Social Media Debt Collection Scandal
These days there isn’t much you can’t find on the internet, including one’s personal and some basic financial information. The lack of privacy around the internet is astounding and many companies are now using social media sites as tools for debt collection.
A video store in Harnett County, North Carolina has taken a new approach to collecting on unpaid late fees. Video Cafe in Coats, North Carolina has a white board hung on the store wall that lists the names of around 300 people with delinquent accounts. These people are accused of failing to pay overdue fines or return videos. It is accurately named, the “Wall of Shame”.
While the Wall of Shame is certainly embarrassing for some listed among the offenders, Video Cafe owners have taken it a step further by listing the same names on the store’s business Facebook page. Admittedly, the new tactic is working and people are settling their debts. However, critics of the Wall of Shame are concerned about what such practices could breed, and others consider it another form of internet bullying. Store owners defend their position by saying they are simply just “trying to keep the doors open.” Either way, the store is considered a debt collector under state law, which prohibits such tactics from being used in debt collection practices.
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