How Flatbike keeps your online data safe
June 8th 2018
Since 2000, the percentage of US consumers shopping online has nearly quadrupled, rising from 22% to 79%. This is partly because of better financial safeguards, partly because of the influence of an internet-savvy generation, and partly because of better privacy policies. Seen that recent flurry of privacy-related emails as companies strive to keep up with new European regulations?
At Flatbike, we’re committed to biking made easier. We’re not making your life easier if we misuse your personal information.
So here are all the ways we use your data, how it helps you, and what to do if you want to change it.
Even in the best cases, getting a quality bike off the internet isn’t an impulse purchase. You need time to see what makes CHANGE bikes uniquely better, what model meets your needs the most, what size frame within that model is right for you—maybe even which optional components add the most value to your order.
That means, if a CHANGE bike is right for you, you’ll be coming back to Flatbike.com multiple times. We make that easier with use of a cookie in your browser. Occasionally, one of those ads that you see in your browser when visiting other sites will be a reminder ad about Flatbike.com.
This is a general feature of Google search and can be edited here: https://myaccount.google.com/intro/privacy#ads.
Using social media
Like many internet-era individuals, you likely have a wealth of information online in social-media applications, including interests and activities, as well as your friends and what they care about and do. In the wrong hands, it’s a bit creepy, to be honest, and we recommend knowing how to control your personal information on Facebook.
Even without that, we set our own limits on Facebook and Instagram. If people have interests related to folding full-size bike needs, such as private pilots, boaters, RV owners, truckers, or even just downtown folks living in limited space, we are interested and may share an occasional ad with people who are demographically inclined to care.
But collecting info about your friends to use–or even worse, hijack for corporate friend-spamming? Never. It runs counter to everything we believe. Everyone has a right to their own data, and no company should have a right to monetize your personal friendships.
Receiving the Flatbike quarterly newsletter
The Flatbike.com website has a place to subscribe to the Flatbike quarterly newsletter. It combines info about new bike and component arrivals, specials, and any issues that we know from e-mail or phone interactions are of broad interest in making biking easier.
That is the only way that this e-mail address is used. Flatbike takes spamming seriously, so our newsletter comes out only four times/year.
Visitors to Flatbike.com often send us e-mails to get clarification about bike capabilities and specifications, as well as pricing information and any current specials. This is considered an expression of interest in Flatbike products. People who connect multiple times are signed up for the Flatbike quarterly newsletter of special offerings and new arrivals to make biking easier.
If you wish to remove yourself from this list, there is a link at the bottom of each quarterly mail.
Ordering from Flatbike
The Flatbike.com website includes the ability to make secure online purchases that consist of names, contact information, and financial data.
Financial data is passed directly to our payment processor, with nothing stored on our website. So even if our secure and fraud-monitored website were to get hacked, your credit card information would not be at risk. It simply isn’t there.
There is a masked record of your credit card at our processor that we can still interact with for full or partial refunds—pedals and seat bags come standard, and we sometimes have to refund these accidentally purchased accessories—but we still do not know your card number, so we cannot add on or reuse your card in any way.
Contact information is stored on our site, and we use it in two ways.
All contact information is critical for shipping your bike. This information is passed to UPS (and in some cases, FedEx) for the sole purpose of shipping your bike to you accurately and with full communication. Most of this communication will be via e-mail updates about the status of your shipment, but if there is a problem, a phone number may be used to fix a missed connection at the final destination.
Occasionally, we follow up personally with individual or small segments of purchasers about a specific topic, such as how a new bike model or component is performing. This is typically done via e-mail. If it feels intrusive, simply don’t respond.
There is currently no plan to automatically include purchasers on our quarterly newsletter; silently purchasing and remaining relatively anonymous remains an option. If receiving the newsletter is preferred instead, it takes just moments to opt in.
Our valued partners. Those unnamed, stealthy marketing entities that some unscrupulous sites trade or sell your name to, who then resell it themselves. Before you know it, your precious contact info is out in the wild for any and all spammers to fill your inbox with dodgy offers for just about anything.
Yeah…we don’t go there. Ever. And we don’t think any other self-respecting sites should either.
Thanks for placing your trust in us. We’ll keep earning it.
Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.