Mum bombarded with text messages from supermarket after council blunder
PUBLISHED: 16:11 25 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:45 26 July 2020
A council blunder led to a mum being bombarded with texts containing personal details of vulnerable people receiving food parcels from a Norfolk supermarket.
On June 15, 28-year-old Natasha Holmes-Olley was delivered a food parcel from her local Morrison’s supermarket, as part of a Norfolk County Council coronavirus response scheme.
However, every day since then Mrs Holmes-Olley has received text messages from the supermarket with tracking details of other deliveries from all corners of the county - for which County Hall has now apologised.
Mrs Holmes-Olley estimates she has received around three texts a day for more than a month - nearly 100 messages.
Each text message has included a link which takes her to a webpage detailing exactly when and where the parcels would be delivered - and giving the option for her to rearrange them or specify a safe spot for the package.
She even began receiving photographs of the parcels being left by doors in the event of recipients not being home.
Despite alerting the supermarket of the trouble, the messages did not stop. However, the supermarket has said the blame lies with the county council.
Mrs Holmes-Olley, who is a full-time carer and lives in Heartsease, said: “The first time it happened I thought it was odd, but then it happened again and again and again. I know if it was my address that was being given out to strangers I would be mortified.
“In a way, I’m glad that it’s happened to me and not somebody nasty - it would be so easy for somebody to just go around and collect them before the people they were sent to found then.
“If I had collected every parcel I’ve been texted about I could have eaten like a king for years.”
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A Morrison’s spokesman said the blunder came after a member of staff at the county council mistakenly provided Mrs Holmes-Olley’s phone number as the main point of contact for tracking information.
Mrs Holmes-Olley said that as a result she received around three or four texts ever day, with addresses as far away from her as Holt, Wisbech and King’s Lynn.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We thoroughly investigated and fixed the isolated issue as soon as the problem was reported to us.
“We are confident this was due to human error and are very sorry that it happened.”
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