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GDPR and how it affects our customers

I'm sure all of our customers will by now be aware of the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) effective 25th May 2018, but how many of you know how this affects the data we hold on you and what might have now changed?

Well… to explain. The main change under the new rules is that we hold your data only with your consent so new rules apply to opting in or out of how we then use your data. All our customers have to provide certain personal data in order that we can complete delivery of your orders, so we hold your email address and postal address etc. under the 'Legitimate Interest' rules, and as such, unless you now opt-out of our communications, which for new customers will happen as part of our new GDPR compliant sign-up or check-out process or for existing customers via an email link in any marketing email sent, we are still going to send you our regular marketing emails, but under these new and different rules unless you choose to opt-out. So… how does this all change things you might ask?

OK…. We have never added anyone to our newsletter database that did not already register as a customer on our website or make a purchase from our website and actively fill in a request to receive our newsletter, and it has always been a condition of registering on our website that you agree to receive our monthly newsletters as well as any other emails about promotions that we may send out from time-to-time, so we are confident that your data was then added to our newsletter database with your consent and additionally we have never purchased any data from anywhere else, so all our existing and new customers have 'Legitimate Interest' in then receiving any communications from us but can opt-out of this in future.

We always offer an opt-out in every newsletter we send, so our current database is the result of many years of constant updating with newly registered customers being added and those opting out being removed, and as such we pride ourselves that your data is only held on our system with your consent and as a direct result of you being a customer on our website and registering to become either a ‘regular’ or ‘trade’ customer to receive the appropriate discounts that go with those customer groups when shopping.

Because registered customers receive a discount when shopping on our website, we have always made it a condition that should a customer opt-out of receiving our newsletters, we also remove their entitlement to a discount when shopping. It’s a mutual relationship… you get a discount when shopping and we get to tell you about our special offers and interesting news via email, so neither one without the other. Going forward we want to ensure that all the many thousands of customers we have registered on our website continue to receive their discounts, so we have made the decision to maintain these discounts for currently registered and new customers based on the fact that under the new GDPR rules, all our customers have 'Legitimate Interest' in receiving our communications unless they choose to opt-out, either by using an opt-out link provided in our email newsletters or by opting out of our communications by responding to a new auto-email every new customer will receive when registering or shopping on our website for the first time. In doing this you will not suddenly find that you no longer receive your discount when you next shop on our website. If you do not agree with this form of having given your consent we would strongly request that you change your options in your on-line account on our website or simply opt-out using the link provided when we send you our next newsletter..

Going forward, all new customers registering on our website for the first time after May 25th 2018 will continue to receive a discount based on 'Legitimate Interest' GDPR rules unless they choose to opt-out in any way provided. We think this is the fairest way to make the changes to GDPR and we hope you all agree.

So how safe is your data? Well… Firstly our own internal computer network is extremely important to us and we put great effort into keeping it safe, employing the latest in network security together with regular network vulnerability scanning by independent providers that ensures our security is up to the job and fit to cope with the ever-evolving threats to cyber security that threaten every business these days. Secondly, we do not keep any sensitive data on our email newsletter database, only your name, company name if applicable, and your email address, so none of the other information you use on our website when shopping is ever transferred to our own internal network. All your address information is kept secure on the remote server that hosts our website, which is under the strict control of Sellerdeck Ltd that is the company we use to provide and host our website platform. We use either SagePay or PayPal to process your online payments, with both of these providers being industry leading PSP’s with your payment data never actually being entered or stored on our own website.

We hope that as a valued customer reading this brief article you will continue to agree to receive our regular email newsletters, which are never of a frequency to become annoying. If you choose to opt out we will modify your online account and you will no longer receive any discount that you enjoyed when shopping on our website, which is all about the mutual relationship we have as customer and supplier.