Have you been hassled by charity calls?
A recent flurry of news stories has shone light on the questionable methods that various charities are alleged to be using to contact donators. Along with the age old practice of letters being sent to prospective or existing donators, there has been a sharp increase in the number of telephone calls made to the public, requesting either that direct debits are created,increased or re-instated.These calls are often not made by the charity themselves, but outsourced to private companies who have targets to hit, and may therefore be inclined to pressure.
Someone who has suffered this relentless contact is widower Jenny Phelps. Jenny, 65, claims to have received 50 letters from numerous charities in the last month, along with several daily phone calls. She originally set up three direct debits for animal charities IFAW,RSPCA and BUAV; but soon received numerous phone calls asking her to increase the amount she pays.
Shortly after, things began to worsen for Jenny. She now receives up to 90 letters a month, and feels that her details have been sold on to numerous other organisations who want to 'prey on her good nature'. She states that she feels hounded by the pressure to donate from every correspondance, and guilty for not being able to do so. Incredibly, she has even been sent childrens hats and gloves with the letters, designed to 'tug on her heartstrings'.
Jenny is not alone. In recent years, the number of complaints about charity calls has more than trebled. And perhaps with good reason, when some individuals report receiving calls two or three times a day during a three week period.
Interestingly,it's not just the people on the recieving end of the calls who are under pressure. An ex-employee of a charity calling agent told the Daily Mail that 'My remit was to ring people up from the database, give them a sob story, make them feel guilty and get their money...If I didn't get people to sign up to donate, it was made clear that my job was at risk...We were told to concoct stories about people in dire straits, whether it be a child in poverty or a much-loved parent suffering from cancer'. Eventually, he resigned from his post; due to his moral objection to the realities of the role.
Have you ever been targeted by charity calls and letters? We are looking to hear from anyone with a similar experience. Please leave your comments below, or contact us.
Source: Daily Mail