis.
All other Samples (including B samples) taken for DNA analysis that have not yet been processed for any reason shall be destroyed 12 months following their collection date as they may no longer be viable. Technical reports and documentation received shall be held for a period of 4 years from the date of the test report.
22. You may request copies of test reports
You may make a written request (either via post to our postal address or via email) for a copy of a test report to which you have either (a) consented to have undertaken, or (b) instructed us to undertake. Copies of reports will be provided, either by email or in hard copy, subject to payment of a fee of £45 (which is subject to change from time to time).
23. We use your personal data as set out in our Privacy Notice
How we use any personal data you give us is set out in our Privacy Notice: Privacy | AlphaBiolabs UK
24. Resolving disputes
Our complaints policy. A copy of our complaints policy is available at Complaints Policy | AlphaBiolabs UK. We will use reasonable endeavours to resolve any complaints in accordance with our complaints policy.
You can go to court. These terms are governed by English law and wherever you live you can bring claims against us in the English courts. If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can also bring claims against us in the courts of the country you live in. We can claim against you in the courts of the country you live in.
25. Other important terms apply to our contract
We can transfer our contract with you, so that a different organisation is responsible for supplying your service. We will tell you in writing if this happens and we’ll ensure that the transfer won’t affect your rights under the contract.
You can only transfer your contract with us to someone else if we agree to this.
Nobody else has any rights under this contract. This contract is between you and us. Nobody else can enforce it and neither of us will need to ask anybody else to sign-off on ending or changing it.
If a court invalidates some of this contract, the rest of it will still apply. If a court or other authority decides that some of these terms are unlawful, the rest will continue to apply.
Even if we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later. We might not immediately chase you for not doing something (like paying) or for doing something you are not allowed to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it later.
You can view our current testing Schedules by contacting email@example.com .