A Chicago man felt re-victimized recently when he got a mailing from OfficeMax that was addressed to someone with a “daughter killed in car crash.”
During the last year, the debate over privacy in the U.S. has intensified. Americans have learned about the way government agencies like the NSA collect information from every phone call and companies like the U.S. retailer Target have been identifying pregnant customers.
But Mike Seay told WMAZ that he couldn’t imagine why OfficeMax would need know how his daughter died.
On Thursday, Seay received a $10 off coupon from OfficeMax that was address to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed In Car Crash, Or Current Business.”
“Why would they have that type of information? Why would they need that?” Seay wanted to know. “What purpose does it serve anybody to know that? And how much other types of other information do they have if they have that on me, or anyone else? And how do they use that, what do they use that for?”
Seay’s wife, who felt “traumatized” by the letter, contacted the OfficeMax call center.
“The manager told her that it was impossible, that this can’t be happening,” Seay recalled.
In a statement to WMAZ, OfficeMax called the mistake an “error” in a third-party mailing list.
“We are deeply sorry that Mr. Seay and his family received this mailing from us, and we are reaching out to Mr. Seay to convey our sincerest apologies on this unfortunate matter,” the statement said. “This mailing is a result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider. We have reached out to the third-party mailing list provider to research what happened.”
“Based on a preliminary investigation today we believe this to be an inadvertent error; and we are continuing the investigation,” OfficeMax spokesperson Nicole Miller added.
Watch the video below from WMAZ, broadcast Jan. 19, 2014