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To think that when you contact a charity asking for help...

(39 Posts)
PurpleAlerts Thu 23-Mar-17 15:43:02

They shouldn't then cold call you under the premise of research into your condition and then try to guilt you into donating money!

I have tinnitus- it's driving me mad and I have been told there is nothing that can be done about it. So on Facebook the other day there was a link from Action on Hearing Loss ( used to be the RNID) regarding a self help leaflet about Tinnitus. I duly signed up for it. 

This morning was called by someone who said she was collecting information for research about Tinnitus and asked me some questions about what I was experiencing. She took my details so she could send me the leaflet. She then went into some long spiel ( obviously reading from a preprepared script) about how research was hoping to find a cure blah blah blah-( I could tell where she was going...) and would I be interested in supporting the charity by donating £8 a month!

I declined saying I not only already support charities for the deaf but actually work with deaf children and their families. I was then informed she doesn't actually work for the the charity- just a company commissioned by them to raise funds! 

At this point alarm bells were ringing ( on top of the ringing in my ears  ) and I started to think this was maybe a scam. 

So I called up AoHL to warn them be told no this is one of the methods they use to raise money! 


llangennith Thu 23-Mar-17 15:45:06

That's bad! The sort of thing that will put off people contacting them for help as you did.

Seeingadistance Thu 23-Mar-17 15:51:00

This kind of thing really pisses me off.

I've experienced this with the RSPB - they phone up, engage you in conversation on the pretext of being actually interested in what you have to say, when all they're trying to do is get money or more money out of you. After the second time, I cancelled the Direct Debit I already had with them.

Another charity who've done it to me are the SSPCA. I've adopted cats and a dog from them. Each time, they phone about 2 months later - pretend they're interested in how you're getting on with your new pet, etc, then, yep, ask for money. I've wised up to them now, and the last time they phoned I just said to the guy on the phone that I'd heard his script before, that I found it quite insulting that they pretended to be interested in me and my pets when they were only after money, and that I wasn't going to be making any donation.

And in both cases, as in yours, these people are paid to make these calls. They have no other connection to the charities involved and no interest in anything you have to say, other than hearing you give your bank details.

PurpleAlerts Thu 23-Mar-17 15:52:45

If the link I had clicked had said something about donations I might well have obliged but it was specifically for asking for help and advice about tinnitus and said that someone call me to discuss it!

I was quite short with the guy I spoke to saying that these methods will put people off.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 23-Mar-17 15:53:51

Thats possibly an abuse of the data they have on you, so complain to the charity. If they want to pass your info on, they have to be up front when they collect it and give you a chance to back out.

You may also want to give ICO a heads up.

PurpleAlerts Thu 23-Mar-17 16:15:37

I did complain to the charity and they confirmed it was legitimate! The woman who rang me did say that they aren't allowed to share information with anyone but that's not the point.

ThreeLeggedHaggis Thu 23-Mar-17 17:57:13

I think it's fine unless they continue to use your details to contact you for donations.

I couldn't get upset about asking a charity for something for free and them ASKING me if I'd consider making a donation.

Meekonsandwich Thu 23-Mar-17 18:16:21

I have tinnitus and there are things you can do smile white noise machines or fans are very common, what I like to do is when charging my phone at night, I go on YouTube and 2 hr rain and sea noises videos on. That helped a lot.
Sometimes, not always tinnitus is associated with hearing loss, so getting my hearing aids really helped with mine.

LuxCoDespondent Thu 23-Mar-17 18:19:04

Unfortunately it's part of the "total war" attitude of many (most?) charities. Once they've got your details, they are going to pester you for support regardless of the reason why you gave them your details.

MrsMoastyToasty Thu 23-Mar-17 18:20:01

Contact the Charity Commission.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 23-Mar-17 18:20:05

£8 a month is a lot! Don't most of them pitch lower at £2 or £3 a month?

Yanbu, it's not very nice when you've contacted them for help that they then try and pressure you into donating.

Maybe an email or letter AFTER you've had the info you requested, saying they hope you found it useful we can also do xyz, all our work is funded by donations If you'd like to give this is how you can.

BarbarianMum Thu 23-Mar-17 18:22:51

Tbd the greatest supporters of health charities are those that suffer from the conditions they support, or their friends and relatives. Why would someone with no experience of tinnitus who knew no-one with the condition fund a tinnitus charity? If it's not a priority for you, then who is it a priority for?

Toooldtobearsed Thu 23-Mar-17 18:25:38

I registered with a very well known breast cancer charity a few years ago, looking for support.

On the day i was waiting for a phone call to confirm the time of my double mastectomy appointment, i had a ten minute conversation with fund raisers representing this charity who were basically trying to bully me into donating. They started with asking how i was, how were things going, and like an idiot, i thought it was the charity themselves, and really opened up. When she then said, ' oh, i do understand, and that is why we are trying to raise as much money as possible............' the penny dropped. And i apologised to her. I bloody apologised.

When they rang again when u was prostrate on the sofa after my third round of chemo i did not apologise. I was obnoxious.

I loath all things pink, anything to do with this charity now.

StarsHollow123 Thu 23-Mar-17 18:42:44

I have to agree with a PP. It seems a bit much to contact a charity looking for help and then complain about them fundraising to help people exactly like you. Where do you think their funds come from? I'm sure they very much wished they didn't have to ask for money like that either but unfortunately without donations they wouldn't exist.

