Shaming debtors so they pay up

ElCobradorDelFracI think I love the Spanish.

They understand that public ridicule is a very powerful motivator.

I’d love to specialize in franchise industry-specific debt collection under the El Cobrador del Frac brand.

Or in English: The Debt Collector in Top Hat and Tails.

I had covered it in a previous post but a 2008 Independent article asks a very good question to recalcitrant payers:

If you owed a few thousand euros and found your footsteps dogged by a man wearing a top hat, tails and silken cummerbund, wouldn’t you pay up rather than face the humiliation of being shadowed by someone dressed like Count Dracula?

… El Cobrador del Frac – “The Debt collector in Top Hat and Tails” – is a nationwide operation which sends employees dressed like Hollywood villains to collect debts. To underline the message, the theatrically-clad collector carries a black briefcase with his calling spelled out in capital letters.

This YouTube video gives you a pretty good idea how they work. (I think when the 6 foot bunny follows you into the washroom, you’d tend to pay your debts.)

There is a very important distinction: They only target those debtors who (1) can afford to pay but (2) chose not to do so (voluntary deadbeats).

“We use no aggression, we just reclaim our debt. We fulfil an important social function,” he insists. “We don’t prey on cash-strapped individuals. We are dealing with professional debtors who know all the tricks and who can pay but don’t.”

I stay in franchising to reclaim debts.

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