Retailer takes remedial actions after employee inappropriately texted customer
Early resolved case summary #2015-02
October 26, 2015
- Organizations are responsible for personal information under their control. This information is to be collected, used and disclosed only for the purposes for which it was collected.
- Organizations must investigate all complaints. If a complaint is found to be justified, the organization must take appropriate measures.
- Organizations should ensure that their employees understand and follow policies about if and when customer information can be transferred to a personal device. For further information, consult our guidance “Is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program the Right Choice for Your Organization?” and “Contemplating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program? Consider these tips”
An individual purchased a product from a retailer, to be delivered at her home. Shortly after the delivery, the retailer’s deliveryperson sent a text message to the individual on her cell phone. In the customer’s opinion, the delivery person made inappropriate comments to her during their brief exchange of text messages.
The customer retained a record of the exchange and reported the incident to the retailer’s customer service department, seeking action against the deliveryperson.
She claimed that the manager assigned to her complaint showed a lack of concern given the seriousness of the matter. As well, she claimed being stonewalled when asking the manager for information she needed to escalate her complaint.
As the individual had the impression the retailer would not do anything about what she considered to be inappropriate conduct and an invasion of her privacy, she complained to our Office.
Our inquiries revealed that the deliveryperson had obtained the customer’s phone number from his work phone assigned to him by his employer. Since his work phone was not functioning properly the day of the complainant’s delivery, he transferred the customer’s phone number to his personal phone, which he used to contact the customer.
The retailer assured our Office that it disapproves of employees transferring customer information to personal devices. As a result of this incident, the retailer now requires delivery employees to return immediately to the warehouse upon discovering that their work phone is faulty.
The customer was satisfied with the actions taken by the retailer as a result of her complaint to our Office.
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