In a twisted example of marketing gone wrong, OfficeMax customer Max Seay received a piece of mail from the company last week that was marked with some extremely personal data.
The father from Lindenhurst, Ill., got a piece of mail from OfficeMax addressed to "Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash," the Los Angeles Times reported.
The office retailer somehow appeared to know that Seay's 17-year-old daughter, Ashley, died in a car crash with her boyfriend last year.
"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, 46, told the L.A. Times in a phone interview Sunday.
Seay said the letter seemed to be a discount offer and told the L.A. Times that OfficeMax hadn't called him to apologize personally.
He called an OfficeMax number last week and a call center manager didn't believe he had received a letter with that line in the address.
An OfficeMax spokeswoman told the L.A. Times that the company is still collecting information about the incident. In a statement, OfficeMax said the piece of mail came about as "a result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider" and apologized to Seay.
The grieving father doesn't plan to sue the company but wants a personal apology from OfficeMax's chief. He said his wife was "traumatized" by the letter, and he also wants to know how the company got that information.
"Why do they have that?" Seay said of the line specifically about his daughter's death. "What do they need that for? How she died, when she died? It's not really personal, but looking at them, it is. That's not something they would ever need."
OfficeMax hasn't specified which company provided the mailing list it used to get Seay's information.