How a debt collection company in poland made headlines through the internet

The secret of the "black list"

It was there, then it disappeared, then it came back and disappeared for the second time: the "black list" by debtors, which appeared for the first time on the polish internet a few months ago. Thus the company jachnicki partnerzy, a kind of business detective and debt collection agency, not only made headlines, but also caused much unrest among poland’s nouveau riche – vips, politicians, businessmen, artists, priests (!), womoglich also among criminals. In any case, the pr success for the jachnicki firm has been outsized.

A few hundred names of companies and businessmen, along with addresses, debt levels, and incisive comments – all published on the firm’s home page. But soon after that the data protection authority giodo contacted us: according to the law such a thing is illegal in poland, even if – at least in part – it is about people who have lost in court. "We know it is against the rules, but they are bad rules", explained the firm to the press. Only after a court order and a lot of prere from giodo was the "blacklist" taken from the net. But not forever. In the meantime giodo has filed a complaint.

In mid-november, the office announced that a new, revised list would soon be published – but now on a us server. "We negotiated with americans who were interested in taking over the list and continuing it on their server", the press release said. The new list should contain over 500 names, with "people well known in the art and business circles". In fact: under karkonosze.Net.Pl/~blacklist/ anyone could u.A. Learned the private address of a famous actress, as well as read about the alleged machinations of some very well-known people and companies. Where exactly was the new list hosted? The trace (traceroute) leads to chicago. No wonder: this is where most of the exiled poles in america live. A link to the list should be given on the homepage of the office (in poland one is not responsible for the content of external websites).

But now a miracle happened: after a very short time the new blacklist disappeared from the net again. As this text is being written, you can’t even get to the url in chicago: "sorry, server too busy", there are. And at jachnicki there is no link, but the following message: "we have received the following message: we are sorry, but such a great interest in the black debtor list exceeded our expectations. Lack of our hardware and software platform led to the list having to be moved to another server with better technical parameters. This server will soon allow thousands of people to visit simultaneously and without any problems".

And since you can’t even reach the anonymous owner of the website ("our server is temporarily out of order, we beg your pardon"), you can believe what you want now. For example, that the computer actually the invasion of cautious businessmen and the curious "pack" did not survive or that the new list holder was threatened by anyone. Everything is possible.

However the whole affair will end, jachnicki and his company can speak of a huge success. He proudly presents numerous press articles on his polish homepage, which more or less advertise for his law firm since summer. Journalists tell of a professional company that can get its trap done in 4 weeks. Methods are "of course" not mentioned, only psychological prere is mentioned. Among other things, that the law firm in germany uses russian-speaking detectives: the debtor then does not know whether he is dealing with a detective or with a mafiosi from russia. It is also mentioned that the law office is guarded by armed security agents because it keeps receiving threats.

Polish media also took the opportunity to discuss the topic "debts, fraudsters and the judiciary" under the magnifying glass. But nothing new was discovered: the state is powerless and helpless, its judiciary is paralyzed, even a valid court decision is only a piece of paper – the debtor has 1001 ways to laugh in the bailiff’s face. Most of the time he is then absolutely blank, although he goes to the prosecutor or to the trial with a brand new audi or mercedes. The car belongs to his brother, his ex-wife, etc. And because the judiciary can achieve nothing, a leeway for legal and illegal debt collectors is opened up. According to rumors, some are acting according to the tried and tested method: "money back or you get a kick in the teeth".

And this is how poland’s nouveau riche play. The normal earners watch and applaud. "Of course, the fraudsters belong on the list, one has the right to know", hebt it in internet commentaries and strabenumfragen. The fact that such a list is illegal does not matter: somehow you have to get the deceitful debtors down.

Obviously, an example has been set: even some housing associations already post the lists of their debtors on the bulletin board: without names, only the house and apartment numbers are written on it. Supposedly, that’s often enough to finally make rent-seekers pay up. "That is right", a little mother in front of the television camera. "Look, for example my neighbor: he can even afford a car, so he should also pay his rent!".

But the little man next door and the polish small businessman still have no chance to get his money back if he is cheated or robbed. Hardly any lawyer moves from his chair when it is a question of 1000 or 3000 zloty. For the victim it is not even worth going to court: you can only take precautions or pray.

And the rich? You will become even richer. Just as – probably – jachnicki partnerzy, whose success can even be measured. In the already mentioned press articles from the summer, the following information is repeated: the office deals with debts from 20 000 zloty in the country and from 40 000 zloty abroad. And on the recently rebuilt homepage of the office it already says: from 40 000 and 100 000 zloty.

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