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To think Big Issue sellers are as bad as chuggers?

(66 Posts)
Littlecatbigpanther Fri 11-Mar-16 20:14:41

I'm sick and tired of walking down the high street and being heckled by a couple of Big Issue sellers. They are pretty much begging which I understand is illegal.

Today I phoned Big Issue and complained. I asked what checks were done on these people to see that they are homeless (they didn't look very homeless). I was told that they probably aren't homeless, in this case they were Romanians who likely house share (words of Big Issue representative not me). I asked why they are effectively begging and harassing people, was told they are self employed and allowed to operate but they will look into my complaint. Apparently you don't need a council permit to sell the Big Issue but they do have a code of conduct. Also by being self employed you get an NI number and can claim benefits.

So if you receive benefits why harass members of the public for more money? I used to like the magazine and supporting homeless, but now I'm disgusted, it's just a scam to claim benefits (hours of work for tax credits).


londonrach Fri 11-Mar-16 20:21:12

I have seen one seller dropped off by a posh car who was dropped people at different locations. This was in london so not sure if in other locations. It coukd have been a one off. Did ask a lady once when i was sofa surfing and she said it was a job to pay her rent. Certainly made me wary since.

WheresLarry Fri 11-Mar-16 20:21:57

YABU, my understanding is that no big issue seller is homeless. They purchase the magazine at half the price and sell it for the rrp. It's not begging to sell a magazine, if however they are asking for spare change then I think you have a valid point.

Personally your post sound judgemental and a bit benefits/immigrant bashing.

MintyBojingles Fri 11-Mar-16 20:30:34

YABU they are not begging, they are self employed trying to earn some money for themselves, usually because they are in situations that don't allow them to have normal jobs.

If they annoy you just walk on by.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Fri 11-Mar-16 20:31:28

I find them less annoying than chuggers because they aren't nearly as insistent

GripingPain Fri 11-Mar-16 20:34:00

Actually I don't think you're BU.

Very aggressive seller in my local town who won't actually give anyone a Big Issue. Takes their money then starts shouting about not speaking English.

AprilDHarvey Fri 11-Mar-16 20:34:36

I think YABU, and even if there are a minority abusing the Big Issue you can't make a sweeping generalisation condemning everyone who sells the magazine.

I won't go into great detail or get far too personal for anyone's liking but I once knew someone who was a heroin addict as well as an alcoholic. Eventually, he turned his life around, he was clean and managed to find a small flat. He started looking for employment but after years of unemployment due to substance abuse he found it very difficult to get a job, he was fast becoming depressed about it.

The Big Issue was a life line for him and still is for many people in his position. It offered him a way to gain
not only money to live on but also work experience, social skills and self-confidence. For him at least, it was a route to better things and a better, normal life.

Who knows, without the Big Issue he may have turned to drugs, drink or crime again.

Littlecatbigpanther Fri 11-Mar-16 20:34:53

It's not benefit bashing, quite the opposite! But hounding people in the streets is not a valid job imo, I wouldn't mind if someone was homeless and I am very sorry for homeless people, but if you are receiving benefits then you don't need to harass people for money, which is what these women were doing.

Terribleknitter Fri 11-Mar-16 20:36:34

YANBU. I bought the big issue for years in Manchester and would stop to chat to many of the sellers. Ok none of them were actually homeless - in fact when it started I seem to remember that sellers had to have a place to stay in order to qualify but they were in general people who were at the bottom trying to make their way up again. They were all walks of life, all races and all religions. Sellers had regular customers, were polite, friendly, didn't actively hassle the public and were usually known in their patch.
It's now a business opportunity, nothing more or less. The man who sells it near us pitched up a year ago with a car better than ours and if you buy a copy which is shit now anyway he will demand it back so he can sell it again. He gets aggressive and has followed people down the street. The police seemingly can't do anything about him.
Thing is if I mentioned the fact that he isn't English I would be flamed for immigrant bashing...

Crispbutty Fri 11-Mar-16 20:36:56

"Did ask a lady once when i was sofa surfing and she said it was a job to pay her rent" surely thats a better reason than if she had said to keep her topped up with weed or cider.. I dont begrudge anyone trying to keep a roof over their head legally..

Narp Fri 11-Mar-16 20:41:07


You know we can see through the crossing out, right?

NameAgeLocation Fri 11-Mar-16 20:41:09

Where I live there is an issue with 'fake' sellers who are not involved with or authorised to sell the Big Issue.
Our local seller is a friendly guy and we always smile, stop and say hi, the kids give him a high five.
I was abused by a guy in Edinburgh once though, he was mocking me as I walked
past and when I tried to laugh it Off he got abusive.

LionHearty Fri 11-Mar-16 20:42:56

There is a woman where I live sells the Big Issue for over 10 years. I used to give her money regularly, and we became friendly. She told me she gets the train (1.5 hours journey) into where I live every day because the money she receives is much more than other places she has sold BI . In the time I have 'know' her, she has got married and had two children. There is no way she is still homeless.

I realise that not everyone who sells the BI is still homeless, although at sometime they were.

Jw35 Fri 11-Mar-16 20:42:57

I've never been harassed by one so wouldn't know what's worse! I used to buy them when they were £1 but can't spare £2! They're not always homeless, but often they have been in the past or had other issues. I tend to feel quite generous in nature to anyone who doesn't have much money. Benefits are meagre so this wouldn't insult me. They're selling something so part of that is to get your attention like anything else.
My personal pet hate are door to door sales and cold calling.

BirthdayBetty Fri 11-Mar-16 20:42:58

Generalising much hmm
My local Big Issue seller is an ex forces chap and his beloved dog. I always have a good chat with him and at Christmas he gave me a card from the dog.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 11-Mar-16 20:43:32

Yanbu. I have for some time thought that the people for whom the Big Issue was set up to help are not the ones you see selling it these days.

PaulAnkaTheDog Fri 11-Mar-16 20:44:08

You sound like you're just looking to cause trouble tbh. I've never once seen a Big Issue seller hassle anyone. Your attitude to them claiming benefits is quite telling.

SkaterGrrrrl Fri 11-Mar-16 20:44:13


TheAlchemist101 Fri 11-Mar-16 20:50:03

It's a big scam noticed a lot of the sellers are 'pregnant' Romanian women

PaulAnkaTheDog Fri 11-Mar-16 20:50:59

Specifically Romanian, huh? You check that with them? hmm

GreyAndGoldInTheMeadow Fri 11-Mar-16 20:52:05

What a horrible thread.

Ughnotagain Fri 11-Mar-16 20:57:05

Of course YABU. You're massively generalising.

There's a man sells the Big Issue near my work outside a shopping centre. Chats to people, helps people lift buggies up and down the steps. Sits and reads his book sometimes. Doesn't bother a soul.

Not everyone is out to be aggressive and troublesome.

I've definitely had more grief from chuggers than Big Issue sellers.

Terribleknitter Fri 11-Mar-16 20:58:07

Well aware thanks, nobody uses the crossing out to hide typing you know.

YoJesse Fri 11-Mar-16 20:58:45

I think YABU it's not begging and it's not chugging.
I had a women at the leisure centre hassling everyone quite aggressively to donate to sports relief today. She was kind of baring the way and implying you had to donate before you got through the gates. I told her I couldn't donate at this time but when she saw I had change from a fiver for soft play she told me to drop the change in the bucket! I told her no and she have me an arsey look, then 'let' me through. Never had that sort of grief from a big issue seller!!!!

GreyAndGoldInTheMeadow Fri 11-Mar-16 21:00:43

That's right Terrible, it used to be used for humour these days it seems to be used to post shitty views.

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