Sign of the times

Mar 24 2009 by Derek Torres Print This Article

In another sign of the times, I came across this article about debt collectors trying to reach out to clients (isn't that a nice way of putting it?) at their place of business in order to collect on late payments.

Under certain conditions (i.e.: you ask them not to call you at work or your employer forbids such calls), it is illegal to make such calls. While many of you may feel that these collection agencies are technically within their rights to hassle people at work, let's keep in mind that more and more people are falling behind in their bills due to the current financial climate worldwide.

From where I sit, the workplace is a totally inappropriate venue for 'reaching' people. Settings aside any feelings of embarrassment, it's also a disruption. From an employer's perspective, it is my view that my worker's financial dealings are none of my concerns until it affects their work. That doesn't mean that I expect those harassing phone calls to follow employees to the office.

I believe that companies should make it a rule that such calls are forbidden during work hours. This gives the employee some peace of mind and also prevents disruptive phone calls. If you've ever heard any of these phone calls and the general demeanor of a collection agent, you'll understand why such calls are disruptive.

According to the article, the number of complaints has jumped significantly, which means that the amount of unreported harassment that occurs must also be significantly higher. For those who have to endure such calls, do yourself a favor and let agencies know that such calls are not permitted and then work out your problem so you can put it behind you ASAP.