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Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 13 Feb 2012 20:55
by johnH
getReading
By David Millward
February 13, 2012


Town centre shoppers were bombarded by direct debit hunting charity collectors on almost 100 occasions in the last year, latest figures reveal.

A total of 228 charity collections were allowed by Reading Borough Council between January 2011 and 2012 and 99 of them were ‘chuggers’ trying to sign people up to donate monthly through their bank accounts. The manager of the town’s business improvement district (BID) fears the aggressive and bullying behaviour of ‘charity muggers’ puts people off coming into the town......

full story http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2108 ... y_chuggers

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 13 Feb 2012 22:35
by Avis
It has always amazed me that people should ask me to part with my bank account details to a total stranger in a public place, where anyone could be listening. Have these people never heard of identity theft?

But they do ask, and some people do it.

I always say "I don't give out personal details to strangers" and walk away.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 13 Feb 2012 22:48
by mikejee
Is it really only 99 ??

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 13 Feb 2012 23:09
by Pooneil
"The manager of the town’s business improvement district (BID) fears the aggressive and bullying behaviour of ‘charity muggers’ puts people off coming into the town."
Chuggers are an irritation but one I can ignore. What I find harder to "ignore" are high parking costs and a largely uninspiring, identikit, chainstore-by-numbers town centre with retail establishments that in most cases I can find anywhere...
But I guess in his position it's a lot easier to moan about the chuggers.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 08:51
by OLDMAN
I just say I have already signed up and walk on

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 10:03
by Mayfield
Last year the Air ambulance people set up in the foyer to my local Waitrose with exactly this purpose, I'd have happily made a donation there and then (which they wouldn't take) but didn't want to commit to a DD, as I go to Waitrose most week days by the end of the week I was heartily sick of them !

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 13:32
by piwacket
Pooneil wrote: Chuggers are an irritation but one I can ignore. What I find harder to "ignore" are high parking costs and a largely uninspiring, identikit, chainstore-by-numbers town centre with retail establishments that in most cases I can find anywhere...
:clap3: I thought the same. I've no reason, or desire to visit the town centre these days.
Mayfield wrote:Last year the Air ambulance people set up in the foyer to my local Waitrose with exactly this purpose, I'd have happily made a donation there and then (which they wouldn't take) but didn't want to commit to a DD, as I go to Waitrose most week days by the end of the week I was heartily sick of them !
:clap3: Hear, hear to that too. We had that too at Woodley Precinct - but they'd already pre-empted that by door-knocking in our area a couple of miles away.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 14:24
by C8H10N4O2
Telephone marketing to home numbers has now (thankfully) been largely negated, and it's high time the same was done to both door-to-door marketing/selling and "chugging" in the street.

Like many, I have my chosen charities, and make DD donations monthly (postal initiation only).

I still reserve the right to flip (or not to flip) loose coins into a genuine charity collection bucket on any given occasion, but being accosted and asked "do you have a few moments" is difficult not to construe as "can I take the opportunity to talk/browbeat you into parting you from your money in larger chunks", and I object to this approach attempt whether "trapped" at my front door, or when making a rare but necessary visit to Broad St, etc.

If nothing else, the day/week-in, day/week-out appearance of these "chuggers" dilutes any sense of giving, or, indeed, any realism of need....rendering them collectively as more of a parasitic hazard to be avoided as a genuine cause for our support to be embraced.

I also can't help but feel that some genuine charities have been duped into accepting and paying up-front for the services of "chugger" networks, in the same way that some companies have fallen foul of the discounted vouchers schemes that claim to "attract" custom by virtue of shoving discounted goods & services into punters' otherwise uninterested faces.

It's wrong. It's predatory. And it's time it was stopped.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 15:24
by lizwing
Another thing that annoys me is cold callers or door knockers who start their patter with 'I'm not trying to sell you anything' YES YOU ARE or you wouldn't be calling me or knocking on my door. I'm never rude because it's not in my nature to be but I just say 'I'm not interested so I won't waste your time'. They're usually so taken aback by somebody being polite they just go away.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 16:53
by Mayfield
Would you believe, they are back in Waitrose foyer !

