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Content & Privacy Policy

Content & Privacy Policy

1. Content Policy

By posting content on Vavender, you agree to abide by this policy. We reserve the right to remove any content, in whole or part, that violates this policy, our Terms of Service, our Review Policy, or for any other reason at our sole discretion. We will also remove any items offered for hire if we believe such items are illegal, immoral, or damaging to our reputation.

In the event of repeated or severe violations, we may suspend or permanently deactivate the account(s) in question

You can report the content directly or contact us to report content that appears to violate this policy. The following content is never allowed on Vavender:

  • Content that is defamatory of any person, obscene, offensive, hateful, or inflammatory
  • Spam, unwanted contact, or content that is shared repeatedly in a disruptive manner.
  • Content that promotes sexually explicit material, violence, terrorism, discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age, or any illegal activity.
  • Content that is threatening, abusive or invades another person’s privacy, or causes annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety.
  • Contents that are likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm, or annoy any other person.
  • Content for the purpose of harming or attempting to harm minors in any way.
  • Content that is discriminatory.
  • Content that infringes any copyrights, database rights, trademarks, or other proprietary rights of any other person.
  • Attempts to impersonate another person, account, or entity, including a representative of Vavender.
  • Content that is illegal or that violates another person’s or entity’s rights, including intellectual property rights and privacy rights.
  • Content that includes another person’s private or confidential information, including content that is sufficient to identify a listing’s location.
  • Content that is made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty, a duty of confidence, or an obligation to ensure privacy. If your content identifies or features other individuals, you must ensure that you have consented to the proposed use of the content.
  • Accounts that provide fraudulent, false, misleading, or deceptive information.
  • Listing titles that include information irrelevant to the listing type, style, or experience.
  • Listing titles that include symbols or emojis. 
  • Listings for firearms, weapons, pornography, mature content, animals, or any items that it would be illegal to offer for hire in South Africa. The following review content is never allowed on Vavender:
    • Reviews that are biased and exhibit indications of extortion/incentivization, conflicts of interest, or direct competition.
    • Reviews that contain no relevant information about an owner or renter, listing, or experience will be removed. Reviews that contain mostly irrelevant information are also subject to removal, but only where the otherwise relevant information would not be expected to meaningfully inform the booking decisions of other community members.

For more information on reviews please refer to our review policy.

2. Privacy Policy

At Vavender we take your privacy very seriously and we understand the importance of trust. It’s fundamental to the Vavender community. This privacy policy explains how Vavender uses the personal data that we collect when you use our website or our app.

If you choose to use Vavender, then you agree to the collection and use of information in relation to the service we provide. We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

Our contact details can be found at https://vavender.co.za/contact-us/ please use these if you have any questions on this policy 

The type of personal information we collect 

Personal information means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. In order to keep Vavender a safe place to lend and borrow, we may collect, use, store, and transfer the following types of data:

  • Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth, and gender.
  • Contact Data includes billing address, delivery address, email address, and telephone numbers.
  • Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details.
  • Transaction data includes details about payments to and from you.
  • Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type, and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, and other technology on the devices you use to access the Vavender Service. 
  • Profile Data includes your username and password, purchases or orders made by you, your interests, preferences, feedback, and survey responses.
  •  Social media data includes information from any social media accounts that you share with us or sign up with.
  • Usage Data includes information about how you use our website, products, and services.
  • Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.
  • Cookie information. By using the Vavender Service, you agree to our use of cookies:
    • We use Session, Persistent, and Third-Party cookies to track what you’re doing on the site in order to help us improve it and give you a better experience in the future. Please note that cookies don’t store your banking details.
    • You can turn cookies off at any time (although this will reduce the quality of your user experience). Exactly how will depend on your browser or phone settings – try searching Help on your browser toolbar to go to your phone settings to change cookie controls.

