15 August 2012

How to ruin a chugger's day!

| joingler
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Well there has been a drop in the number of chuggers recently but they are still around. I have discovered the best way to get back of them when they take things too far.

About 6 weeks ago I was stopped in Garema Place by a guy representing UNICEF. We had a bit of a chat about charities I already support etc. He then tried to sign me up for a monthly donation. I told him I couldn’t afford to support another charity as I have an unstable income but I was in a position to give a one off donation. He said that UNICEF don’t offer that option. I then advised him I would go support a charity that does let me do this. He then accused me of all sorts of things, swore at me and told me if I actually cared about anyone in the world apart from myself I would give to him. Wanting to show him how much of a douchebag he was being, I gave in. I signed up but deliberately put the wrong expiry date on my debit card.

Fast forward to last week and I got a phone call from UNICEF saying the payment didn’t go through. I told them about the chugger and how he abused me in public for not being in a position to give a regular amount. The operator was horrified at this and apologised on behalf of UNICEF. I said it was fine, it was not her fault.

Today in the mail, I got a letter from the manager of the chugger apologising for the incident and thanking me for bringing it to her attention. The letter also said that the chugger (who travels NSW and ACT for his ‘job’) will be spoken to about etiquette and acceptance of other peoples circumstances. She made no excuses and offered me her direct phone number if I wanted to discuss further. She also advised me that I can make a one off donation but only by using their website. She also said she understood if I did not want to give to UNICEF again.

So there you go guys. If chuggers continually go too far, simply do a fake sign up, put the wrong date on your card and watch things happen. I have made formal complaints about chuggers before but never heard anything from them. This seems to be an effective way to deal with them.

NOTE: I do not have anything against people who ask for donations to charities. My problem is when I am abused because I am unable to give. Thumbs up to the Salvos and RSPCA. They are always friendly and never try to bully anyone into anything (perhaps too nice??)

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VYBerlinaV8_is_back6:46 pm 16 Aug 12

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

It doesn’t cost the charities anything, and in return they get some money, but I don’t think it’s worth tarnishing their image employing this company who from what I hear train their staff (students, international students) to be purposely be aggressive in their approach.

Absolutely their image should be tarnished. You can’t remove responsibility just because you contract out…

Damn right. They’re tarnished in my eyes.

DarkLadyWolfMother5:31 pm 16 Aug 12

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

It doesn’t cost the charities anything, and in return they get some money, but I don’t think it’s worth tarnishing their image employing this company who from what I hear train their staff (students, international students) to be purposely be aggressive in their approach.

Absolutely their image should be tarnished. You can’t remove responsibility just because you contract out…

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot5:26 pm 16 Aug 12

1337Hax0r said :

My son was walking through Civic one day near the start of the year and was approached by a chugger who had a beard and dreadlocks who said he was from World Vision. He asked my son to sign up. My son explained he was a uni student and could not afford to donate. The chugger said “You still have money for beer and smokes.” My son replied that no, he didn’t drink or smoke and that he didn’t have money for that. The chugger then said “But you can still afford to donate.” My son started to walk off. The chugger yelled after him “You’re pathetic man.”

The following day when I went to ask for his ID, the chugger refused to show it to me. He did ask me to sign up for World Vision and Amnesty International first though. I already donated to Amnesty, and was very tempted to cancel my donation on the spot but believe in the work they do. However, a few weeks later, I moved my subscription from Amnesty to Medicines San Frontiers due to the actions of that chugger.

The message to charities, some times your hard sell techniques fail. Rethink chuggers.

Unfortunately you’ll find that Amnesty, World Vision, Medicines San Frontiers, and several other international charities all employ Cornucopia to do chugging for them.

It doesn’t cost the charities anything, and in return they get some money, but I don’t think it’s worth tarnishing their image employing this company who from what I hear train their staff (students, international students) to be purposely be aggressive in their approach.

And of course there’s the issue of them being misleading because they don’t inform you that most of your donation is not actually going to the charity itself.

Nightshade said :

Overheard said :

After a previous story here, and having seen one of my fave charities was going down the chugger route, I called the fundraising manager and had a long chat about the rationale, the practice, the policies, etc.

I won’t relay it all here. Dot points: bust your balls and spend hours of time and thousands of dollars to raise tens of thousands OR employ others to raise $1mil+.

