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.