GDPR & how I look after our clients

May 23rd, 2018 | Rebecca's Spotlight

Dare I say the words that everyone must be fed up of hearing about… GDPR or Data Protection?

When I read things about GDPR I feel like we have been compliant with it before it even existed.

Over the past 23 years I have been contacted many times by people wanting to sell me names and addresses of racing fans and I’ve been asked to swap details. One of the first things Marten taught me about our family-run business is that our clients always come first and secondary to that is security and the way we maintain and protect their details. This training from Marten means I have declined many offers of mailing lists and have immediately stopped conversations as soon as I realised what they were asking. To me, it’s illogical to buy mailing lists for our business. I want people to find out about us through friends or by reading Marten’s work. I want them to want to be involved with us – I consider some of our clients as friends. I’ve been speaking to many of them for over 20 years now. If I bought a mailing list they might never have heard of Marten Julian. The person would probably also be from a tipster’s mailing list and therefore may not like our services or publications.

Every year I ensure we remain registered under the Data Protection Act which is through the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

I have worked my way through many shredders destroying old client data and I pay a company to collect the shreddings and securely destroy them.

I store the details that I need to save: names, addresses, past orders and notes that may be useful. For example, a client’s local racecourse or their favourite race meeting. Saving this information means I can let them know if Marten is going racing or it means I can notify them when a service is coming out about their favourite meeting. I may also note down names of racehorses clients own so I can see how they’re doing and talk to them about them. In my opinion, this enhances my relationship with clients, and if they’ve told me the name of a horse surely they are happy for me to know it!

I have a report on our database that enables me to provide a record of what we hold on a client so they can view it. I haven’t yet been asked to print and supply one but I can provide it if needed and have had that option available since I designed our current database back in 1997. Long before GDPR came in!

We have had an email newsletter for a long time but I have never just added email addresses to it. Even if a client orders online I don’t add them. People have always had to opt-in and we have always offered the option to unsubscribe. Sometimes clients join by ticking a tick box on a postal order form but that is still an opt-in.

Some companies are saying how they now offer a “right to rectification” surely this is just common sense and I am surprised this has had to be enforced through the new rulings. If we have something wrong in a client’s account and they ask us to change the error, we change it. Always have done and always will! I understand that this ruling is one of the new principles, but I think companies should have offered this as standard since trading. Likewise, if someone wants to come off our mailing list, then that’s fine. I will remove their name, address, email address and phone number from our records. At this point, I should add I have had calls over the years from someone complaining I haven’t done this. What’s happened is they have returned a circular saying “Return to sender” and put it in the post box. Sometimes I don’t receive these envelopes, so I don’t know about it – I haven’t ignored the request.

The ICO’s research found only a fifth of the UK public have trust and confidence in companies storing their personal info. That is just 20%! I hope that more than 20% of our clients trust us.

Basically what I am trying to say is THANK YOU for being a client of ours or thank you for reading our free monthly newsletter.

I want you to know that I am grateful for your name and email address or the orders you place and will always look after the information you provide to me.

I will use it sensibly to contact you about your order. I won’t ever ring you and try to sell you something but I might ring to see how your horse got along. I might also ring to see if the book arrived that you rang me about.

If I text you it’s because you’ve asked Marten or me to text you or because there is a problem with your order and I don’t want you not to get something you are looking forward to receiving.

I won’t ever let anyone have access to your details unless he or she works for me and even that is on a need to know basis. Marten doesn’t even know how to view client data because he doesn’t need to know!

Marten and I will always do our best for you and genuinely have your interests at the top of the list when we come to work each day