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Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

Grumpy Old Lemons Like You
EssDeeAitch
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Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#200869

Postby EssDeeAitch » February 12th, 2019, 4:57 pm

Chugging may be necessary, I don't know, but I don't like it.

I was accosted on my way out of B&Q with two boxes of tiles the tiler needed to finish the job off (must hurry then) by a very engaging young man representing the Red Cross. He asked if I was confident in my first aid skills to which I answered truthfully "no, in fact I have decided to enroll on a course". He then took the opportunity to go into his spiel as if I had not answered at all (first wisps of steam leaking from my ears) and I asked, politely (as I am that sort of chap) if he could cut to the chase as I had to get on with things. That knocked him off his stride somewhat as he started from the beginning (some sort of reset button bionically implanted in chuggers?).

"No, please, what do you want" (more steam detected). Sponsorship - he wanted me to sign up a DD (which he said I could cancel at any time thus displaying his self-interested commercial nous) so I said, no thanks, quite happy to chuck a few quid in the box (for I am that sort of chap) to which he replied "forget it, thanks mate" and turned away.

The Rec Cross made me red and cross today, I am a bitter lemon all right (note to self, calm down dear, more than a wisp of steam leaking from ears).

scrumpyjack
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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#200874

Postby scrumpyjack » February 12th, 2019, 5:10 pm

I do give a fair bit to charity but never ever to someone who accosts me in the street. Many of them are on commission so quite a lot of what you give never reaches the charity.

I am also very sceptical of many of the big charities. The proportion they blow on overheads is incredible. Last time I looked Cancer research occupied 5 office blocks in Central London. Why on earth do they need to be in central London?

Rant over

uspaul666
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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#200921

Postby uspaul666 » February 12th, 2019, 7:20 pm

Your chugger needs retraining or sacking...
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/h ... 63470.html

bungeejumper
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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201071

Postby bungeejumper » February 13th, 2019, 12:59 pm

The dynamics of chugging are that you try to embarrass the chuggee into parting with his direct debit order, because you've made him feel somehow mean for thinking that your Save the Bank Vole campaign isn't as important as the causes he normally favours. And to make him feel that refusing you while you're standing face to face with him is a mark of his inhumanity which he won't ever be able to shrug off his conscience. My, what a selfish brute he must be.

So he signs up, and you pocket your commission, and then he has the rest of his life in which to wish he'd never met you. Because he knows he'll feel a heel all over again when he decides to stop the direct debit. Bwahahahaha, you win.

I have my own favourite charities, to which I donate moderately substantial chunks of cash whenever fortune smiles upon me. Several of them are hospices, a couple more are medical. But I refuse to be bounced into long-term funding somebody else's idea of a deserving cause by this sort of pressure.

So I simply say, "I can make you a cash donation now, but I'm sorry, I don't do direct debits." (In the full knowledge that they're not allowed to take cash. :twisted: )

Back comes the mystified reply, as often as not: "Is there a reason why you don't do direct debits?" "Yes," I reply simply, and stop. Leaving him standing there with absolutely nothing to say. Usually, he flounders and wanders off in search of a bigger fool somewhere else.

Did you see what I did there? I made him feel awkward instead of me, and I also pulled him in toward asking me an impossibly intrusive question. Works every time.

BJ

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201087

Postby scrumpyjack » February 13th, 2019, 2:54 pm

One came up to me the other day and said 'Do you know what a Stroke is?' I replied Yes, it's a golf shot, and walked off.

Itsallaguess
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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201142

Postby Itsallaguess » February 13th, 2019, 6:35 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
But I refuse to be bounced into long-term funding somebody else's idea of a deserving cause by this sort of pressure.


If a shop starts to sell lots of something, it's likely they will get more of those things in for people to buy. They see where the trends are and act as you'd expect businesses to act - they'd take advantage of those sales and the high public interest.

It's always dumbfounded me why people would allow themselves to take part in both chugging or door-to-door sales.

Doing so would only encourage these sales techniques, and we need less of them, not more....

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201161

Postby stevensfo » February 13th, 2019, 7:28 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
So I simply say, "I can make you a cash donation now, but I'm sorry, I don't do direct debits." (In the full knowledge that they're not allowed to take cash. :twisted: )

Back comes the mystified reply, as often as not: "Is there a reason why you don't do direct debits?" "Yes," I reply simply, and stop. Leaving him standing there with absolutely nothing to say. Usually, he flounders and wanders off in search of a bigger fool somewhere else.

