Monday, 13 September 2010

Charity Muggers (Chuggers)

Wearing brightly coloured rain jackets, shiny badges and clutching an important looking clipboard, Charity Muggers are a plague on our streets.
Often hunting in packs, they spread out their 5-or so man team down a high street. Usually on alternating sides of the road, forcing people to continuously cross the road to avoid them.

Charities pay huge sums to firms that employ so-called 'charity muggers' who stop people in the street and try to persuade them to donate by direct debit.
But the charities often don't see a penny of this donated money because the 'chugging' firm charges are so high.
But a BBC investigation found the charities are often paying the companies, in effect, £100 or more for each signature they collect – meaning in many cases the company is paid more than the charity will raise from that donor in the first year.
And many of those signed up by these sub-contractors do not complete 12 months of donations.

So you shouldn't feel guilty about ignoring them. Unfortunately some can be quite persistent and aggressive in trying to get your bank details. Chasing people down the streets and just generally being a nuisance and making it as hard as possible for people to get past.

The technique I use for getting past them starts off with pretending to be on the phone and just ignoring them, if they still get in my face or try and interrupt my call, the next stage that often does the job is "Oh, I already give to that charity". Once or twice that hasn't worked and for some reason they still persist. At which point I ad lib:
"I only have a 30minute lunch break, I'm already having a conversation with someone on my phone and I don't have the time to listen to your crap"
or the best one, I stopped, looked at them, hung up my pretend phone call, put it back in my pocket, and looked them straight in the eyes and said:
"Obviously whatever you want to say to me is alot more important than the conversation I was already having, so go ahead. You have 5 seconds to interest me." They started talking, I counted out loud down from 5 and then just walked off. They didn't follow.

Now you may think that I should give to charity and I'm a bad person for not doing so. But firstly I object to this aggressive techniques, guilt tripping people into passing over their details. But mostly, only an idiot would give their bank and personal details to someone on the street just because they have a coloured mac, a badge and a clipboard. If for whatever reason these people are not genuine chuggers, and just balsy criminals. They now have your bank details...

The Real Hustle shows how easy it is to take money off people in a similar scam:


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