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Phone calls from charities after you've donated by text message

156 replies

CruCru · 08/05/2013 21:52

I have recently donated to some charities by text message (super convenient and I don't have to talk to a person). However, the salespeople charity donation people keep ringing me to try to get me to donate more. It puts me off donating. AIBU? Today I had four missed calls on my mobile and when I called them back, it was a recorded message from a charity.

OP posts:
silverten · 10/05/2013 12:35

Yes, I know, but frankly we don't have the time to waste on stuff like that. I wish we did, but that's how it is.

Bricklestick · 10/05/2013 12:38

If you've got time to waste on mumsnet complaining about it, well frankly, you've time enough to email the exact same message to the charity about it.

Sunnywithshowers · 10/05/2013 12:41

Ali I would definitely complain. I'm surprised they haven't realised their script could be triggering. I've often been the person in charge of telephone campaigns, and complaints were always taken seriously.

silverten I worked at a large charity that had the opposite issue - volunteers ticking the 'no contact' box, whether it was wanted or not. Either way it's not giving people the choice.

Just like businesses, there are some wonderful charities and some not so wonderful ones. I tend to support my local hospice mostly.

Catlike · 10/05/2013 13:08

This has happened to me after I made a one off text donation to a charity and has happened a few times from the two charities I have a direct debit with. It is annoying and it makes me feel crap because I can't afford to give them any more than I already do - that's the truth. I really would give loads more if I could afford it.

But I'd never cancel my dd because of this. It's crossed my mind but I'd still rather they had the money I'm already giving than not. When they phone me these days, I just interrupt the fundraiser with "before you go any further, I'm afraid I really can't afford to increase my donation. I'm very happy to continue with the amount I'm giving but I can't afford to give any more. I do understand why you're doing this and wish you every success with it but I'm afraid I can't help any more than I already am" or similar. I say it really assertively and politely and they always accept it straight away.

TheRealFellatio · 10/05/2013 13:10

YANBU. This sort of this really pisses me off, and ultimately might put me off donating at all.

MrsMelons · 10/05/2013 13:13

I do find this very irritating. I am happy for them to ask but they can be quite rude and pushy IME. I was doing voluntary working and also running for charity but when I told them this they would say things like 'surely you can spare £4 a month though' etc etc.

I would be happy to make adhoc donations but they can never seem to leave leaflets with you unless you are giving them your bank details.

My dad used to do the regular NSPCC donations but he was continuously called or written to trying to get him to increase the regular amount. In the end he cancelled in completely as got so hacked off so its a shame as they lost out in the end.

2cats2many · 10/05/2013 13:17

I had an identical situation with Save the Children recently and ended up in an email exchange with one of their fundraising managers. She, although perfectly pleasant, saw nothing wrong in harassing people after they've made a one-off donation. I told her that it had really put me off donating by text spontaneously again.

QuintessentialOHara · 10/05/2013 13:19

I had a direct debit going out to the Samaritans. They saw this as a way of trying to push me to donate more and kept ringing to make one off donations, and up my monthly donation. Then they sold my details on to other charities. I had to write to them citing the data protection act and withdrawing my permission for them to contact me or market to me in any other way, along with stating that they were not permitted to share my details or pass them on. That made it stop. Naturally, I stopped donating. Shame, because it is a worthy cause.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch · 10/05/2013 13:20

Charity folks: is it monitored how many people cancel their existing donations after these campaigns as well as how many increase? Any ideas on the proportions?

Alibabaandthe40nappies · 10/05/2013 13:23

Catlike I did similar, I was very polite and the guy just turned on the emotional blackmail. Bloody rude.

I think I will complain, it really annoyed me.

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 13:30

I'd like to add that the charity I work for does not sell any lists or data to anyone, anywhere.

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 13:33

For anyone's interested in fundraisers feelings!!

Bricklestick · 10/05/2013 13:34

Charity folks: is it monitored how many people cancel their existing donations after these campaigns as well as how many increase? Any ideas on the proportions?

The answer to this is: sometimes, and it varies.

Sunnywithshowers · 10/05/2013 13:37

Charity folks: is it monitored how many people cancel their existing donations after these campaigns as well as how many increase? Any ideas on the proportions?

I've worked at 4 charities and it has varied. It should be tracked, because obviously charities don't want to annoy their supporters and make them leave. It depends a lot on the senior management (some really don't understand why this sort of thing should be tracked ffs) and the tracking systems available.

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 13:38

But the bottom line is, if it wasn't worthwhile for charities, they wouldn't do it. So a higher proportion of people must up their gift rate than cancel.
Charities have very stringent and transparetn accounting procedures and results, so you wouldn't be able to hide negative results. Not that you'd want to, you'd just stop the activity.

