A woman who left her purse in an Aldi store was reunited with it on the same day, but found her cards cut up due to “data protection”.
Jessica Xanthe Webb, from Bournemouth, shared a photo of the aftermath on Facebook.
All of her plastic – including debit, credit, National Insurance, even her Subway and Boots cards – were chopped in half. Ms Webb, 29, said to i that she was “stunned” and “confused” by the situation and could not understand why the store took such drastic action.
She said staff at the Aldi branch in Poole cited new data protection laws and that the company destroys all cards that are not reclaimed within an hour of being lost.
“I found it a really strange thing to do as I don’t know anything about that being the case with the new data laws,”
READ MORE: Aldi announces opening month for new West Lothian store
Ms Webb told i. “They have offered me a £20 voucher and advised they will investigate the issue, which I’m happy with, assuming that happens.
“I think that companies and consumers need a better understanding of whatever the new laws are”.
Ms Webb initially aired her thoughts on Facebook, where she said: “I was pretty stunned to be handed an empty wallet and an envelope and to be advised that as I hadn’t gone back for it within an hour – they had cut up all of my cards due to the new Data Protection laws.
Questions: Is this legit? If they had to go through my cards to chop them up, could they not have called my bank and asked them to contact me?
Could they not have just put my purse in a safe for the time being?
Could they not have waited 24 hours at least? I’m so confused.”
READ MORE: Duncan Reid: Emphasis must be on treating clients’ data with respect
Many agreed. Mark Gale and Lisa Marie suggested Aldi should pay for replacements, while Cheryl Edwards said: “That’s awful. I can’t believe they did that”.
Aldi responded to Ms Webb’s complaint via direct message.
Ms Webb, who works in hospitality, shared the reply.
It said: “Hi Jessica. Thanks for the message. We are sorry to hear that this is how you feel and we do apologise for this happening.
“We have spoken to the store and they have confirmed that due to the new data protection laws, the management team has confirmed that any card will be cut up if they are not collected within one hour of being left in store.
“We do apologise for this and we will insure that this is logged and fed back to the relevant teams for review and consideration moving forwards.”
An Aldi spokesperson said: “Following changes to UK data protection law, our policy is to destroy items left in store that contain personal information by the end of the working day.
“This policy is to protect our customers’ data and prevent it from potentially being misused.
“In this instance, we recognise that we did not give Ms Webb enough time to return to our store to collect her purse. We have apologised to her and reminded our store colleagues of the correct procedure.”
This story appeared on our sister site The I