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To never donate to charity via text again

(160 Posts)
MoistSponge Tue 30-Sep-14 20:32:52

A couple of weeks ago I saw a really heart rending "advert" for a UNICEF appeal for the people suffering in the Southern Sudan.

The images were harrowing, those poor little children, and so I texted and donated a fiver.

Since then I have received three phone calls asking me to donate more - the first two calls were both received while I was driving, so I quickly told them that I already have direct debits set up for my charitable donations and that I wouldn't be able to commit to anything further, but I didn't let them go into their full spiel as I was on Bluetooth.

Tonight I received a call again, and I started straight away telling the man about my direct debits (I sponsor a child in Africa and I have a small monthly DD set up for another charity) and that I wasn't going to be able to give anymore - and then the "hard sell" started. Lots of very emotive language about the children dying and that famine is coming; lots of "buttering me up" telling me I have a good soul and he could hear it beating from me hmm and that I'm clearly very intelligent and blah, blah, blah. It was pretty relentless to be honest and I felt very uncomfortable having to constantly defend myself by telling him that I can't give any more money. In the end I told him that I am on a low income, I'm a single parent to two children and I cannot afford anymore, I told him that five pounds is a lot of money to me but I had still given it with a full heart but that I CANNOT GIVE ANY MORE.

Fucking hell. This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. I did the Race For Life for a few years, raising not huge amounts but a few hundred pounds in sponsorship. I get a phone all every year asking me for more and even though I tell them that I already give to my nominated charities they just won't stop.

I really want to complain to UNICEF TBH, the call came from a fund raising company that they are using, but it almost felt like talking to a bloody double glazing company or worse...timeshare! And the other thing is that they could be using this very aggressive technique on people who are more vulnerable than me and it just feels wrong. It has completely put me off donating by text to anything ever again, AIBU?

bearhug Tue 30-Sep-14 20:39:56

same here. 3 calls at inconvenient times. I then foolishly gave them my address so they could claim gift aid. so now I get charity junk mail!

like you I have a couple of favourite charities that get monthly DD and a small budget for occasional giving. that doesn't mean I want to be pestered!

DistractedAgain Tue 30-Sep-14 20:41:52

Just ignore it now, as a technique it must work, but it is not nice that they carried on after you had said no. Maybe they get a bonus for all calls over 30 seconds in duration!

stiffstink Tue 30-Sep-14 20:44:01

I won't do the Race for Life because of the way their call centre treated me afterwards.

They basically asked me numerous questions about my late grandmother (I'd run in her memory) and they were interrogating me about how I felt about her death, wouldn't I like to set up a direct debit to stop someone else from going through it etc. It was unnecessary and had no regard to how I could have reacted in response to their line of questioning.

Plus I don't agree that men should be excluded. Why shouldn't a widower run in memory of his wife? <off on a tangent not related to UNICEF>o

amicusapple Tue 30-Sep-14 20:45:31

I got the same after donating to the oxfam water appeal. Started off wanting a fiver a month until it was a fiver every 12 weeks. The fact I'm on mat leave and have no income didn't seem to matter. I felt totally uncomfortable. I said no at least 6 times.

Essexgirlupnorth Tue 30-Sep-14 20:46:01

I don't tend to answer any calls with 0800 or 0845 numbers I figure if it's important they will leave message.
Gave to UNICEF during the commonwealth games by text and one of the numbers that kept ringing me was calls related to that.
I give to cancer research uk and they keep ringing me to up my donation.
It must work of charities wouldn't do it

meditrina Tue 30-Sep-14 20:50:32

It's one of the reasons why I keep a chequebook.

I want to make random one-off donations without onwards hassle.

I would try to tell the charity when something is done that you think is wrong, and which leads you to decide 'no more. Because otherwise all they see is what hard sell brings in, not what it loses.

MoistSponge Tue 30-Sep-14 20:51:23

The number didn't flag as an ignore one - as it was an 020 number rather than an 0800/0845 one, sneaky beggars. I'm going to block the number now though.

I can't express how uncomfortable I felt - like for instance I said (for about the third time) "I can't donate any more money! I don't have it" and he said "I'm sure we can meet somewhere in the middle" !!!!!!!! shock the middle of what? The middle of bloody nothing. He asked me why I donated and I said "the advert I saw, I think it had Ewan macgregor in it" and he said something about good looking men turning womens' heads. WTF?

exexpat Tue 30-Sep-14 20:51:39

I give to charity but never, ever give them my phone number or donate by text. I have seen how many charity calls my elderly parents get, and I don't want to get hassled like that.

My parents now tell charity phone chuggers to take them off their calling list, and warn that if the charity contacts them by phone again, they will cancel their standing orders/direct debits and never donate to them again. It mostly seems to work.

howtodrainyourflagon Tue 30-Sep-14 20:58:19

I gave a much bigger than usual donation to the red cross after the tsunami. It was absolutely the limit of what I could afford as I was so horrified by it. They wouldn't leave me alone after that. I felt like I was being harrassed. I had to write to them to ask them not to contact me again. Now I don't even dare gift aid the stuff I give to my local red cross shop in case they come after me again.