[…]

Suspend disbelief, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the charity is doing the best it can with the available resources.

I understand what you’re saying here, and can see the attraction of this fundraising method. However, when charities refuse one-off donations and decide they only want regular donors, they need to remember that no one is obliged to give them money. If their preferred type of donation doesn’t suit their donor-base, they have to accept that people have every right to say no.

Presumably chuggers are still with us because enough people say yes.

Yep, totally agree. If a charity won’t take a one-off donation, then they deserve the three-fifths of f-all someone offers them in return.

I had this last year sometime when a well-meaning mob had card tables set up at many shopping centres raising funds for the paralympics (if I rightly recall). I had a great old chat with the card-tablers (as I don’t mind a chat) but ultimately they had no facility other than to sign me up for amounts that were beyond my reach. They were not pushy or rude or abusive, but I had to politely decline the offer.

As for others getting badly abused (like the poster with the Amnesty International experience (‘You’re pathetic, man’) then yes, I’d be very tempted to withdraw my support, and that would usefully, if sadly, send a pretty strong message to the organisation that they’ve got it badly wrong and should review their recruiting techniques.

I’m prepared to bet that whatever the commissions are they’re hardly substantial. And if you pay peanuts….

in this day and age of social media and the internet I find it hard to believe that charities could not collect donations far easier online, without wasting so much money giving it to collection companies. I personally don’t give to charities that use chuggers.

The salvos guy always gets money from me, even if its just silver coins. If the chuggers were so passionate about their charity, they’d donate a couple of hours a week to collect at lunchtimes.

pikiran_keruh said :

ask the chugger how much of their commission they are donating …

+1

Excellent!

My son was walking through Civic one day near the start of the year and was approached by a chugger who had a beard and dreadlocks who said he was from World Vision. He asked my son to sign up. My son explained he was a uni student and could not afford to donate. The chugger said “You still have money for beer and smokes.” My son replied that no, he didn’t drink or smoke and that he didn’t have money for that. The chugger then said “But you can still afford to donate.” My son started to walk off. The chugger yelled after him “You’re pathetic man.”

The following day when I went to ask for his ID, the chugger refused to show it to me. He did ask me to sign up for World Vision and Amnesty International first though. I already donated to Amnesty, and was very tempted to cancel my donation on the spot but believe in the work they do. However, a few weeks later, I moved my subscription from Amnesty to Medicines San Frontiers due to the actions of that chugger.

The message to charities, some times your hard sell techniques fail. Rethink chuggers.

Nightshade said :

Fair enough for potential donors to want that information. However, I personally wouldn’t expect people to be charity collectors for free – even asking for one-off donations is not a fun job. Sure, high profile charities can recruit armies of volunteer collectors for their annual fundraising drives, but there are so many charities I doubt they could all find volunteers to collect for them all the time. I have nothing against them paying people to do it..

And that’s fine, you can donate to whoever you like. I’m not saying Chuggers should be banned (well if i had my way they would be), but the compromise is open collection standards. At least people would know where their money is going (on the spot). I do wonder how many people are pissed off because they’re harassed by chuggers, and subsequently avoid charities (or unpaid collectors) all together. I certainly don’t think they’ve done any favours for store owners around Garema Place.

For example: I’m much less likely to use/click a referral link if it’s been deliberately hidden or misrepresented. If someone said ‘this is my referral link, i get x for every subscriber’ i’d be far more likely to click it on the basis that they’ve declared their affiliation/potential bias with the company.

Overheard said :

After a previous story here, and having seen one of my fave charities was going down the chugger route, I called the fundraising manager and had a long chat about the rationale, the practice, the policies, etc.

I won’t relay it all here. Dot points: bust your balls and spend hours of time and thousands of dollars to raise tens of thousands OR employ others to raise $1mil+.

[…]

Suspend disbelief, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the charity is doing the best it can with the available resources.

I understand what you’re saying here, and can see the attraction of this fundraising method. However, when charities refuse one-off donations and decide they only want regular donors, they need to remember that no one is obliged to give them money. If their preferred type of donation doesn’t suit their donor-base, they have to accept that people have every right to say no.

Presumably chuggers are still with us because enough people say yes.

Henry82 said :

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Fair enough for potential donors to want that information. However, I personally wouldn’t expect people to be charity collectors for free – even asking for one-off donations is not a fun job. Sure, high profile charities can recruit armies of volunteer collectors for their annual fundraising drives, but there are so many charities I doubt they could all find volunteers to collect for them all the time. I have nothing against them paying people to do it.