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 17:39
by piwacket
lizwing wrote:Another thing that annoys me is cold callers or door knockers who start their patter with 'I'm not trying to sell you anything' YES YOU ARE or you wouldn't be calling me or knocking on my door. I'm never rude because it's not in my nature to be but I just say 'I'm not interested so I won't waste your time'. They're usually so taken aback by somebody being polite they just go away.
Well, they come off better knocking on your door then Liz than if they get me :)

We have a sticker (supplied by the local Community PC) which says 'we do not buy at the door, so please don't call'' - so they're usually greeted by some curt question like ''I presume you can't read (pointing at the notice)''..... OH however is much politer, hence we have a DD with the Air Ambulance people :shrug1: Could be worse I suppose, at least it's a worthy cause.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 17:50
by jonnyewing
A relative of mine works part-time as a "charity mugger" in Cardiff. He is a very enthusiastic and sincere evangelist for the charity he works for and you would certainly not accuse him of intimidating vulnerable people. As far as I understand it, he works very hard in all weathers to help a good cause and receives a fair and modest wage.

Quite a few years ago I did get collared by a chugger in Broad Street and ended up making regular payments to Action for Blind People. I received very little communication from the charity and began to question whether my money was being spent wisely. In the end I decided to cancel my standing order in favour of a different charity. This was long ago before charities started to have quality websites and email newsletters and so on. I think I got a photocopied A5 flyer from them about once every six months and I suppose the experience left me with a bit of a sour aftertaste. Had I not had my arm twisted by a chugger, I suppose I might have been less sceptical and maybe I would still be contributing regularly.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 18:20
by lizwing
We have the same sticker,pi,so WHY WHY WHY do they still knock??!!**@@

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 14 Feb 2012 21:10
by piwacket
Probably several reasons Liz - not least that they thing they're 'above' such polite requests :whistle1: - either that or they really cannot read because they're too thick and they learn their sales spiel parrot fashion off a CD!

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 00:08
by jonbryce
jonnyewing wrote:A relative of mine works part-time as a "charity mugger" in Cardiff. He is a very enthusiastic and sincere evangelist for the charity he works for and you would certainly not accuse him of intimidating vulnerable people. As far as I understand it, he works very hard in all weathers to help a good cause and receives a fair and modest wage.

Quite a few years ago I did get collared by a chugger in Broad Street and ended up making regular payments to Action for Blind People. I received very little communication from the charity and began to question whether my money was being spent wisely. In the end I decided to cancel my standing order in favour of a different charity. This was long ago before charities started to have quality websites and email newsletters and so on. I think I got a photocopied A5 flyer from them about once every six months and I suppose the experience left me with a bit of a sour aftertaste. Had I not had my arm twisted by a chugger, I suppose I might have been less sceptical and maybe I would still be contributing regularly.
The problem is that if you sign up for a direct debit with a chugger, most of the money - more than 99% of it, goes to the chugging agency, not the charity.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 07:24
by Pooneil
jonnyewing wrote:Quite a few years ago I did get collared by a chugger in Broad Street and ended up making regular payments... I received very little communication from the charity and began to question whether my money was being spent wisely....I think I got a photocopied A5 flyer from them about once every six months and I suppose the experience left me with a bit of a sour aftertaste.
On the other hand I once got signed up for a charity via a similar practice, and then about every other month got a glossy mailing covering various aspects of their work and of course implicitly, and at times explicitly, pleading for more money. I found both the softsoap emotional blackmail and the relative frequency of the mailings rather grating; I began to wonder if printing and posting all this stuff every eight or nine weeks was a wise use of my money. I wasn't contributing this money to see a not insignificant portion of it spent on printing and postage.
OK, our experiences were at opposite ends of the spectrum, but I guess everybody has different expectations about ongoing communication.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 08:57
by OLDMAN
piwacket wrote:Probably several reasons Liz - not least that they thing they're 'above' such polite requests :whistle1: - either that or they really cannot read because they're too thick and they learn their sales spiel parrot fashion off a CD!
They certainly learn a spiel - been there, done that and got the T shirt!

Many years ago having been made redundant I was offered a training session / job doing accident insurance sales for ALICO

Went on a weeks training course (passed and still certified as an insurance sales person – signed my pact with the devil but he returned it as he said he was scared of me)

We learnt a full spiel of selling with all the right things to say – even the answers to any negative comebacks etc

Quite and eye opener and very useful when they try it on me these days!!

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 10:02
by Mayfield
even the answers to any negative comebacks etc

The sale begins when the customer says no ! :wink:

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 10:23
by OLDMAN
Mayfield wrote:even the answers to any negative comebacks etc

The sale begins when the customer says no ! :wink:

That's what we where taught!!

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 10:55
by lizwing
I feel huge sympathy for cold callers and door knockers trying to sell double glazing et al it must be the worst job in the world,that's why I can't be rude to them I just think how glad I am that I don't have to do it.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 11:04
by Mayfield
Well I might be more sympathetic if they weren't knocking on my double glazed door and looking at a house with clearly double glazed windows, talk about flogging a dead horse. :-(

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 12:14
by jonbryce
OLDMAN wrote:
piwacket wrote:Probably several reasons Liz - not least that they thing they're 'above' such polite requests :whistle1: - either that or they really cannot read because they're too thick and they learn their sales spiel parrot fashion off a CD!
They certainly learn a spiel - been there, done that and got the T shirt!

