Plymouth shop stuffs job application form in shoes sold to customer
A SHOPPER was shocked to find a job seeker's application stuffed inside a pair of shoes she had just bought.
Nancy Hembroke told how she discovered the paperwork emblazoned with the words 'private and confidential' – inside the footwear she bought from Deichmann's in Plymouth city centre.
Nancy explained: "It was used as padding. It has everything on there including the man's national insurance number, phone number and address.
"Everything an identity thief would need. I'm appalled.
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"It's a three-page application dated February 13. I bought the shoes on February 16.
"Who knows how many discarded application forms have been used as stuffing and sold? And it's not just someone on the shop floor who has done this; it must have been someone higher up the chain who deals with the applications.
"This is a multi-national company – they should be hot on confidentiality legislation."
Nancy got in touch with the 20-year-old job applicant to tell him what had happened.
She said: "I think at first he was disappointed that he obviously didn't get the job.
"No wonder, how disheartening to find that you spend all that time filling in an application form and it's scrunched into a ball and tossed aside."
A spokesman for Deichmann said: "We can only apologise for this unfortunate incident happening and the understandable distress this will have caused.
"The appropriate use and handling of personal information is something that we take very seriously. As a business we try to re-use as much paper and cardboard as we can. We are still investigating how this particular application form ended up where it did, but it appears to have been accidentally mixed-up into paper that was due for recycling."
But Nancy, who lives in Calstock, says the incident raises wider concerns about procedures at the Deichmann store.
She added: "I like to pay with cash anyway but it raises fears about how they deal with information. This seems like a very cavalier attitude. What's happening to the details of customers who pay by card?"
The man who filled out the application form does not want to be named, but he said: "I'm shocked. The first thing that popped into my mind was the horsemeat scandal. You trust these big companies to do the right by you and look after your interests; they have a duty to do that.
"I'm trying hard to get a job and spent a lot of time and effort filling out that application form.
"It just makes you wonder what the point is in making an effort if that's how employers treat you.
"If that information had fallen into the wrong hands, it could have been used to get loans in my name or anything."