December 8, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Late payments: This furniture retailer scolds its customers on Facebook

Late payments: This furniture retailer scolds its customers on Facebook

A furniture retailer in the Lanadier area took the law into its own hands by posting on Facebook the names of domestic customers whose payments had been delayed. This practice may violate consumer protection laws.

Since retracted, Ameublement Lavoie & Lachapelle’s publication mentioned 11 customers by name, but without identifying them with a link to their personal page.

It also read: “Contact us, please write me privately for overdue amounts on your payments.”

Store co-owner Beatrice Lavoie said the post was removed because “people were posting mean comments about the business.”

This isn’t the first time Ameublement Lavoie & Lachapelle has used this technique, “and we would do it again if not for the negative feedback.”

The people targeted were indigenous members of the Atticamec community, many of whom live in Manawan, less than 100 km from Saint-Michel-des-Saints, where the store is located.

“Only Atticamecs deserve credit with us, so we can’t be accused of racism,” M the way

Several comments under the since-deleted post accused the company of being anti-indigenous.

Legal practice?

Ameublement Lavoie & Lachapelle is in the process of closing. The company is currently liquidating their inventory and putting its construction up for sale. “We will cease our operations as soon as the building is sold,” said the co-owner.

According to the Office de la Protection du Consométeur (OPC), publishing customers’ names in this way may violate the law on the protection of personal information in the private sector.

The 11 individuals targeted by the publication may also complain to the OPC, “because such practice is contrary to the law relating to certain debt collection”.

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“Under this law, it should be noted that individuals involved in prohibited collection practices can claim damages from the offender, as well as punitive damages,” warns ‘UCI’ spokesperson Charles Tanguay.

According to Beatrice Lavoie, who bought the company with three other shareholders in June 2021, the former owner had used this technique several times in the past without raising the ire of stakeholders.

“The previous owner did it regularly,” she said.

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