Vets Central Pty Ltd ACN 646 462 973 and its related entities (referred to in this document as ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’) recognises that your privacy is important, and we are committed to protecting the personal information we collect from you.
The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘Privacy Act’), and the Australian Privacy Principles (‘APP’) govern the way in which we must manage your personal information and this policy sets out how we collect, use, disclose and otherwise manage personal information about you.
Types of Information Collected
We may collect and hold personal information about you, that is, information that can identify you, and is relevant to providing you with the services you are seeking. This can include your name, date of birth, contact details (including address, email address, phone number), financial information (such as credit card or bank account numbers), pet or animal ownership details and information about how you use our products and services.
Our veterinary surgeons also create and maintain records of animals under their care in accordance with their legal and professional obligations. This may require us to collect your personal information under State and Territory veterinary surgeon legislation. Nothing in this policy limits, or is intended to operate inconsistently with, the legal and professional obligations of our veterinary surgeons.
The above noted types of information collected is not an exhaustive list. We may need to collect additional information about you from time to time to provide products or services to you.
You might also need to provide us with personal information about other individuals (e.g. co-owners or carers of animals receiving treatment). If so, we rely on you to inform those individuals that you are providing their personal information to us and to advise them about this policy.
Purpose of collection
The type of personal information that we collect and hold about you depends on your interaction with us. Generally, we will collect, use and hold your personal information for the purposes of:
- providing safe and effective veterinary care to your pet or animal;
- communicating with you about upcoming appointments, health checks, vaccination schedules and other related veterinary care matters;
- answering your questions, providing you with information or advice (including general pet health advice) or considering and responding to requests or complaints made by you;
- providing other products or services to you or someone else you know;
- issuing tax invoices for the products or services we may provide to you from time to time;
- providing you with information about other services that we, our related entities and other organisations that we have affiliations with, offer that may be of interest to you;
- facilitating our internal business operations, including the fulfilment of any legal requirements; and
- analysing our services and customer needs with a view to developing new or improved services.
Method of collection
Personal information will generally be collected directly from you through:
- the use of any of our standard forms (such as when you complete a patient details form or registration form, enter into an agreement with us, contact us with a query or request or submit your details through our website or by email);
- conversations with our reception, veterinary care or other staff (by phone, in person or electronically); or
- your use of our website (see below under heading ‘Internet Users’) or customer service lines.
We may also collect information other than directly from you, for example from:
third parties such as our related entities, business partners, or your representatives;
- publicly available sources of information;
- our records of how you use our services; and
- the third parties we list in the section of this policy with the heading ‘Use and disclosure’.
If you choose not to provide certain information about you, we may not be able to provide you with the products or services you require, or the level of service on which we pride ourselves.
If the personal information you provide to us is incomplete or inaccurate, we may be unable to provide you, or someone else you know, with the products or services you, or they, are seeking.
If you access our website, we may collect additional personal information about you in the form of your IP address and domain name.
Our website(s) may contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of linked websites and linked websites are not subject to our privacy policies and procedures.
Use and disclosure
Generally, we only use or disclose personal information about you for the purposes for which it was collected (as set out above) or for purposes which are directly related to one or more of our functions and activities. This means that we may disclose personal information about you for purposes required for the administration and operation of our business, including (but not limited to):
- the disclosure of information to other veterinary care professionals (for example, veterinary pathologists) in the course of the provision of veterinary care to your pet or animal (where this is consistent with our veterinary surgeons’ legal and professional obligations);
- administering billing (including administration of insurance and other third-party payment arrangements) and debt recovery;
- managing, monitoring, planning and evaluating our services;
- safety and quality assurance and improvement activities;
- training of staff and veterinary care workers;
- testing and maintenance of information technology systems;
- product and service development, quality control and research to improve the way we provide products and services to you;
- to seek your feedback in relation to customer satisfaction and our relationship with you and perform research and statistical analysis using such feedback;
- risk management and management of legal liabilities and claims (for example, liaising with our insurers and legal representatives);
- obtaining advice from consultants and professional advisers;
- responding to subpoenas or other legal orders and obligations; and to comply with laws or regulations or to comply with any directions given by regulators or authorities (including with respect to quarantine, public health and notifiable diseases).
We may also disclose personal information about you to:
- appropriate authorities in instances of suspected animal abuse, cruelty or mistreatment;
- our related entities and other organisations with whom we have affiliations so that those organisations may provide you with information about services and various promotions.
Unless we have your consent, or an exception under the Australian Privacy Principles applies, we will only disclose your personal information to overseas recipients where we have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to your personal information.
How we use your information for Direct Marketing
We may also use your information so that we, our related entities, and other business partners can promote and market products, services and special offers that we think will be of interest to you (which may include products, services and offers provided by a third party). This marketing may be carried out in a variety of ways (including by email, SMS/MMS, or social media) and may continue after you cease acquiring any products or services from us until you opt-out.
We acknowledge and respect our customers’ choice to ‘opt-out’ of direct marketing communication activities undertaken by us. You may opt out of direct marketing communications at any time by contacting us on 1300 838 236 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also unsubscribe from marketing emails by clicking the unsubscribe link on the footer of the email communication you have received.
How we hold your personal information
The security of your personal information is of paramount importance to us. We store your personal information in different ways, including in paper and in electronic form. Any bank or credit card details you provide and that we store will be encrypted, and any tax invoices we issue to you will not display your full bank or credit card details, for your added protection. The security of your personal information is important to us. We take all reasonable measures to ensure that your personal information is stored safely to protect it from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
If we no longer need your personal information for the purposes for which it was collected or for purposes which are directly related to one or more of our functions and activities, we will take reasonable steps to securely destroy it or permanently remove all identifying features from that information. This obligation is subject to any legal requirement or Court order to retain the information.
How you can access your personal information
You may access the personal information we hold about you, upon making a written request. We take all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up to date.
If, upon receiving access to your personal information or at any other time, you believe the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, please notify us immediately.
We will take reasonable steps to correct the information so that it is accurate, complete and up to date.
If you wish to access any of your personal information that we hold or would like to correct any errors in that information, please contact us using the contact details set out in the Contact section of this policy, so that we can consider and respond to your request. We may apply an administrative charge for providing access to your personal information in response to a request.
You may use the contact details below to notify us of any privacy complaint you have against us, including if you think that we have failed to comply with the APP or any binding APP code that has been registered under the Privacy Act. We are committed to acknowledging your complaint in a prompt manner and will give you an estimated timeframe for when we will respond to your complaint.
If you are unhappy with the way that we handle your complaint you may make your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Email address: email@example.com
Telephone: 1300 838 236
Changes to our privacy and information handling practices
For more information about privacy in general, you can visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website at http://www.oaic.gov.au/