BJ

Many, many years ago, someone gave me some excellent advice: to think of yourself as the CEO of your house and family, so you're the CEO, Managing Director, Production Director, Finance Director as well...etc.

In situations like these (and most letters) I always use the 'Royal we' and the words 'policy' and 'appropriate'.

"Sorry but we cannot do direct debits." Why? "That's our policy." Why? "It's not appropriate."

I was however prepared to do a Standing order and one manager of a charity had no problems with this. Since then, it's become much easier to cancel direct debits, so maybe the difference between DDs and SOs has shrunk a bit.

Steve

PS The phrase "It's not appropriate" is great. So easy to end conversations with those few words. :-)

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201163

Postby swill453 » February 13th, 2019, 7:33 pm

I'm always happy to say "No thanks" and walk on, even if the question is an emotional blackmail one like "Do you want to cure child cancer?".

Scott.

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201165

Postby Itsallaguess » February 13th, 2019, 7:39 pm

swill453 wrote:
I'm always happy to say "No thanks" and walk on, even if the question is an emotional blackmail one like "Do you want to cure child cancer?".


My absolute favourite 'go away' door-shutting moment (I'd been very polite up to this point...) was when I could still hear the loud, high-pitched 'But, but what about the kittens!!!?!?!?'......

Cheers,

Itsallaguess (adores kittens...)

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201176

Postby kiloran » February 13th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:My absolute favourite 'go away' door-shutting moment .....

I find that people who arrive at my door trying to sell something almost always start with "Sorry to disturb you but...." at which point point I intervene with "No you're not"
This is usually followed by....
Him/Her... What?
Me... You're not sorry
Him/her.... Eh?
Me.... If you were truly sorry about disturbing me, you would not have disturbed me.

They either walk away muttering "nutter" under their breath, or the conversation becomes even more surreal. Either way, they get nothing out of me.

--kiloran

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201184

Postby dave559 » February 13th, 2019, 8:31 pm

It annoys me no end that increasing numbers of charities seem only willing to accept donations by direct debit (and often monthly, rather than annual donations, at that), instead of standing order. (I of course ignore chuggers entirely if I encounter them, and only support charities which I have made a conscious and thought-through decision to support.)

A standing order allows me to increase my donation at any time, should I have more money to spare, or feel that the charity deserves more of my financial support. Similarly, should I find my financial circumstances have got worse, I can easily reduce my level of support (without having to stop entirely, unless that really is necessary).

But a direct debit is entirely inflexible from my end: if I want to change my level of donation, I have to cancel the direct debit, and then get in touch with the charity again to set up a new one. This surely adds unnecessary costs to their operations.

And, as I have said above, it is for the charity to be grateful for whatever and however the donor donates, not to try to impose their will on you. Any charity which point blank refuses to accept, or makes it difficult to set up, an annual standing order simply never gets that monthly direct debit from me. They can either get a cheque from me (and have to go to the hassle and expense of reminding me to donate again the following year), or they simply get nothing. Would they rather have donations on my terms, or nothing at all?

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201185

Postby kempiejon » February 13th, 2019, 8:35 pm

Many years ago my father had a card at the front door which said something like "no unsolicited callers" and when a door to door sales type called he asked them if they had an appointment, when they replied "no" he'd point to the card and then close the door.

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201256

Postby bungeejumper » February 14th, 2019, 9:41 am

dave559 wrote:And, as I have said above, it is for the charity to be grateful for whatever and however the donor donates, not to try to impose their will on you. Any charity which point blank refuses to accept, or makes it difficult to set up, an annual standing order simply never gets that monthly direct debit from me.

I hate to be so hard-nosed, but the direct debit principle goes right against everything we know about the altruism principle and the way it works on the human brain.

The evolutionary scientists tell us that when I give money, I get a small hit of brain chemicals that makes me feel good, and it will probably make me want to do it again. It's not that I'm being a smug bugger - rather, it's a primitive altruistic thing that encourages/obliges me to do what's best for my tribe or my species. (A fascinating topic in its own right - check it out some time.)

