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Here at Strings Direct we are a small family-run company that continually strives to provide the best service we possibly can to all our customers.   This includes being totally committed to keeping our customer’s data secure and always being as transparent as possible in making you aware of how your data is being used.   We have never and will never source your data from any third parties and will never provide any third parties with the data we collect from our customers, unless specified within this policy.  Of course, you don’t have to provide us with any personal information to browse our website and this is something we fully respect.  However, if you choose not to, you may not be able to make any purchases from our site or be able to take advantage of the full benefits our website offers.

In order to carry out our day-to-day business operations, and provide the high level of customer satisfaction we have set ourselves, we inevitably need to collect certain data from our customers.  The latest version of our site uses a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Server (HTTPS) meaning that all data that is communicated between your browser and our website is fully encrypted so you can be sure that any information you provide us is fully secure.  The privacy policy below outlines exactly what data we collect, how we use it and why.

Name, Address and Contact Details

Whether you place an order with us on our website, app or by telephone, we only request data that we feel is key to help us process your order in the most efficient manner possible. 

How we use your Name, Address and Contact Details

Why we process this data? incl. Legal Basis for processing the data

To process your order and deliver it to you

 

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – without this information, it’d be a rather difficult task to get your order to you.

Legal Basis - Contract

Communicate service updates relating to your order

 

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – to send you confirmation e-mails and let you know when your order has been despatched from our warehouse.

Legal Basis - Contract

Create an online account on our website

We create an online account for you when you have given us permission to do so – this allows you to access your order history, amend your information and makes placing future orders a much simpler process.

We do not make it a requirement to create an online account but by not having one, it can limit your ability to view or edit the information yourself.

Legal Basis - Consent

Help detect fraudulent activity

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally. These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

Send you e-mail newsletters

To provide information on new products, tips, blog posts and other relevant information we feel is of value and interest.

We will only send you promotional e-mails where your full consent has been given.  Your e-mail address is used for marketing purposes by Strings Direct for our products and services only.

Legal Basis - Consent

Send you important information relating to our policies and terms

As a responsible online retailer, it’s necessary to keep you updated with significant changes we make to how we operate our business and in turn how it will affect you when you shop with us.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

Basket Recovery e-mails

These e-mails are sent with customer’s interests in mind and to make sure you weren’t having any trouble with our website or were unable to place an order.  We want to help make our website experience the best it can possibly be so we can continue to achieve the high standards we have set ourselves.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

 
Payment Details
 
We offer you the flexibility to pay for your order in various ways on our website.
 

How we use your payment details

Why we process this data? incl. Legal Basis for processing the data

To process payments for your order

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – without paying for your order, unfortunately we cannot send it to you.

Legal Basis - Contract

To help prevent fraudulent activity

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

 
Order History
 
This relates to any information to previous orders you have places with us.
 

How we use your order history

Why we process this data? incl. Legal Basis for processing the data

Provide Customer Service support

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – we need to access this information to help answer any enquiries or issues you may have with an order.

Legal Basis - Contract

Process Returns and Refunds

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – we need to have a record of an order so that we can process a refund and return.

Legal Basis - Contract

To identify which of our products are popular and those that aren’t

Helps us analyse which products our customers are most interested in and ensure we continue to provide products that our customers want.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests


IP Address and Device Information
 
This information is captured when you visit our website and make a purchase from us.
 

How we use your IP Address and Device information?

Why we process this data? incl. Legal Basis for processing the data

Detect fraudulent activity

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this. Capturing users’ IP Address’ helps us identify potential unauthorised transactions.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

Identify where our customers are located and popular devices used to browse our website

Helps us optimise our website for specific devices and identify where our customers are based so we can provide a better user experience in the future.

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

Improve our website experience for users by setting default settings

Helps us to provide a better user experience for all customers when they use our website (e.g. currency preferences).

Legal Basis - Legitimate Interests

We understand that trust is a huge part of being an online retailer and by providing us with any of your personal data you are trusting us to use it fairly, lawfully and keep it secure.  We treat your data as we would like ours to be treated.  We have never, and will never sell your data to any third party.  However, we do use the services of other companies to help us fulfil our contractual obligations to process orders efficiently and safely and as a result, we have to provide these third parties with some of your personal data.  We have carefully selected these companies and trust they will handle your data in a professional and appropriate manner.

