What’s one way to get someone to pay the bill? For one cable company, publicly posting a list on its Facebook page with the names of subscribers who have not paid their overdue bills seemed like the appropriate answer.
Senga Service Cable Company, based in Fort Simpson in Canada’s Northwest Territories, posted the list of 25 bills on its Facebook page on Monday, reported Vice. The list includes the names of people under their respective households as well as the amount owed for each account.
Following the list of accounts is a note warning that the accounts will be disconnected Wednesday. A spokesperson for the company, Jennifer Simmons, told CBC News that the business was fed up with “excuses” from customers who refuse to pay. She said:
“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.”
The company have received criticism since posting the list to their page on Monday. The post has been removed, but screenshots show the spokesperson’s responses to accusations that their action was ethical. Simmons wrote:
“Well then maybe it’s a lesson to not live outside your means.
“People who can’t afford services shouldn’t get them. Period.”
One man whose name appeared on the list was former member of the legislative assembly Kevin Menicoche who contacted the company after seeing his name on Facebook. He told CBC News:
“I did speak with them. I said ‘I’m not embarrassed, but it would be nice if you had contacted me individually.’ They thought that was one of the options available to them, but there’s got to be an issue of confidentiality.”
However, according to Simmons the company is in the clear. After consulting lawyers, she concluded that they would only be in legal trouble if the company had posted personal information such as a phone number or address.