I’m less enthused about the chugger model where, as others have observed, most of your first year or two of donations goes to the collection company, not the charity. That’s way too much of my donation. If I wanted to sign up as a regular donor, I’d rather do it on the charity’s website so they could have all of my donation.

That said, I *haven’t* signed up on anyone’s website of my own free will, and I can see from a charity’s perspective that hiring a chugger to prod me into it would be to their advantage … provided I’m persuaded by their chugger and not someone elses, and stick with them for a few years.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:55 pm 15 Aug 12

String them along and waste their time. Thats what I do. They are no better than telephone scammers. The charity gets fuck all, the rest goes to to multinational companies.

If you want to donate do it via website.

I just tell them I don’t use credit cards or bank accounts anymore, but if they can bill me in Bitcoins I will happily donate… for some reason they always walk away at that point, rude buggers! 😛

I got hit up by a Greenpeace chugger once. Rude little shite.

I stated how I already gave to 3 charities, one of which is an environmental body. He asked me to name them, which I did, so he could argue how Greenpeace was a better ‘sort’ of organisation. I went onto list the environmentally conscientious activities I make time for in my every day life; having my own vegetable garden, composting and bike riding to name a few. With every claim I made this little feral cut in saying “so do I” or “me too” .. I walked away but had him chasing me half way through Garema Court saying .. “I haven’t finished talking to you vest girl” (as I was wearing a vest .. big surprise) .. seriously, some of them need to be taken down a peg. It’s best to choose what charities you want to give to and commit to them, others who approach you will have to find someone else.

HenryBG said :

p1 said :

Henry82 said :

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

For a second then I though HenryBG had said something I agreed with.

I agree anyway, for what it’s worth.

How come these Chuggers never pester me when I walk through Civic?

Wait, You leave your house?

Kinda thought someone who trolls as consistently as you would be somewhat more reclusive than all that ‘outside’ business!

joingler said :

What would that achieve? I reckon my actions may have actually done some good. The manager is aware of his actions. She will speak to him and maybe he will change his attitude and not do this anymore to anyone.

Or he’ll get fired and end up killing himself cause he couldn’t even hold down a chugger job. Kudos to you for not being able to say ‘f*ck off’ to someone abusing you =)

joingler said :

Henry82 said :

I’m not sure if it’s a win, they still got your details.

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Fair point. But I can easily mark their emails as spam. I can also change my number if things get too bad. But since the letter, I have had no correspondence at all except for their monthly newsletter (which I said to the operator on the phone I was happy to keep receiving).

Thumper said :

He then accused me of all sorts of things, swore at me and told me if I actually cared about anyone in the world apart from myself I would give to him. Wanting to show him how much of a douchebag he was being, I gave in. I signed up but deliberately put the wrong expiry date on my debit card.

Geez man, why didn’t you simply tell him to go f*ck himself.

Pretty simple really.

What would that achieve? I reckon my actions may have actually done some good. The manager is aware of his actions. She will speak to him and maybe he will change his attitude and not do this anymore to anyone.

Man, if you’re happy to be abused by a charity collector then I have no problem with that.

Frankly, if someone is going to abuse me I’m happy to tell them where to go.

But, each to their own.

There is not one person in Civic, or anywhere else for that matter who has approached me for money and received even the slightest response, let alone a single red cent.

However, the lovely gentleman who volunteers for the salvo’s, and sit’s quietly inside the centre, gets my lunch change pretty much daily, usually only a few gold coins, but when I only have silver or no change, he gets a note or two.

I will only ever give to those who do not harass me in the street!

joingler said :

What would that achieve? I reckon my actions may have actually done some good. The manager is aware of his actions. She will speak to him and maybe he will change his attitude and not do this anymore to anyone.

Or maybe not. Being appointed a manager doesn’t endow you with super powers. Most people, including managers of other people, are afraid of conflict, particularly with someone who may be an aggressive douchebag. I suspect that this is why life in the APS is such a misery.

Anyway, colour me cynical, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the manager-person feigned upsettageness in order to fob you off, and then went back to sipping her coffee while reading RA or the local equivalent. Conflict avoided, customer soothed, problem solved.

Henry82 said :

I’m not sure if it’s a win, they still got your details.