Below we have listed the categories of companies we deal with and how they use your data.

Payment Gateways 

Sagepay
 
When credit card payments are made via our website, we use SagePay as our chosen payment gateway.  
 

What information do we provide SagePay with?

Why?

Name and Address details plus Card details including CVV number on the reverse of the card

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – we need to provide these details in order to process your payment.

The details are also used to help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this.

IP Address

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this. Capturing users’ IP Address’ helps us identify potential unauthorised transactions.

 

Our website offers users the facility to hold their card details negating the need to enter your card details every time you place an order with us, making future purchases a smoother experience.   Card details are not held on our system, but registered on SagePay’s secure system using their Token service so you can be assured your information is completely secure. Sagepay store all the details relating to the card with the exception of the security code (CVV number on the reverse of the card) as it is considered to be sensitive authentication data.  As a result, if you do choose to store your card details, the only payment information we will require to complete a transaction is the CVV number.

Here is a link to SagePay’s privacy policy:

https://www.sagepay.co.uk/policies/privacy-policy

 

PayPal

To give our customer’s increased flexibility in how they pay for their order we also offer PayPal as another payment option.

What information do we provide PayPal with?

Why?

Name and delivery address, order value

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner.

PayPal require this information so that they can process your payment.

IP Address

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this. Capturing users’ IP Address’ helps us identify potential unauthorised transactions.

When making payment for your order using PayPal, you are required to log into your Paypal account via our secure checkout.  All payment information (card details, CVV number) linked to your Paypal account are held within Paypal itself and these are not disclosed to Strings Direct.  The only information we receive is whether the transaction has been successful or not.

For more information on PayPal’s privacy policy, please follow the link below;

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/ua/privacy-full

 

Amazon Pay

You can also make payments on our website using the card details held within your Amazon account.

What information do we provide Amazon Pay with?

Why?

Name and delivery address, order value

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner.

We need to provide this information to Amazon Pay so that they can process your payment.

IP Address

To help detect any fraudulent activity that would affect ourselves or our customers detrimentally.  These things are unfortunately common in today’s online world and we need to remain vigilant of this. Capturing users’ IP Address’ helps us identify potential unauthorised transactions.

When making payment using the Amazon Pay platform, you are required to login to your Amazon account via our secure checkout.  All payment details linked to your Amazon account are held within Amazon itself and these are not disclosed to Strings Direct.  The only information we receive is whether the transaction has been successful or not.

Here is a link to Amazon Pay’s Privacy Policy:

https://pay.amazon.com/uk/help/201751600

 

Shipping and Couriers

In order to get your goods to you, we use the services of several different delivery companies and couriers.  Below we have listed the companies we use, what data we provide to them and why.

Royal Mail, DPD Local, DHL

What data do we provide to delivery companies?

Why?

Name, Delivery Address

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner – delivery companies require this information in order to deliver your goods to you in a timely manner. 

e-mail address*, mobile number*

To ensure we fulfil our contract with you in a professional and efficient manner. Where tracking facilities are available, we will supply delivery companies with a telephone and/or e-mail address so they can send delivery updates and tracking information via e-mail and/or SMS.

Order value and contents of package

We are legally obliged to provide details of the order value and contents to delivery companies for orders shipped outside of the EU.  These details are required for customs border and tax purposes.  For deliveries using DHL, copies of the invoice will be displayed on outside of package.  Failure to do this could mean a delay in an order arriving or not being delivered at all and returned to us.

 

Things to note

For orders sent by Royal Mail using their First Class post and International Airmail services, we affix our own shipping label to the outside of the package which displays your name and full delivery address.   No other information is supplied to the Royal Mail as all documentation relating to your order is placed inside the parcel (via a printed invoice) and secured using packing tape. 

For international customers using the International Tracked service, Royal Mail will pass on deliveries to the postal service in the respective country.  Where tracking facilities are available, your contact details may be passed on so they can provide further updates of the progress of delivery once it has reached the destination country.