Bricklestick · 10/05/2013 13:40

There's also associated costs that go along with this kind of tracking - and we've already discovered that a lot of people simply do not like charities paying for things that aren't associated with the stated aims of the charities. Evaluation of this kind isn't cheap.

MrsHoarder · 10/05/2013 15:19

Nina your link confirms what I already knew:charities do "salesman" fundraising because it works to raise money. They don't do it to win the public/current donaters over, they use the "hard sell" to get more money into charities which can go towards that charity's work.

Is it so hard to see that what we hate energy companies etc doing we will also hate charities doing? It isn't that I don't like charities, or that I don't donate, but that I don't like "sales" tricks to trap me into a conversation with a stranger who is trying to pressure me into making a financial commitment. How is that not a valid point of view?

Yes I know charities will still do it, because they need to raise money. But this thread was letting off steam about finding it intrusive. Its not a personal attack,, its a rant about a commercial practise which is very annoying.

If after the first "I don't want to increase my donation, thank you." response your team put a stop on the number for at least 6 months then you aren't on the irritating list. And I don't want to hunt for contact details to put in a formal complaint to stop phone calls, I want the response to "I'm not in a position to increase my DD" to be "Thank you, we won't ring you for a year".

And you might have stringent accounting procedures, but do you directly link "cancelled DD" with date last received a phone call?

NotYoMomma · 10/05/2013 15:30

I'm in the process of being harassed now told them I can't commit to donate regularly but they ring constantly

Today I have missed a call from someone I needed to speak to because I glanced at the number and thought 'fuck me not again!' - and it wasn't even them!

I'm going to answer next time and demand my number be removed

NotYoMomma · 10/05/2013 15:44

That link is terrible, so basically anyone who is annoyed and criticises their experience is unsophisticated and unoriginal and it won't be addressed?

They should really be more proactive in noting customer tone and acting on what customers say, maybe limit calls per customer to one a month etc

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 15:47

MrsHoarder - absolutely fair point that you disagree with charities behaving like commercials. I really do understand what you say.

To counter that, all I can say is that charities have to raise money somehow, and in the current economic climate it is incredibly difficult for us to do so - many charities have folded for lack of support in recent years.

There also seems to be an assumption that charities "want to be loved", implicit in your comment about winning the public over. Actually, what we need is the fiscal strength to continue doing our good works. In my case, supporting world leading scientists in finding a cure for fatal or life-changing common conditions. However much you might love the charity I work for, and wish us all the best, it is only the money to do the research that wil have the ulitmate effect.

(And no, we receive no funding at all from any Government source. It all has to come, one way or another, from the public)

silverten · 10/05/2013 15:49

D'you know, that's the exact response I expected when I typed the reply? Such a typical comeback which sounds good but doesn't actually stack up.

Just think about it for a bit?

Couple of messages on mumsnet- say a couple of minutes or so.

Proper complaint- well there's no point doing it without the supporting info- so that would be a request to the charity for a copy of the form that was submitted some months ago (because you don't get to keep one when you fill it in, do you?)- probably take half an hour or so, plus however long we had to wait for them to find it. Then to get copies of the stuff they spam us with- have to wait for the next one to drop through the door as we just recycle it as soon as it arrives at the moment, so unknown how long that will take, then have to find out who to complain to, then have to spend more time complaining.

So no- whilst I can spend a minute or so replying to you, I'm not wasting hours more on the actual complaining.

It's their loss, I'm afraid- not mine.

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 15:50

NotYoMomma - it is unsophisitcatesd an unoriginal from the point of view of fundraisers and charities, because we hear it all the time. The view from inside is alwasy going to look rather different from the outsider's perspective.
You call it terrible, I call it honest.

NinaHeart · 10/05/2013 15:51

*unsophisticated and.....
sorry about crap typing!

JessicaBeatriceFletcher · 10/05/2013 15:52

Nina - it is clear you know what you are talking about. I don't think anyone disagrees that a lot of charities do good work. But it is equally clear that a lot of people find some of the people who work for these charities use very upsetting tactics and approaches that actually LOSE the charities money because people decide to stop supporting them altogether. It's about balance, surely, and some of these charities salespeople cross the line.

Binkybix · 10/05/2013 15:53

I found that blog a bit light on detail to be honest, without actually engaging with any of the things people don't like. In particular I found the dismissal of 'aggressive' approaches by chuggers as simply being 'approached in a way people don't like' as being condescending and dismissive. I have certainly seen chuggers being aggressive, shouting at people own the street who have said no etc.

It doesn't sound as though all charities do track impact to get a proper idea, although my hunch is that it would increase at least in short term, so it's of course an understandable tactic and probably the right business decision. That doesn't stop it being intrusive though and people on here are venting about that. It works for some because its agressive - you can't have it both ways.

I know one big charity that had a non chugging policy because they thought in the long term it might be counterproductive (may have changed now).

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