Canadian Cable Company Goes Scorched Earth And Facebook-Shames Customers That Don’t Pay

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A Canadian cable company is fed up with late payments, so they did the unthinkable: put customers on blast via Facebook.

Senga Service Cable TV, a Fort Simpson, N.W.T. based company, is taking some heat after posting the names of customers with outstanding debts to their public company Facebook page. The list included names and the amount owed by each person. So aggressive. I’m admittedly unfamiliar with Canada’s debt collection laws, but it seems like the good old fashioned harassing phone calls that we utilize in the States would suffice.

Jennifer Simons, a Senga employee, told Canada’s CBC News, “We always got excuses from everybody. Promissory notes and everything, and it never arrives. So we found the most effective way is to publicly post the names.” Effective? Sure. Dickhead-ish? Probably.

Here’s a screenshot from the now deleted page:

Canadian Cable Company Facebook-Shamed Customers That Didn't Pay

Man, that’s real. I’m all for shaming deadbeats who don’t pay their child support, but cable bills? Can’t they just hire some collection agency or something? Come on, Jennifer.

“We know everybody, so we give people a chance,” she said. “It’s the people who dodge us on a regular basis who are the ones being shamed.”

Here’s more from Jennifer:

Canadian Cable Company Facebook-Shamed Customers That Didn't Pay

I have to say, part of me respects her for sticking to her guns. A zealous advocate in every sense of the word.

The post, which was removed at the request of The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, apparently falls into a legal grey area under to Canadian law.

From CBC News:

In an email response, Tobi Cohen, a senior communications adviser at the office, told CBC that Senga Services had been contacted and “the company has complied with our request to take down the post.”

Cohen wrote that the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act “allows organizations to use or disclose people’s personal information only for the purpose for which they gave consent.

“There is also an over-arching clause that personal information may only be collected, used and disclosed for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate under the circumstances.”

Cohen also wrote that were an individual to make a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the office “could look at investigating further.”

Let this be a lesson, Canada. Pay your bills, and keep your head on a swivel.

[via CBC News]

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