Thomas’ shredder program fights ID theft - East Valley Tribune: News

Thomas’ shredder program fights ID theft

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007 5:05 pm | Updated: 8:11 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Chandler business owner was recently awarded a paper shredder from Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas as a part of the campaign against identity theft, which, coincidentally, fits perfectly with the ethical procedures of the business.

Linda Stanfield of Gilbert won the paper shredder in a contest conducted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s office, which gives away a paper shredder each month in efforts to reduce identity theft in Arizona.

Arizona is the state with the largest identity theft problem in the United States, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office website.

Stanfield, the owner of Chandler-based Ben Franklin plumbing said the new shredder definitely helps her business maintain the crime-free environment. There is a shredder under every desk to ensure that clients’ personal information stays safe.

For the 23 years her company has been in business, Stanfield has maintained that the company keeps a drug-free and crime-free environment, with all potential employees required to go through a stringent selection process. Mary Garrett, a spokeswoman for Ben Franklin plumbing, said only one of every 33 people who apply with Ben Franklin are actually qualified to enter their customer’s home wearing the Ben Franklin uniform.

The company currently has ten service employees, all of whom fit the crime-free and drug-free criteria.

Stanfield said it is sometimes difficult to find people who meet her strict criteria, but the ethics of her company are very important to her to maintain—especially as she has heard about frequent cases in which other service employees impose harm on customers.

“I feel like our home is a very sacred thing, a very personal asset and that we grow the best things in life, our families, in it,” Stanfield said. “For a stranger to come in and impose and hurt us when we invite them in is very sad.”

Ben Franklin Plumbing has won the Ethics Award twice from the Better Business Bureau. The company won it in 2003, the first year it was given out, and again in 2007, and is the only company to have won the award twice in the state.

Both plumbers and office workers are required to have a background check and drug tests to ensure the safety of the customers.

Stanfield said the internal office employees are handling credit card information, gate codes, and other personal information, so they must be of good moral and ethical standing as well.

Stanfield said that plumbing doesn’t always get the best reputation, and that many people don’t think of plumbers as professionals. She said she is hoping to change that.

“I feel like we’re meeting a niche,” Stanfield said, “providing drug-free, crime-free, and on time service.”

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