For deliveries that require a separate shipping label provided by the courier themselves, we will enter the data mentioned above onto the courier’s dedicated shipping portal where it is processed and a shipping label is produced.

Below is a link to the privacy policies of the delivery companies we deal with:

Royal Mail - https://www.royalmail.com/privacy-policy

DPD Local - https://www.dpdlocal.co.uk/privacy_policy.jsp

DHL - http://www.dhl.com/en/legal.html#privacy


Google Analytics

Our website makes use of a free tool provided by Google known as Google Analytics.  In a nutshell, Google Analytics implement tracking codes on each page of our website that lets us see how users interact with our website and all of its content.  For instance, it allows us to see which pages are visited the most and which pages are less popular.  It would be very difficult for us to decipher these things without such sophisticated technology and as a result it helps us make important judgments on what improvements are needed to our website thus creating a better user experience in the future.

Please note, Google Analytics does not provide us with any individual’s personal data, instead it gives us an overall picture of how you are making use of the different elements of our website.

 

Reviews

As a small company that has grown over the past 20 years, our goal to provide the very best customer service has never wavered.   To ensure that we are on track with this goal we ask customers to submit a review of our service and the products you have purchased.  Once your order has been processed, your e-mail address is passed on to Trustpilot (our chosen review provider) who will e-mail you on our behalf.  Customers are not obliged to provide a review, however we are always grateful for your thoughts and opinions on how we are performing and the products we sell so that we can continue to deliver the highest standards to you and our other customers.   If you would prefer to opt out of receiving e-mails from Trustpilot requesting reviews, simply follow the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the review invitation email they send to you.  Please note, by unsubscribing to all review invitations from Trustpilot, this will include all merchants using their service, not just ourselves.

If you would like to see Trustpilot’s Privacy Policy please click on the link below:

https://uk.legal.trustpilot.com/end-user-privacy-terms

We fully understand that it’s not until you get to try a product that you really know what it’s like;  that’s why customers can review products on our site as well as Trustpilot.  Customers can freely review products via our website without the need to log in to their account.  To place a review, customers are asked to provide their name, a mark out of 5 and their viewpoint for the item they are reviewing.  Once the review has been verified, it is made live on our website.  Please note, the name of the reviewer will be displayed on our website.  If you wish to place a review, you can always enter your name as ‘Anonymous.’ 

 

Product Recommendations

As part of our commitment to providing the best service and product range for our customers, our website displays personalised product recommendations for our customers based on the products they have recently viewed.  This technology is provided by Quarticon who use anonymous cookies on our website which are used for statistical analysis only and do not collect any personal data.  You can of course opt out this cookie if you wished.  

If you wish to find out more information on the cookies that Quarticon use, you may visit their site here:

http://quarticon.com/privacy-statement/

How long we keep your data?

The data we process, the purpose and legal basis for processing the data has been outlined above.  As part of our responsibility in processing your data, we understand that we are required to not only ensure any PII (Personal Identifiable Information) is stored in a safe and lawful way but ensure that we only keep your data for as long as we deem it necessary.   As a company policy we retain all individual's data for a minimum period of 3 years.
 
If you hold an account with us, the data held in your account including the personal data (e.g. name, address, e-mail address etc…) will remain on our system indefinitely so long as you continue to interact with the account or place an order/s within this timeframe.  Please note, despite an account remaining active on our system, the data relating to the customer's order history will only be kept for a period of 3 years.   
 
However, if a customer has not placed an order with us or logged into their account within a 3 year period, we will deem them to be an inactive customer and deactivate their account.  Once an account has been deactivated it can be reopened, however, all previous data will no longer be available.
 
Why is it kept?
 
We retain your data for the following reasons:
  • To view your order history and enable us to answer any customer service queries relating to past orders.
  • Enables us to see and analyse which products have been most popular, average order values and monitor other ordering trends.
  • To fulfil our commitment towards product guarantees.
  • View transactional queries relating to orders and allow us to process refunds.
  • Respond to any ‘Subject Access Requests’ we receive from any of our customers.

       Where is the data stored?

       The data relating to customer’s orders is stored on our website provider’s (Visualsoft) secure server.  This server is cloud based and is a high grade security server so you can ensure that any data you provide with us is stored in a secure and lawful environment.  

