A court in eastern China has enforced a rule that issues people who haven’t paid of their debts with ringtones made to shame them.
The ringtone tells the caller that the person they are dialling is ‘avoiding debt repayments’ and urges the caller to help persuade them to pay up.
Ten people have already been handed the ringtone by the Guanyun County People’s Court.
As soon as the person’s number is dialled, a pre-ring prompt tells the caller: ‘The user of the number you’ve dialled has been listed as someone who is avoiding debt repayments ordered by the Guanyun County People’s Court.
‘Please urge this person to fulfill their legal obligations. The Guanyun People’s Court thanks you for your support.’
Because mobile phone numbers are registered under a person’s name, the tone will follow the person even if they change mobile phones, reports China Daily.
10 people so far have had the message added to their numbers and by this morning, one of them got in contact with the court and promised to pay the loan as soon as possible, reports Global Times.
Once a person has paid of the debt then the message is removed.
An employee at the court said the message aims to shame those who owe money into paying back their loans.
In 2013, a court in Henan province also adopted shaming audio messages to target both people and companies who default on loans.