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Fair point. But I can easily mark their emails as spam. I can also change my number if things get too bad. But since the letter, I have had no correspondence at all except for their monthly newsletter (which I said to the operator on the phone I was happy to keep receiving).

Thumper said :

He then accused me of all sorts of things, swore at me and told me if I actually cared about anyone in the world apart from myself I would give to him. Wanting to show him how much of a douchebag he was being, I gave in. I signed up but deliberately put the wrong expiry date on my debit card.

Geez man, why didn’t you simply tell him to go f*ck himself.

Pretty simple really.

What would that achieve? I reckon my actions may have actually done some good. The manager is aware of his actions. She will speak to him and maybe he will change his attitude and not do this anymore to anyone.

HenryBG said :

How come these Chuggers never pester me when I walk through Civic?

Your reputation precedes you.

Overheard said :

Thumper said :

Of course, if I get harrasses by a charity they have just ensured that I will never pay them a cent,

That’s a bit absolute, Thumper.

What if a rogue somehow gets a guernsey with your favourite charity? What if some nutter somehow dons the bright vest and approved badge for, say, the RSPCA? Would you tell them to ‘Go’n git —-‘ and never donate to them again based on the actions of one person?

Community and volunteer groups do sadly occasionally attract nutters that don’t reflect the organisation’s overall approach or ethos.

I give lots of money to lots of charities of my own free will.

If I wish to donate to a charity I will.

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

The main problem is that unless you sign up for payments over several years the vast majority of your donations do not go the charity but rathter to a PR company called Cornucopia Fundraising.

+1

I’ve heard 80% of a person’s donation in the first year goes to Cornucopia Fundraising. Decreasing every year after that, not sure of the exact percentages. It would be nice if they were up front about things like that.

http://www.cornucopia.com.au/how_we_do_it.html

Overheard said :

Just because a collector takes a commission does not make it all bad. Not always.

My nutrition label idea doesn’t brandish a collector either way, it just makes it just makes the collection process transparent.

Overheard said :

I won’t relay it all here. Dot points: bust your balls and spend hours of time and thousands of dollars to raise tens of thousands OR employ others to raise $1mil+.

I get it, 30% of something, is better than 100% of nothing. But in my opinion its misleading to say “i collect on behalf of a charity” when in actual fact it’s “i collect so money for a charity, but i take a lot for myself”

Overheard said :

I don’t like being accosted at the best of times, but telling a chugger to ‘**** off’ is, in my book, equivalent to telling the charity to ‘*** off’..

No it isn’t, it’s telling the person who is harassing your for money to f*** off. If i, or anyone else wants to donate, they can do it one of many ways without a middle man. I don’t need someone reminding me every time i walk through Garema Place

Overheard said :

Suspend disbelief, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the charity is doing the best it can with the available resources..

I think there are much better things to do. First things first, if i was a charity, i’d run my own website, similar to http://www.everydayhero.com.au/ except where there is not middle man taking at least 10% of the cut.

Thumper said :

Of course, if I get harrasses by a charity they have just ensured that I will never pay them a cent,

That’s a bit absolute, Thumper.

What if a rogue somehow gets a guernsey with your favourite charity? What if some nutter somehow dons the bright vest and approved badge for, say, the RSPCA? Would you tell them to ‘Go’n git —-‘ and never donate to them again based on the actions of one person?

Community and volunteer groups do sadly occasionally attract nutters that don’t reflect the organisation’s overall approach or ethos.

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot2:53 pm 15 Aug 12

The main problem is that unless you sign up for payments over several years the vast majority of your donations do not go the charity but rathter to a PR company called Cornucopia Fundraising.

johnboy said :

The trouble with the chugging is sure Charity A might get more money. But charities in general are getting a smaller cut of the available giving pond.

Charity A gets a short term win. Charities in general lose out.

It’s not ethical.

Fair point. I’ve been a hands-on fundraiser on and off for 20 years, and in that time, the number of active charities seems to have increased many-fold while people’s disposable income hasn’t increased in proportion.

As charities find more effective ways to separate givers from their readies, others are likely to lose out. No easy answers. None that I have, anyway.

Of course, if I get harrasses by a charity they have just ensured that I will never pay them a cent,

Overheard said :

Henry82 said :

I’m not sure if it’s a win, they still got your details.