Data is also stored on our order processing/stock management program on our in-house server where file security is encrypted using the latest in technology and anti-virus software.   The data that is stored on our order processing/stock management system also contains details of customer orders which is backed up on a cloud based database using a Rackspace server.

The data we capture on our website is transferred between our website admin system and our in-house order processing software program via a secure API.

Financial Transactions

As mentioned previously, any card details that you have chosen to store via our website are held on our payment gateway SagePay’s secure system.  Details of card transactions placed on our website are held with SagePay for 7 years.   If you have chosen to save your card details on our checkout, we use their token system to store details which is valid for 7 years.  After this time period the token will expire.  For more information on how we use SagePay within our checkout please refer to the ‘Payment Gateways’ section of our privacy policy above. 

You can access the details of your payments made using PayPal and Amazon Pay by logging in to your accounts on their respective websites.

Couriers and Shipping

As mentioned above, we will pass on any delivery address details to the shipping company that will handle your delivery on our behalf.  Where the information is available, we have noted below how long the couriers will store the data we pass on to them.  If you require more in-depth information, we would recommend following the links in this privacy policy to the policies of the respective courier companies.  

DPD Local

When an order is shipped by DPD Local, we must enter delivery details onto their dedicated shipping portal where a shipping label is then produced.  DPD Local's portal is a web based page and any details relating to any consignments are held on this system for 3 months and are then archived after this time.  For more information relating to how DPD Local will process personal data, please refer to their privacy policy which can be accessed here.

 

Marketing

We only send promotional e-mails where full consent has been given by the individual and will only send e-mails for as long as they wish.  If you no longer wish to receive e-mails from us, you can easily unsubscribe and change your preferences via your online account, or by clicking ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of one of the promotional e-mails you receive.  Of course, if you prefer you can always contact us directly and we’d be happy to assist you with this request.

If a ‘subscriber’ has not interacted with one of our promotional e-mails for 2 years, we will deem them an inactive subscriber and remove their details from the mailing list.

Under the new laws and regulations of GDPR, you (the customer) have rights with regards to how your personal data is processed.  These are as follows:

The right to be informed on how your data is being processed - For instance, in the form of notices such as Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions.

The right of access to any personal data we hold about you - You may contact us to request any details on the personal data we hold about you

The right to rectify any inaccurate personal data we hold about you.  Most personal information we hold about customers can be updated by logging into the ‘Your Account’ section of our website.  You may contact us for us to amend the data if you wished.

The right to erase your personal data – You may request us to delete all information we hold about you from our systems.

The right to restrict or withdraw consent from us processing your personal data – You can request we no longer process your personal data or use your data for direct marketing purposes.

The right to move or transfer any of your personal data we hold to another service provider or to yourself.

The right to make a complaint of how your personal data is processed – If you wish to make a complaint you can contact the ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK.  https://ico.org.uk/

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, have a complaint or any questions relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us on privacy@stringsdirect.co.uk or by any other means listed in the 'Contact Us' section below.

Here at Strings Direct we want to make your browsing and shopping experience as pleasurable as possible and this is helped by using cookies on our website.  Cookies are small text files that are stored onto your web browser and computer when you visit our website (if you agree) and are essential in making our website functional and easy for you to use.  These files aren’t anything to be concerned by as they don’t hold any personal information but are simply there to help enhance and customise your experience as you browse and shop on our site.  

In a nutshell, without cookies, browsing our website wouldn’t be as smooth and simple as it could be.

If you wish, you can view our full Cookies Policy here:  https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/cookies

We may change our privacy policy from time to time to ensure you are aware of any changes in our work practices and how we process your data.  This page will always be updated to reflect these changes.

Our privacy policy was last updated on 23rd May 2018.

If you would like to get in contact with us regarding the data that we hold on you, or if you would like further information on our privacy policy, please do not hesitate to contact us using the details below.

Telephone  - 01702 540068

e-mail – privacy@stringsdirect.co.uk

Address - Strings Direct, Units 1 & 2, Roach View Business Park, Millhead Way, Purdeys Industrial Estate, Rochford, Essex. SS4 1LB, UK

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