Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
That’s a well-known quotation from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Polonius was perhaps concerned about, among other things, the public shame that could come from being a deadbeat borrower. As he proferred this and other advice to his son, Polonius may have been thinking about the possibility of seeing Laërtes’ name listed on uradeadbeat.com (read: you are a deadbeat dot com).
Uradeadbeat.com lets anyone post messages and stories about a company or person who owes money. In addition to the public listing on the website, uradeadbeat.com provides a direct service. They will email the deadbeat to inform them of the listing. If you provide an address, the website will also send a postcard.
All deadbeats have a chance to respond to the accusation. According to the site owner, some deadbeats were inspired to pay back their debts as a result of this public shaming.
It’s free to post a complaint, but in the future it will not be a free service.
This probably isn’t the best way to get someone who owes you money to pay up, but it might be a good option as a last resort.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published December 24, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.