How we use your information
This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Best Estates collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:
Visitors to our websites
When someone visits www.bestestates.co.uk, we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.
To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Our website search is powered by SuperControl. Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by either Best Estates or any third party.
We use a third party provider, Intelligent VC, to deliver our e-newsletters. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies including clear gifs to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletter.
Security and performance
Best Estates uses a third party service to help maintain the security and performance of the Best Estates website. To deliver this service it processes the IP addresses of visitors to the Best Estates website.
We use a third party service, WordPress.com, to publish our website.
People who contact us via social media
We use a third party provider, Hootsuite to manage our social media interactions.
If you send us a private or direct message via social media the message will be stored by Hootsuite for three months. It will not be shared with any other organisations.
People who call our helpline
When you call Best Estates we record the number and some calls are recorded, purely for training purposes and never shared externally. We use this information to help improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
People who email us
We will also monitor any emails sent to us, including file attachments, for viruses or malicious software. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send is within the bounds of the law.
People who use our LiveChat service
We use a third party provider, Live Chat, to supply and support our LiveChat service, which we use to handle customer enquiries in real time.
If you use the LiveChat service we will collect your name, email address (optional) and the contents of your LiveChat session. This information will be retained for two years and will not be shared with any other organisations.
You can request a transcript of your LiveChat session if you provide your email address at the start of your session or when prompted at the end.
People who make a complaint to us
When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.
We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.
We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.
We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.
Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.
What information do we ask for, and why?
We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights as an individual which you can exercise in relation to the information we hold about you.
Access to personal information
Best Estates tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:
give you a description of it;
tell you why we are holding it;
tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
Disclosure of personal information
In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent. However when we investigate a complaint, for example, we will need to share personal information with the organisation concerned and with other relevant bodies. Further information is available in our Information Charter about the factors we shall consider when deciding whether information should be disclosed.
As described above, cookies are used to allow connectivity between advertising services and our website. This ensures that we can drive efficiency by only advertising to consumers that may be interested in their services and allows consumers to avoid irrelevant advertising and gain a more personalised experience of digital services.
Under the most recent data protection regulation you also have other rights:
a) You can ask us for a copy of all the personal information that we hold on you, so that you can clearly understand what we have collected. You will not be charged for this service unless the request is considered outside of usual practice.
b) You can ask us to stop processing your data. If for instance you do not want us to use your information as part of our profiling exercise, it is your right to make this request. You should be aware that we are under a number of other legal obligations which may make the processing of your data a requirement, these circumstances are rare but may apply.
c) You can ask for your data to be removed from our systems. There are certain circumstances under which we may not be able to fully comply with this, again legally we may be required to retain information on occasion.
In order to request a copy of your data, to have your data removed from processing, or for your data to be deleted, please use this address email@example.com – if your request is sent to any other email address it may result in a delay on action on our part.