2.1. How do we collect your personal information and data?

You directly provide vavender with most of the data we collect – this is collected when you:

  • Register online to either rent or hire through Vavender.
  • Voluntarily complete a customer survey or provide feedback.
  • Use or view our website via your browser’s cookies.
  • Post content, comments, and reviews or request information on the Vavender website.
  • Contact us (should you need to) – we may keep a record of that correspondence.

2.2. How do we use your information:

To provide, analyze and improve the Vavender service, we use your data to:

  • Enable you to use the Vavender service, communicate with other users, access customer service, and receive relevant communications and notifications from us.
  • Contact you via email, SMS, or phone if we need to send you information relating to your Vavender account.

To keep Vavender a safe place to lend and borrow and to meet our legal obligations, we use your data to:

  • Search your record at immigration and fraud prevention agencies.
  • Prevent illegal activities like money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud.
  • Enforce our Terms and Conditions and other policies and resolves any disputes with any of our Members.

To exercise our legitimate interests (which doesn’t involve overriding your privacy rights), we use your data to:

  • Market products, services, or new features we think you’ll like, in the app, online, or via text and email.

2.3. Who do we share your information with?

We will never sell your data to 3rd Parties. We may however share your personal information with:

  • Anyone with who you give us permission to share your information with
  • Anyone who is part of our organization and needs your information to do their job
  • Organizations that support our service include:
    • Payments who process our payments
    • Credit Reference agencies
    • KYC (Know Your Customer) and cyber security providers

Where necessary, we’ll also share information to comply with regulatory authorities, to enforce our Terms and Conditions or other agreements and to protect the rights, property, or safety of us, our customers, or others.

2.4. Security – How do we protect your information?

We endeavour to take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information and we have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used, or accessed in an unauthorized way, altered, or disclosed.

We limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors, and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. We store your verification information in an encrypted form and only authorized Vavender employees are given access to your original documentation, to help them do their jobs. 

All information you give us is transmitted using SSL, the secure encryption that websites use to transmit credit card numbers.

Data collected inside the EEA may be transferred and stored outside of the EEA for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy. However, we’ll only do this where appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure an adequate level of data protection.

2.5. Data retention

We keep your personal data only as long as necessary to provide you with our Vavender service and for legitimate and essential business purposes, such as maintaining the performance of Vavender, making data-driven business decisions about new features and offerings, complying with our legal obligations, and resolving disputes. We keep some of your personal data for as long as you are a user of the service. For example, we keep your hiring and renting history. 

2.6. Your data protection rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have rights including:

  • Your right of access – You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. 
  • Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete. 
  • Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances. 
  • Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances. 
  • Your right to object to processing – You have the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

Please note, if you exercise your right to delete your data:

  • We may retain certain information necessary for our legitimate business interests, such as fraud detection and prevention, and enhancing safety. E.g. if we suspend a Vavender account for fraud or safety reasons, we might retain certain information to prevent that user from opening another account in the future.
  • We may retain and use your personal information to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations.
  • Information you have shared with others (e.g. reviews) may continue to be publicly visible even after your Vavender account is cancelled.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

Please go to https://vavender.com/page/contact-us if you wish to make a request.

2.7. How to complain

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us using our contacts on https://vavender.co.za/contact-us/

2.8. Review

From time to time we will review this Privacy Policy and updates will appear automatically within this section. If the changes are of more significance, we will contact you via e-mail and inform you accordingly. This policy was last updated on 12th May 2022.

3. Data Protection Policy Statement

Vavender believes that all records required for the protection of customers and the effective and efficient running of the business should be collected, maintained, and kept according to The General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

At Vavender, we adhere to the rights and best interests of users, clients, customers, suppliers, and 3rd party contractors and are safeguarded by keeping accurate and up-to-date records.

Vavender as a business is required to be registered with the Information Regulator (South Africa) under terms of section 39 of the protection of personal information act 4 of 2013. The storage and processing of all personal data held within our organisation, hard copy, or digital devices and systems must comply with the Act. 

