April 23, 2006
Debt Collectors Seek To Auto-Dial Cellphones
ACA International, the trade association that represents collectors, said federal rules formerly permitted collection agencies to call cellphones using a computerized system that stores and dials numbers."
This is not the first time Government or private agencies around the world have used text messaging as a useful and effective way to send out a reminder for overdue rent, unpaid fines, outstanding payments - even tuition.
-- In a 6 month trial run, Inland Revenue New Zealand will begin text messaging parents to remind them to pay child support. [ IRD gets into text messaging ]
-- The Australian State Government's Fines Payment Unit is running a pilot program using SMS to remind people who have been issued with a court summons. [Claiming unpaid fines by SMS]
-- In New Zealand, the Justice Ministry collections centre staff are now sending text message reminders to people who continue to avoid paying overdue reparation and fines. [Press Release: New Zealand Government]
-- In a South African High School, late paying parents receive the following SMS: "A wonderful spring day to you. But please pay your child's outstanding school fees. If you have already done so, thank you." A few days after the messages go out, the school receives a lot of outstanding fees. [News24.com]
-- Officials at Fife Council Scotland are hailing as a success, an experiment in which tenants behind on their rent payments were sent reminders by text messaging. Out of the 200 tenants sent SMS messages adivising them their rent was overdue, the response rate was of 40%, with five responses arriving within 10 minutes of being sent. [Textually.org]
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