I sincerely hope you find things to help with your tinitis OP flowers

AndWhat Thu 23-Mar-17 18:45:52

I signed up to Macmillan a few years ago just £2 per week. Within 2 months I estimated that they have spent at least half of my donations on post, leaflets, pens, phone calls etc all back to me - generally encouraging me to increase my donation!!
It in fact had the opposite effect leading me to cancel my entire donation!

Bufferingkisses Thu 23-Mar-17 18:50:52

Ask your gp for a referral to audiology. There are things you can do. Often techniques rather than a "cure" but definitely options (they also provide a leaflet without asking for donations!) You may need to go to somewhere further afield for a tinnitus specialist though, not every hospital has them.

hellokittymania Thu 23-Mar-17 18:53:09

Goodness, I run my own small charity and this sort of thing would never even have crossed my mind. I'm sorry that they did this, how mean

bigbluebus Thu 23-Mar-17 19:11:52

I hate it when they use outside firms to do this.
A charity which had supported our family for many years did this once but i think hope they learned their lesson from it and didn't do it again.
The charity run a lottery and I already subscribed to a weekly number. They employed an outside agency to ring existing players to try and get them to increase their subscription. The woman who rang me was a) clearly reading from a script and her knowledge of the work of the charity was limited to that script and b) was unaware of which supporters were also users of the charity. By the time she had finished her call she was much better educated!

It was when something from the call had been actioned incorrectly that I rang the charity direct. The chap I spoke to immediately said "don't tell me, you never agreed to sign up to an extra number". It seems that the agency callers may have been less than clear in the outcomes of some of their conversations.

user1andonly Thu 23-Mar-17 19:34:05

I had this with a few years ago from a charity supposedlysupporting families with a condition one of my DC has. I had signed up years earlier and tbh, not received any support other than what was freely available on the website. So, a bit like Toooldtobearsed, when they called asking me some friendly intro questions on what did I know about their latest campaign, I actually thought they were ringing to offer me some help at long last - I was on the phone for some while before the penny dropped and I felt quite upset that they had deliberately misled me. Fundraising is one thing but they need to be way, way more sensitive and honest when speaking to people actually affected by whatever it is they are fundraising for.

I had a quite amusing amount of calls from a well known charity which I do support as they do valuable work overseas. DH did a whip round at work after a major disaster and sent a decent sized wad in an envelope which had arrived with my name on. They obviously thought I was a lot more loaded than I am and a potential big giver so started calling me on a semi regular basis until I finally managed to convince someone that it wasn't all from me and that while I did support their cause, I would be unable to send hundreds of pounds on a regular basis! They were upfront about what they wanted though and I wasn't offended - I wish I could have signed up tbh!

PurpleAlerts Thu 23-Mar-17 22:01:35

I have no beef about them trying to raise funds and had the original link asked for that I wouldn't have a problem and as I previously said would have been more than likely to have given a donation. It was the way they went about it. I clicked the link to get the leaflet. I had to give my phone number and it said someone would call me to talk about it which is not what happened. They were just dishonest and underhand.

I regularly fund raise for deaf children in my local area-it's a cause that's very close to my heart. These underhand methods put people off supporting worthwhile charities which does the people they want to help a great disservice.

OvertiredandConfused Thu 23-Mar-17 22:47:42

This is a new form of fundraising that's become very common over the last couple of years. It's called "value exchange" - they have a product that is of interest to you and will send it to you, nominally free of charge, in "exchange" for you giving them a donation.

The small print when you gave your phone number would cover the permission they need to do this. One of the reasons it is becoming so popular is that they get your phone number and your address and your permission to contact them in a relatively straightforward manner.

Please don't think that by explaining this I am also condoning it, but thought you might find it interesting to know the way fundraising is moving.

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 23-Mar-17 22:55:38

This is why, when filling in forms which insist on a phone number, I change one of the digits - and yes, I've checked the "new" number and it's unobtainable, so at least someone else isn't being bothered instead

Obviously this is no good if you really need someone to contact you, but then that's what email addresses are for, and luckily emails can be easily junked

Sansculottes Thu 23-Mar-17 22:58:26

Yes I have had this from a support charity for a condition one of the dc has. I actually wrote them a note to say how upsetting and invasive I found it. Went like this:

Them: I'm calling from x condition charity
How is your child now? Lots of questions about dc
Me: share and think how lovely they are calling to ask about dc individually
Them: hoping you could help us
Can you do a dd?

And then went on and on - can you do it for £x or y? I explained dh had been made redundant and they still went on and on.

TBH has really put me off the charity concerned.

madamginger Thu 23-Mar-17 23:03:59

I had this from the rspb, I rang them after a Canada goose laid an egg in the middle of my lawn and I wanted some advice on what to do with it. They kept ringing me for months afterward asking for money, I blocked the number in the end.

AnathemaPulsifer Thu 23-Mar-17 23:07:55

I cancel direct debits to any charities that harass me for a higher donation. Which reminds me, must cancel Crisis who sent an envelope full of emotional blackmail about how most people are oblivious but previous donors like me know how vital their work is so it's our duty to donate more.

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