At Vavender we understand that, according to The Data Protection Regulation 2018, personal data should:

  1. be obtained fairly and lawfully.
  2. be held for specified and lawful purposes.
  3. be processed in accordance with the person’s rights under the Data Protection Act.
  4. be adequate, relevant, and not excessive in relation to that purpose.
  5. be kept accurate and up to date.
  6. not be kept for longer than is necessary for its given purpose.
  7. be subject to appropriate safeguards against unauthorized use, loss, or damage.
  8. The Information Regulator is, among others, empowered to monitor and enforce compliance by public and private bodies with the provisions of the promotion of access to information act, 2000 (act 2 of 2000), and the protection of personal information act, 2013 (act 4 of 2013).

 This Regulation requires the organisation to respond to requests for access to personal data within 30 working days “Subject Access Request”.

3.1. Training

Staff are required to understand the policies on data protection and confidentiality as part of their induction process. Existing staff have ongoing training covering information about confidentiality, data protection and access to data.

4. Review Policy

To ensure our platform is based on the trust between its users, we need to ensure that reviews on Vavender are useful, informative, and do not expose our community to harm. We expect all reviews on Vavender to adhere to the following:

4.1. Reviews should not violate our Terms and Conditions

Some content is never allowed on Vavender. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Content Policy for more information. 

4.2. Reviews should be unbiased

Reviews are most helpful when they provide unbiased information. Therefore, we don’t allow individuals or entities who own or are affiliated with a listing or experience to post reviews of their business, nor do we allow individuals who are confirmed to offer competing listings or experiences to post reviews of their direct competitors, unless a booking has been made.

Anything posted should be your own experience and work. This includes not uploading images/videos or using content in videos to which someone else owns the copyright, such as music. Content may be removed, without notice, if we receive a complaint from the copyright owner.

You are not allowed to incentivize positive reviews, to use the threat of a negative review to manipulate the desired outcome or influence another’s review with the promise of compensation.

You are also not allowed to accept fake reservations in exchange for a positive review, use a second account to leave yourself a review, or coordinate with business partners to get positive reviews.

4.3. Reviews should be relevant.

Keep your reviews relevant to Vavender and your booking. Other renters and owners are reading your reviews to learn about the item and the people involved in the booking. Reviews that are off-topic are distracting and don’t help our users make informed booking decisions or help owners to improve their renting experience. For this reason, reviews should focus on your interactions with other Vavender members and your time during the booking.

To keep reviews relevant, we recommend avoiding the following:

  • Commentary about a person’s social, political or religious views
  • Abusive or offensive behaviour towards other Vavender members. This includes but is not limited to the use of profanities, threats, prejudiced comments, hate speech, and/or sexually explicit language
  • Content that refers to circumstances entirely outside of another’s control.
  • Content about services not related to Vavender.
  • Commentary about past Vavender bookings, renters, or owners, or about the Vavender product where it does not relate to the listing, renter, or owner you are rating.
  • Second-hand information, rumours, or quotations from other sources. Must be your own experience.

When we receive a report of a review that violates this policy, we may remove the review from our platform. Repeated violations may lead to suspension or permanent deactivation of responsible account(s).

4.4. Responding to a review

Owners have the ability to respond to reviews if they wish. When replying to a review, any comments should be constructive and written in a non-biased way. They also need to adhere to the same rules listed above. 

Reporting a review that violates this policy

To report a review for violating Vavender’s review policy, email us at admin@vavender.com.

If you feel a review is untrue

We encourage and expect all Vavender users to post reviews that contain objective and accurate information, we expect the author of the review to stand behind the content of their review. If you think a review is unfair, untruthful, or violates our policies, you can flag it to one of the team on admin@vavender.com. 