But when I sign up for a direct debit, it's my bank that does all the repetitive work (after my first contact), and the brain chemical hit just doesn't happen any more. I have merely handed over my giving to a robot process, and a fat lot of good it will do for my psychic wellbeing. For the charity, on the other hand, the direct debit is great, because it's only had to pester me once and the money just keeps on flowing in.

I make an exception for the National Trust, because it sends me thank-yous in the form of the regular access I have to its properties, and that helps to keep up the relationship (and the brain chemicals). But my daughter is still ruing the day she signed up a direct debit to keep an abandoned horse going in some rescue sanctuary many hundreds of miles away. Which she'll never get to see, and which is probably two-timing her with five thousand other mugs. Even though it sends her a hand-typed Christmas card every December. :lol:

BJ

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201268

Postby stevensfo » February 14th, 2019, 10:31 am

bungeejumper wrote:
dave559 wrote:And, as I have said above, it is for the charity to be grateful for whatever and however the donor donates, not to try to impose their will on you. Any charity which point blank refuses to accept, or makes it difficult to set up, an annual standing order simply never gets that monthly direct debit from me.

I hate to be so hard-nosed, but the direct debit principle goes right against everything we know about the altruism principle and the way it works on the human brain.

The evolutionary scientists tell us that when I give money, I get a small hit of brain chemicals that makes me feel good, and it will probably make me want to do it again. It's not that I'm being a smug bugger - rather, it's a primitive altruistic thing that encourages/obliges me to do what's best for my tribe or my species. (A fascinating topic in its own right - check it out some time.)

But when I sign up for a direct debit, it's my bank that does all the repetitive work (after my first contact), and the brain chemical hit just doesn't happen any more. I have merely handed over my giving to a robot process, and a fat lot of good it will do for my psychic wellbeing. For the charity, on the other hand, the direct debit is great, because it's only had to pester me once and the money just keeps on flowing in.

I make an exception for the National Trust, because it sends me thank-yous in the form of the regular access I have to its properties, and that helps to keep up the relationship (and the brain chemicals). But my daughter is still ruing the day she signed up a direct debit to keep an abandoned horse going in some rescue sanctuary many hundreds of miles away. Which she'll never get to see, and which is probably two-timing her with five thousand other mugs. Even though it sends her a hand-typed Christmas card every December. :lol:

BJ


I absolutely agree and that's why I said yesterday that our policy is never to set up DDs for charity. I have three Standing orders set up and for two it was very easy. For the third, I had to contact the director who was pleased to send me the account number I needed. I much prefer them because I am in control, not them, and if they want our help, a reputable charity will have no problems with SOs. There's also the security of knowing the amount cannot changed without your consent.

Steve

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201272

Postby UncleEbenezer » February 14th, 2019, 10:54 am

One more point: your view on a charity might change. I would refuse absolutely to give to the many charities that, in my view, do more harm than good.

Case in point: I used to give semi-regularly to Medicins Sans Frontieres[1]. I stopped that when they became involved in people-trafficking across the med. If I had had a direct debit, stopping it might have had more impact, but would also have required a round tuit that might have proved elusive.

[1] Feel free to correct my French.

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201318

Postby scotia » February 14th, 2019, 12:35 pm

Some years ago I was regularly visiting a friend in a hospice in the centre of a Scottish city, and on many occasions, on walking from the city centre car park to the hospice, I was accosted by chuggers. It was my first experience of this breed, however my defence was simple - I made it clear that I handle charitable gifts via the Charities Aid Foundation, and this allows me to conveniently choose my charities, and dispense what I consider to be appropriate funds. This will depend on my income, and on my view of the charity's actions. I did not sign direct debits on the street. I will admit that most of the chuggers were pleasant young persons, and they took my refusal in good grace. I also understand the need of charities to generate income, however I don't think this is an appropriate method.

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201333

Postby Snorvey » February 14th, 2019, 12:55 pm

Almost all the Street Chuggers we get up here in the beautiful and peaceful Northern shire are flying chuggers brought in from Weegieville and the central belt area.

The accent alone makes me want to run a mile from anyone who wants my bank details.

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Re: Chugging - The Unacceptable Face of Charity

#201386

Postby Rhyd6 » February 14th, 2019, 4:40 pm

Before I retired from HMRC I dealt with the tax affairs of several well known charities. My eyes were opened when I saw the salary and expenses figures and now I donate only to local charities such as our Community Centre and Cubs, Brownies Guides and Scouts plus a local animal welfare kennels.

R6


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