OfficeMax apologizes for label on mail to Illinois man

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OfficeMax mailing label image from Chicago Tribune

(CNN) — OfficeMax has apologized for addressing a grieving Illinois dad as “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash” in a promotional letter sent last week.

“An OfficeMax executive spoke with the Seay family on Sunday to express our sincerest apologies,” read a statement released Tuesday by Karen Denning, the senior director of media relations at OfficeMax. “We continue to investigate how this information could have been included on a mailing list and will take the necessary action to prevent situations such as this from occurring.  In addition, we are committed to reaching out to the Seays again when we have a full understanding of what happened with the mailing list provider.”

Seay, who lost his teenage daughter, Ashley, in a car accident last year, said the statement doesn’t quite hit the mark for him.

“I’m sure (the spokeswoman) felt bad, but it wasn’t the president of the company. My reaction is she took a step forward. I didn’t feel like it was an apology from the company,” Seay told CNN. “They’re trying to put out a fire and they’re using a cup of water to do it.”

Seay said he received the letter last Thursday and called the company the next day to report it, but was told “that can’t happen.”

He then decided to post the letter on Facebook, asking for advice on what to do next. On Sunday, after his story made the local news, Seay said he was called by an OfficeMax executive.

The executive said the mistake happened as a result of computer error, but then later admitted it was human error, according to Seay. He said he hasn’t heard from the company since that conversation and that all he wants is an apology to his family and a guarantee that this won’t happen again.

OfficeMax also released the following statement late Friday before speaking with Seay:

“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.”

CNN’s Matthew Stucker contributed to this report.

1 Comment

  • just sayin

    Result of “selling” consumer info for marketing…..businesses should always ASK for permission from the consumer before sharing ANY information!!!!!! We have NO privacy when we purchase with anything other than cash and that is just so wrong. Using a check, debit card or credit card does not automatically give anyone permission to use that information!!
    It’s sad that this family had to endure more grief than they already had because of this. My thoughts are with the Seay family.

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