4.5. Covid guidance for safe renting

Covid has temporarily changed the way we live and we have all had to adapt and make changes to the way we do things. Renting is no exception but there isn’t any reason why we can’t continue to rent from each other providing we are careful. Please remember to be kind to each other and support Vavender community members – here are some helpful hints, reminders and suggestions for safe renting:

  • Please comply with any local Tier restrictions or guidelines when renting e.g., essential journeys only, restrictions on numbers, etc etc
  • Renters remain liable for the care and safe return of rental items not only during but also at the end of the rental period.
  • Update your listing with the Covid measures you have put in place – knowing an item is thoroughly cleaned, room for distancing etc will encourage the renter’s confidence
  • Practice contact-free rental handover.
  • Make sure masks are worn, keep your distance and respect the two-meter rule – allowing plenty of space during collection.
  • Allow extra time for drop off/collection
  • We do not encourage leaving rental items unattended unless you have a safe and secure drop-off/pick up point
  • Agree with the renter on how to confirm the item has been collected if you cannot see it for yourself – ask for a selfie!
  • Consider using a courier company if the renter is unable to collect or you’re unable to deliver the item either at the beginning of the end of the rental
  • If instructions on how to use an item are needed then a video, phone call or email will help with this
  • Make sure that your item is thoroughly cleaned before it is collected and when returned. Below are some simple cleaning tips:
    • Wear rubber or disposable gloves
    • Using anti-bacterial cleaner is recommended
    • Use disposable clothes that can be discarded safely after use
    • Pay special attention to any areas that are frequently touched e.g., handles
    • Make sure you thoroughly wash your own hands once you have finished cleaning the item/s

5. Cookie Policy

A cookie is a small amount of data sent from our server and stored on your computer’s hard drive. Cookies help us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our Website and also allow us to improve our Website.

Cookies that are strictly necessary for the operation of our Website

Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of our Website to operate and are already set. These are strictly necessary for the provision of services requested by you and without them, our Website cannot operate as intended. As an example, we may use cookies to store information recorded in a registration form while browsing different pages of our Website or between visits to our Website.

5.1. Other uses of cookies (where you have consented to such use)

Where you consent to us doing so, we may also use cookies and other such devices to:

  • Allow you to carry information across pages of our Website and avoid having to re-enter information;
  • Measure and improve the performance of our Website;
  • Within registration to allow you to access stored information;
  • Help us recognise you as a unique visitor when you return to our Website and to allow us to tailor content or advertisements to match your preferred interests or to avoid showing you the same adverts repeatedly;
  • Speed up searches;
  • Within research surveys to ensure you are not invited to complete a questionnaire too often or after you have already done; and/or provide additional functionality on our Website.

5.2. Other cookies outside of our control

We may use external services such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, to display certain content on our Website. We cannot prevent such websites from collecting information about your usage of their services on our Website, for example, a number of plays of a video.

Like many organisations, we use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a number of cookies in order to evaluate your use of our site and enable us to carry out actions including (but not limited to):

  • Tracking the number of visitors to our site;
  • Monitoring the number of users on our site at any given time;
  • Analyzing popular content on our site

Google stores the information collected by these cookies on servers in the United States. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using our site, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

5.3. How do I manage & delete these cookies?

Most internet browsers are automatically set up to accept cookies, but you can set your browser to refuse a cookie or ask your browser to show you where a cookie has been set up. Certain services are only activated by the presence of a cookie and, if you choose to refuse cookies, particular features of this Website may not be available to you.

6. Social Media Policy Statement

Social media allows people to communicate instantly with each other or to share information in a public forum. Social media tools and platforms include e-mail, online social forums, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Tumblr, blogs, wikis, podcasts, message services, video-, and image-sharing websites and similar facilities.

This policy is intended to help staff make appropriate decisions about the use of social media in connection with their work, outline the standards expected and what will happen in cases of non-compliance.

6.1. Aims of Policy

This policy on acceptable/unacceptable use of social media from the perspective of this organisation specifically aims to:

  1. give guidelines to all staff on what they can/cannot say on social media platforms about the organisation.
  2. help managers manage the conduct of their staff effectively.
  3. help staff work out the boundaries between their private and work lives.
  4. comply with the law of the land on discrimination, data protection, and health and safety
  5. be clear about sensitive issues and explain how disciplinary rules apply to any social media misuse.
  6. help protect it against potential liability for the possible actions of its staff.

