Dad gets letter addressed to 'Daughter Killed In Car Crash'

Recipient actually lived in Illinois, not Daughter Killed In Car Crash

Christopher Hooton
Monday 20 January 2014 17:42
Comments
Mr Seay was the victim of badly mail-merged data
Mr Seay was the victim of badly mail-merged data

Mike Seay of Lindenhurst, Illinois received mail from OfficeMax stating that his daughter had died in a car accident – that might sound like a case of mistaken identity, with the message being intended for someone else, but the truth is perhaps even more sinister.

Despite the confusing address line, the letter had actually reached the right person. Seay's 17-year-old daughter had died in a tragic accident the year. But how did OfficeMax know?

In a world where personal data is mined and sold between companies in order to better target customers, it seems Seay was the victim of an already nasty piece of marketing that had taken a turn for the macabre.

"I’m not a big OfficeMax customer. And I wouldn’t have gone there and said anything to anybody there about it [the car crash]. That’s not their business," Seay, who had merely bought some paper from the firm, told Los Angeles Times.

It appears OfficeMax had bought the news of the bereavement from another company, hoping to ensnare Seay with a discount offering.

OfficeMax eventually apologised to Seay, explaining the mailing "is a result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider", though a customer service assistant had originally refused to believe the existence of the letter.

Seay said he would not be suing OfficeMax, but demanded a written apology as the letter had 'traumatised' his wife.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in