Four district attorneys in California have sued debt collection company,
iQor, and its subsidiary, Allied Interstate LLC for $10 million. The district
attorneys have alleged that the companies violated several consumer protection
acts by using automatic dialing systems to harass consumers with robocalls.
The complaint filed states that consumers were subjected to months of
phone calls. In several cases, consumers received phone calls even when
no money was owed. In one case, a consumer from San Jose received 126
calls in less than a month. In another, a consumer from Sunnyvale received
88 calls over a three-month period.
iQor is one of the world’s largest business process outsourcing companies.
It provides customer service, third-party collections, and accounts receivable
management. It employs approximately 40,000 employees in 18 countries.
The company has defended its actions and the actions of its subsidiaries,
claiming that the district attorneys “were too quick to suspend
productive dialogue centered around Allied’s long retired debt-collection
practices in favor of protracted litigation.”
Allied has been the subject of several consumer protection actions in the
past. From 2004 to 2011, Allied faced action from the Minnesota General
Attorney, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, the Arizona
Department of Financial Institutions, the West Virginia Attorney General,
the Maryland State Collection Agency Licensing Board, the Minnesota Department
of Commerce, the Oregon Attorney General, the Florida Attorney General,
and the state of Ohio. Additionally, in 2010 Allied settled with the Federal
Trade Commission for $1.75 million for harassing debtors and attempting
to collect from the wrong people.
Since 2011, hundreds of complaints have been filed with the California
Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission
alleging that the company has engaged in abusive and illegal behavior.
The presently filed complaint contends that iQor and Allied violated provisions
of California’s Rosenthal Act, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection
Act, and the state’s constitutional right to privacy. The Telephone
Consumer Protection Act forbids companies from using automatic dialing
systems to call consumer cell phone numbers without consent. The companies
allegedly called consumer before 8am and after 9pm and tried to collect
debts that had previously been discharged during bankruptcy.