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Just because a collector takes a commission does not make it all bad. Not always.

After a previous story here, and having seen one of my fave charities was going down the chugger route, I called the fundraising manager and had a long chat about the rationale, the practice, the policies, etc.

I won’t relay it all here. Dot points: bust your balls and spend hours of time and thousands of dollars to raise tens of thousands OR employ others to raise $1mil+.

I don’t like being accosted at the best of times, but telling a chugger to ‘**** off’ is, in my book, equivalent to telling the charity to ‘*** off’.

Suspend disbelief, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the charity is doing the best it can with the available resources.

Just a thought……

ever.

I was responding to the OP.

The chugger abused him.

As such, I would tell him to f*ck off.

Normally I just ignore them.

Henry82 said :

I’m not sure if it’s a win, they still got your details.

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Just because a collector takes a commission does not make it all bad. Not always.

After a previous story here, and having seen one of my fave charities was going down the chugger route, I called the fundraising manager and had a long chat about the rationale, the practice, the policies, etc.

I won’t relay it all here. Dot points: bust your balls and spend hours of time and thousands of dollars to raise tens of thousands OR employ others to raise $1mil+.

I don’t like being accosted at the best of times, but telling a chugger to ‘**** off’ is, in my book, equivalent to telling the charity to ‘*** off’.

Suspend disbelief, and consider that maybe, just maybe, the charity is doing the best it can with the available resources.

Just a thought……

The trouble with the chugging is sure Charity A might get more money. But charities in general are getting a smaller cut of the available giving pond.

Charity A gets a short term win. Charities in general lose out.

It’s not ethical.

p1 said :

Henry82 said :

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

For a second then I though HenryBG had said something I agreed with.

I agree anyway, for what it’s worth.

How come these Chuggers never pester me when I walk through Civic?

He then accused me of all sorts of things, swore at me and told me if I actually cared about anyone in the world apart from myself I would give to him. Wanting to show him how much of a douchebag he was being, I gave in. I signed up but deliberately put the wrong expiry date on my debit card.

Geez man, why didn’t you simply tell him to go f*ck himself.

Pretty simple really.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd1:56 pm 15 Aug 12

To OP, This is called winning.

To Henry82(lol i had to do a double take aswell), thats a incredibly excellent idea that needs to be implemented.

Henry82 said :

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

For a second then I though HenryBG had said something I agreed with.

I’m not sure if it’s a win, they still got your details.

Really what they need is a compulsory badge for all charity collectors. One that advises people if they’re paid or volunteer. How much commission they get, and what % of the money goes to the actual charity. Kind of like the nutrition labels on food.

Well played on several counts, not the least of which is you chose to provide feedback to the organisation — in a fairly innovative way! — and they were quite rightly mortified.

The Cancer Councils are another mob who are very courteous, and I mention this since they will be out and about now in the lead up to Daffodil Day.

I always ask them for the charity’s website so I can make a one-off donation.

It’s hilarious to watch them try to find excuses as to why that won’t work and that I have to sign up with them for a monthly donation.

If they call me names and abuse me it’s even better. Stupid commission sucking scum.

pikiran_keruh11:05 am 15 Aug 12

ask the chugger how much of their commission they are donating …

That’s not a bad idea, if it was me personally I’d remind the chugger about the change for good program which UNICEF runs in conjunction with one world airlines prior to walking away.

It’s very much so one off donations, of course when you donate that way it does mean that a chugger out there dies a little inside and misses out on their morning latte…

At least the chuggers are easy to ignore. The no.1 worst thing about working in Civic is how often people ask you for money…

There’s a bloke who goes from table to table INSIDE McDonalds asking for money, which is just not on. Of course the young female staff aren’t going to kick him out…

There’s also a woman I see begging in Civic every day. One minute she’s begging outside the old Impact shop, the next minute she’s enjoying a coffee at Guru. It’s a lifestyle!

Sorry to spoil your post OP, but I’d use the same principle as Real Heroes Walk Away.

They’re called chuggers (charity muggers) for a very good reason.

Madam Cholet9:45 am 15 Aug 12

I used to give monthly to UNICEF but they stuffed up changing my credit card number so I did then let it slide. I have since had calls from very persistent UNICEF call centre staff who really harangue you to sign up. I always give a one of donation of a decent amount but let them know that if they insist on trying to sign me up they won’t get anything. They do eventually back off.

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