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Automated Calls Ring in $500,000 Fine for One of Canada’s Largest Debt Collectors

An investigation by Canada’s federal regulatory arm, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CTRC), found one of the country’s largest debt collectors iQor Canada Ltd guilty of violating consumer rights. Chiefly iQor was accused of using robocalls in an attempt to reach consumers at all hours of the day and night, and not identifying on whose behalf they were calling.

The CTRC investigation from Oct. 15, 2011 to Feb. 28, 2013, revealed that there were 60 violations for making automated calls outside the allowable calling hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and that between Oct. 15, 2011 and Nov. 2, 2012, the CRTC found that there were 40 violations for not starting the call with a clear message. And, while not punishable by law but arguably even more incendiary, the debt collector made many of the calls to people who owed no money at all.

The rules, as mandated by the CRTC, specify that the calls must disclose the person or company on whose behalf the call was being made. Each of the 100 offences carries a $5,000 charge, for a total fine of $500,000.

iQor Canada Ltd., based in Toronto, has until Nov. 15 to pay the fine. Along with its affiliated company in the United States, doing business as Allied Interstate, is one of the most frequently sued debt collectors in North America.

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