An OfficeMax stationary store in suburban Chicago, Illinois has courted controversy and raised questions of consumer privacy by sending a direct-mail flyer to the home of a man whose daughter was killed in a car accident. It addressed the mail to the resident and “Daughter Killed in Car Crash or Current Business.”
The mail was sent to the home of Antioch resident Mike Seay whose 17-year-old daughter, Ashley, was killed in a car accident in April of 2013.
Unsurprisingly, Seay was shocked and outraged.
“Why would they have that type of information? Why would they need that?” Seay told Chicago’s NBC affiliate. “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?”
The bereaved father initially asked his Facebook friends what to do about the situation and eventually decided to call the OfficeMax call center where he was met with incredulity by the call center supervisor.
However, the OfficeMax representative eventually came to believe the man and the company also issued an apology. OfficeMax spokesperson Nicole Miller said:
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. 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.
In the end, the company blamed a third party direct-mail contractor.