Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bullying phone calls .

Telephones are a communications tool that can be used by anyone to speak directly to whoever you choose. I am not a fan of the telephone as I feel it takes away personal choice when the caller can demand instant attention and response from the receiver of that call. You are expected to drop everything and respond to that telephone call. You are no longer living your own life but simply answering to this caller who has jumped to the front of you mind by ringing your number. There is also the problem of unwanted telephone calls from people wanting to sell you things. If I want something then I will go out and buy it. I will not sit at home and hope that some muppet will ring me up on the telephone offering me a great deal.

The title of this blog post is "Bullying phone calls" and this does not come from my own personal experience. I read a wide selection of blogs and one of those is called Rants & Raves from the Tangerine PR team.... This is a blog containing the latest ramblings from the folk at Tangerine Public Relations Manchester. On the 21st October 2011, Steve Downes writes about WHEN MARKETING ISN'T VERY CHARITABLE ...

I was driving a friend’s son back from a meeting the other day when his mobile rang. He’s 21, just graduated and looking for his first job.

The phone call lasted half an hour. Overhearing his side of the conversation it was obvious he was trying to get off the phone from a pushy sales person. “No, I really can’t afford to increase my subscription”, “But I’ve not got a job yet and got a big student loan to pay off”, “Really, I would if I could, I just can’t”. On and on it went. I was getting increasingly frustrated at how polite he was being, making throat-cutting symbols etc. Eventually the lad finally managed to get off the phone, apologising to the caller and promising he would increase his payment as soon as he was able.

“Who the hell was that?” I asked, expecting some dodgy loan provider or money lender. “Oh it was [insert name of large international charity]. I give by direct debit and they were asking me to increase it because people are suffering terribly. I feel awful, but I just can’t. They call every so often”

....Steve Downes then discusses the situation of charities and how they market their campaigns relying on guilt to blackmail the donor into giving more money. The tactics of these charities is deplorable and Steve Downes is right to highlight this problem and put it into the public domain. It is a shame that some people are not assertive and simply give in to these bully boys on the telephone. There is a thing called abusive telephone calls and I think these charitable guilt trips are very, very close to the line.
Often the "bully boy" on the other end of the phone is not a charity worker themselves just someone paid to raise money. They could be on commission for their work.

It very likely that the following week they have moved on maybe selling second hand cars using the same measures.

A real pity since they paint genuine charity fundraisers in a bad light.

This happened to my elderly mother. She cancelled her subscription to that charity. If more people did that, charities might behave more appropriately.
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