Many years ago having been made redundant I was offered a training session / job doing accident insurance sales for ALICO

Went on a weeks training course (passed and still certified as an insurance sales person – signed my pact with the devil but he returned it as he said he was scared of me)

We learnt a full spiel of selling with all the right things to say – even the answers to any negative comebacks etc

Quite and eye opener and very useful when they try it on me these days!!
If I get someone asking me for example if I have a particular type of insurance, I tell them it is none of their b***** business. Basically the way to get rid of a salesman is not to engage in conversation with them start ranting at them for harassing me, stalking me or whatever.

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 12:31
by Bam
I have just been dealing with the results of a super salesman from Britannic Assurance London Road, who knocked on doors in East Reading in the 1920's. He managed to sell a life assurance on the life of a six year old child to her father. Then, after her father had died, called back to the same address and sold another life assurance policy on the same child, now aged 19, to her mother. That child is now 90 and still going strong and the policies are still valid, although a few years ago Britannic wrote to say that out of their sense of deepest generousity they would waiver all future premium payments and pay the 1d a week themselves !

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 13:27
by piwacket
Mayfield wrote:Well I might be more sympathetic if they weren't knocking on my double glazed door and looking at a house with clearly double glazed windows, talk about flogging a dead horse. :-(
:) That's true - and usually invites a comment to that effect!

And the Driveway lot - like the very well-spoken 60+ year old who was charming, but had walked across what was obviously a recently laid granite chipping drive, to ask if we'd like block-paving. ''So what would you think?'' I asked, smiling at him. He did have the decency to acknowledge that it was unlikely :)

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 17:23
by piwacket
Just had some 'funnies' sent - including this one :)
On a Front door
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 18:56
by lizwing
It would be worth printing that and sticking it on the front door !

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 18:58
by piwacket
'cept we have no evidence of a dog - and dog's usually bark don't they when the bell goes - next door neighbour's certainly does!

.....altho that's not to say it could be in it's kennel in the back garden :whistle1: and perhaps the bell could be rigged up to a 'barking' sound ? :))

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 19:03
by lizwing
I'm sure you can get a bell that barks ! How about a sign saying 'Don't be afraid of the dog - watch out for the owner'

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 19:13
by piwacket
:)) - could well be very appropriate if they get me. :)

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 15 Feb 2012 19:21
by Les
The Dof is harmless, the owner has a very nasty bite!

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 08:31
by OLDMAN
You can get a barking bell – my mother has just got a new wireless one and it has a dog bark on it

She also has an old unit made by Moss (the car alarm people) that barks – I think it works on a sound or motion sensors but we never really bothered to get it going (charity shop when she used to help throw out as an electrical item!)

Did sound good though when you pressed the test button

My favourite notice is

‘’can you run 10 yards in 4 seconds – my Doberman can’’

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 15:50
by johnw102
I have one of those signs on my door saying, we don't buy at the door, we don't want cold callers, we know God loves us, etc When we do get knockers I answer the door and ask what time their appointment is, this is usually met with a blank look so I explain that I run remedial reading classes and thought they were one of my students! If they say they are not there for that reason I suggest slowly and politely that perhaps they should consider it. They leave muttering about grumpy old bu**ers as if that was a bad thing. :-P My wife says I will get slapped one day!

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 16:22
by piwacket
johnw102 wrote: They leave muttering about grumpy old bu**ers as if that was a bad thing. :-P My wife says I will get slapped one day!
Oh I love that John! a better variation on my tack - and yes, my OH has predicted the same outcome for me :))

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 16:54
by OLDMAN
A mate always reckoned he used this line when Jehovah’ Witness’s called

‘’Sorry didn’t know there had been an accident!’’

Re: Reading shoppers put off by ‘chuggers’

Posted: 16 Feb 2012 17:23
by Les
[quote="johnw102"]I have one of those signs on my door saying, we don't buy at the door, we don't want cold callers, we know God loves us, etc When we do get knockers I answer the door and ask what time their appointment is, this is usually met with a blank look so I explain that I run remedial reading classes and thought they were one of my students! If they say they are not there for that reason I suggest slowly and politely that perhaps they should consider it. They leave muttering about grumpy old bu**ers as if that was a bad thing. :-P My wife says I will get slapped one day![/quote

I love it John, I will have to borrow it sometime, I'll let you know if I get slapped.