6.2. Scope of Policy

This policy covers the use of social media by staff employed by the organisation as it might impact their work, their clients, relatives and friends, and others who come into contact with the organisation. 

It relates to the personal and private use of social media, references may be made to a work situation and to a person’s work experiences, which can be accessed publicly, whether intended or not. 

It is the individual’s responsibility to exercise the relevant privacy controls over their social media platforms so that material implicating the organisation does not appear in the public arena unintentionally. 

The policy applies to the use of the organisation’s own social media accounts and to the private accounts of all of its staff, where the content falls within the scope of the policy as explained in the previous paragraphs.

6.3. Specific Aspects

Applicants for employment with the organisation are reassured that it does not normally attempt to examine their social media accounts when they apply for a job, considered to be a breach of their privacy. It might seek to do so if alerted to evidence that would affect their suitability for the position but only with their permission.

The organisation uses social media platforms to promote and explain its values. Staff is encouraged to contribute and share their ideas as they would on any other aspect of the organisation.

When contributing to any forum launched by the organisation to obtain people’s views, staff are expected to contribute as they would to any conventional staff meeting in line with established ground rules.

Staff must be authorised by their manager to contribute to the content and make changes to any feature of the relevant platform. Any attempt to hack the organisation’s social media platforms is a serious offence that will result in disciplinary proceedings, inevitable immediate dismissal, and possible criminal proceedings.

In using the organisation’s own devices for social media use staff must observe the guidelines set out below. They must be aware that they have no right to privacy to any information or data acquired for personal use that is stored on the organisation’s devices. Personal use of the organisation’s devices will be regularly monitored and reviewed to make sure that it is following the guidelines.

6.5. Use of personal social media platforms

It is accepted that staff members might use their own devices (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc) to make use of their personal social media platforms in the course of or away from their work.

The personal use of social media in work time, eg for messaging purposes, must not interfere in any way with their work.

When they make any reference to their work situation or work in general on their personal platforms, eg in a blog or diary, they should make sure that they are expressing their views in a personal capacity and not as a representative of their organisation by providing a suitable disclaimer, eg “The views I express here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my organisation/employer.”

6.7. Guidelines

However and whenever staff makes use of social media that makes reference to or has implications for the organisation, it is essential that they comply with the following rules.

In general, they should use social media that contains references to their work situation responsibly, respectfully, and constructively. A breach of the law resulting from non-work-related social media use could have an impact on their employment.

Staff is advised to discuss areas of confusion with their manager. They should obtain consent to access and/or post any significant work-related material and information, particularly where there are possible breaches of data protection and confidentiality.

6.8. Staff members must not:

  1. breach confidentiality by referring directly to clients or revealing personal details about them
  2. post images, photographs, or videos of clients or colleagues without their knowledge or consent
  3. give away confidential information obtained about any client, colleague, or person with whom they have met in the course of their work.
  4. discuss the business of the client or information known to be confidential information
  5. do anything that could be considered discriminatory against, bullying, or harassing of, any individual associated with their work.
  6. make offensive or derogatory comments relating to the sex, gender, race (including nationality), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or the age of anyone connected to work or colleague.
  7. use social media to bully a colleague, client, or anyone connected to either.
  8. bring their employer into disrepute, e.g. by making derogatory or malicious comments or defamatory remarks about the organisation’s owners or management.
  9. use the organisation’s devices to post images that are inappropriate or make links to inappropriate content, e.g. pornographic websites.
  10. disclose confidential intellectual property or information owned by the organisation or breach copyright where the latter is related to the work of the organisation.

6.9. Public Interest Disclosure (“Whistleblowing”)

Where a staff member releases information through social media that might be considered a Public Interest Disclosure, eg to disclose an internal grievance, the organisation’s whistleblowing policy will be followed.

All staff are regularly reminded of the policy and of their responsibilities to use all forms of social media within these guidelines while remaining employees of this organisation.

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