It's a great cause and I believe that the charity does fantastic work but I've been left in tears by the phonecalls and letters.

PurpleAlert Tue 30-Sep-14 20:58:22

I heard a collector from the Autistic society brow beating some poor guy in Halfords the other day. After cornering him and rabbiting on about autism for five minutes he asked how £2 out of his weekly budget would affect him. He said he barely had enough to feed his family and was spending his last few quid on a part for his car so he could get to work- he seemed really embarrassed. Then the charity guy said" what about £1.25"- he just wouldn't give up. I was really cross for the poor man.

I have two friends with autistic children and have also worked with a number in my line of work so already know a fair bit about the condition but this guy really put me off giving money to a worthwhile cause- what business is it of his how much members of the public earn? I thought charity collectors were not allowed to even shake a bucket much less persue people and demand information about their income...

BlueThursday Tue 30-Sep-14 21:00:00

Another UNICEF avoider here too. Any 0203 number I just know it's them. Blocked about 4 of their numbers now but it seems they have many lines.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Sep-14 21:01:45

OP, the next time they phone, tell them you want them to remove your number from their database.

MoistSponge Tue 30-Sep-14 21:02:48

It's dreadful, I ended up telling him my bloody weekly wage FGS! I think I'm going to write a letter of complaint to UNICEF tomorrow, meditrina is right.

TIL3 Tue 30-Sep-14 21:06:13

There was a programme on tv about this a few weeks ago - you need to tell them to remove you from their database, if you just say you can't donate now, they put you down as a "soft refusal" and just keep trying.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Tue 30-Sep-14 21:08:03

I made a donation to save the children and the red cross both as one offs as . they won't stop sending me stuff! Every month I get an a5 letter with a pen or greeting cards or stickers. I don't want the flipping stuff and I can't get them to stop! The value of the stuff they've sent must have exceeded my donation by now.

It puts me off giving gift aid details now and I tend to give anonymously now (except for direct debits but they leave you alone once the dd is signed!!!)

PicandMinx Tue 30-Sep-14 21:09:18

YANBU. I foolishly sent money via a text for Comic Relief. I received call after call from various charities begging for money. I can only assume my details were sold on. Never again. I've stopped all my charitable donation direct debits because of their greed.

MoistSponge Tue 30-Sep-14 21:10:14

Thanks for the advice re: removal from the database. I will definitely use that in future.

BaffledSomeMore Tue 30-Sep-14 21:12:22

I saw that TIL and yes they do everything possible to avoid putting you down as a hard refusal. Even telling them to eff off is a soft refusal!

specialsubject Tue 30-Sep-14 21:13:01

best way to do donations is either the cheque or directly to the charity's website, ticking the 'no more contact' box.

never texts, justgiving, chuggers etc.

moggiek Tue 30-Sep-14 21:19:59

Same here. I like to give whenever I can, but I'll never do it y text again.

Peepants78 Tue 30-Sep-14 21:21:24

We had exactly the same from UNICEF too. Very poor form. Completely put me off doing it again.

toomuchicecream Tue 30-Sep-14 21:36:08

I had the same after Race for Life - an extended phone call where the chugger tried to convince me I could afford £5 a month (or whatever). It took me ages to get through to him that yes, I could afford £5 a month but I'm not going to give it to you - I already give to other charities and I won't be adding you to the list.

Same problem with MacMillan - I did the Great Night In last year, in memory of my cousin who'd just died of cancer. Got a phone call this year asking me to do it again, so I told them I hadn't decided (as I hadn't), but if they called me again I definitely wouldn't. Oh I did enjoy the phone call a week later when I left the chugger in no doubt as to why I had now made up my mind that I wouldn't be taking part this year...

idiuntno57 Tue 30-Sep-14 21:37:05

It is a fact that people who donate to charity once are more likely to donate again than people who have never donated. Charities (or their Agencies) use this fact as a basis for much fundraising activity particularly when you donate by text and so don't have an easy way of opting out of future communications.

The best thing you can do is ask them to take your number off their list next time they call. They have to give you an opt out option every time they contact you but for obvious reasons don't offer it easily. Also put yourself on the TP (Telephone Preference) and MP (Mail Preference) services lists. (just google them). If you get unsolicited calls having signed up for TPS the company can be fined if you report it. Takes a month or two to kick in. This isn't the case once you have an ongoing relationship with the company but will get rid of marketing cold calling.

rookiemater Tue 30-Sep-14 21:37:16

Yes this happened to me - made me so cross as I wondered what proportion of my donation had gone towards their repeat marketing efforts and indeed the person who was calling me as I don't believe it is volunteers that man these phones.

Oh and same experience as buildyour I do the Christmas santa card and also make one off donations to NSPCC but as a result I get monthly packs through about raffles and stickers with addresses on them that I don't want.

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