Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Leyfy, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Chuggers (as in, charity muggers) - good thing or bad thing?

    I slid my way into town this morning to do a bit of shopping and I was stopped by an NSPCC guy asking me for '28p in January'. Part of me feels really, really bad for saying no, but I already donate to charities of my choice, and I do not feel comfortable giving my bank details to a stranger in the middle of the high street!!

    I do not like the way that they try and guilt-trip you into giving money each month, but in the same respect charities earn a lot of money from this.

    So - chuggers - good thing or a bad thing?
  2. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Bad thing - like you said I also donate to charities of my choice.

    I have sometimes felt like giving them a slap too when they say "hey up MATE"
  3. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    So I take it then none of you play for Brass Bands that Play in the Open air and Take Collections?

    What is that but to quote your own phrase 'Chugging'? and do those contributions go to causes as worthy as the NSPCC, or just to keep your own particluar bands running?

    As a member of an organisation that needs the Generous contributions of Joe P to allow our work to continue, I feel no shame in askiing for help on behalf of people who really need it; and have nobody else to stand up for them. Particularly at our annual appeal.

    I am not objecting to bands playing and collecting, far from it. People are kind in general.

    But this kind of attitude is worthy of SCrooge himself. Bah Humbug.

    Dont give if you dont want to.

    Bu dont complain about those who care enough to put themselves in the front line.
  4. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Yes I stand and play carols for the public but at the same time I don't hold out my hand expecting money for it! Buckets are used for spare change, but I believe "chuggers" are the folk that stand on corners in groups waiting for you.

    Sorry but most of the people who stand in town with the clipboards are young people and probably have nothing to do with the charity and get paid per sign up.

    I do donate and I also donate to the SA every year :tup
  5. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    We pay subs to keep our band running. If people want to donate when we carol, that's their choice as they are walking past. I don't go up and ask them for their bank details!

    I have no problem with donating to charity, and I have no problem with people stopping me in the street to talk about various charities. I just resent the pushy way which makes you feel guilty if you say no.
  6. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I agree with Andrew and Kim, it is rather different. A carolling group are effectively busking; chuggers (it is a good word, I'll add it to my vocabulary!) are effectively begging. Many of them are not above routine emotional blackmail. I'll give to charities what I choose - there's no guarantee that such charities as may pay people to waylay me in the street are the charities that I would choose, in any case.

    They are a minor social nuisance, and should be legislated against.
  8. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I seem to remember rules recently being introduced banning chuggers by Westminster Council. This has just push them out of the touristy areas of London... I now see them on Euston Road and that end of Tottenham Court Road, which is in Camden.

    They are a nuisance, especially when you are on your way to catch a train ... :)
  9. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Again, no problem with those who wait behind a table for you to approach them or rattle a tin (I know this is banned in the UK now...) on a street corner, but it's totally out of order to be approaching and asking someone to basically enter in to a contract via emotional blackmail outside on a busy high street.

    A firend of mine used to collect bank details for charity (door to door) and she made almost HALF of what people donated. These people ARE employees, not volunteers. I can't remember the name of the charity now (this was 7 or 8 years ago when I was still in blighty) but it was a respectable, well known name.

    My tips:

    Ask the chugger if they are a volunteer of employed by the charity. Ask how much of the donation they recieve. If this is on a busy street they should be pushing you on down the road by this point!

    Been rudely approached or interrupted by one of these peeps? Try speaking a foreign language. Don't know one? Make one up a la The Fast Show.

    Alternatively try to convert the person to a religion of your choice.

    Once upon a time I was well mannered and would have at least heard the person out, but given both the regularity and aggressive nature of these approaches I now find myself holding a hand out and striding straight past.
  10. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I don't mind passive solicitation, but I don't like being approached either!

    Funny thing is, I know enough German and Spanish to get by. One time I tried the foreign language bit, the panhandler learned their craft in multiple languages and called me out on it...I was impressed enough that I gave him my change.
  11. Euphanasia

    Euphanasia Member

    Chugging is completely different from open air collecting - they don't just want a bit of loose change a la Christmas Carolling...Oh no! These guys want your bank details for a direct debit.....

    One of them stopped me once after a particularly hairy night shift at a busy hospital and asked me if I 'wanted to start my day by doing something good' - My reply to him is, sadly, unprintable.
  12. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    I got one who stopped me on the way back from an interview in my uber-smart finery and obviously assumed I was some faceless office jockey and asked "How would you like to make sick people feel better"? MY
  13. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    sorry computer weirdness.....

    anyhoo, my response was "what? again? but it's my day off"!

    The thing worse than chuggers though is people who stand on busy streets and pontificate about their opinions. My personal "favourite" is the guy who stands in his suit and tie in his lunch break in oxford town centre ranting about abortion being "a convenience for lazy women" and then doing a tirade about some police chief....
  14. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    similar story when I was a Charge Nurse on a specialist cardiac unit - bod from / representing British Heart Foundation asked whether I'd be interested in contributing to care of all things heart related. A similar reply to Euphanasia's ( and Hi , where do you work ? ) swiftly ensued.
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'll have to try this approach... "Hi, I work on solving the world energy crisis" seems a good opening line...

    Di, fortunately I've never seen that ill-informed ranty dude on Cornmarket on any other occasion. Maybe he travels around giving other areas of the country the benefit of his "wisdom"!

    Pat - I tried that on a persistent hustler once who grabbed me straight off the ferry at Tangier in Morocco. I'd been warned that the hustlers there have fluency in multiple languages, so, searching for something suitably obscure, I muttered "Dansk" at him, and was perplexed to receive a torrent of fluent Danish back (which I do not speak at all...). I was impressed... But not enough to follow him back to his brother's hotel!
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  16. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I think you are suffering from a Dickensian view of reality!

    Do some homework on these charities and their methods of collecting, and you will find they are NOTHING like you expect them to be!

    Some years back I was invited to be a Trustee for a Local Charity that was using what I thought were conventional methods of collecting for it's funding, in reality, it was MUCH better than most of the big name charities, in that a bigger proportion of it's income went to the causes it was helping, but it is not what I had up to that time thought of as charitable activity, where almost every penny went to those causes & it made me feel very dirty, and I was pleased to leave, after expressing my distaste.

    If 10% of the money those collectors sign up or collect goes to the actual purpose of the charity, then I would be shocked... as it is likely much less than that. I was used to collecting money where 100% went direct, to the cause and not being out of touch with reality thought that normal administration would account for very little, say 20%, but I doubt ANY are like that.

    Support small local charities who use volunteers, and it might be like that still , but commercial collecting is BIG business, almost all collectors are professional, and NOT volunteers.

    Consider too what those charities now DO, instead of what they DID do, historically. eg. the NSPCC did have its' own cruelty inspectors, but now that's the Social services, reports get paassed on, they do no direct work, nor have they done for MANY years and the charity does very litte of ANY thing that could be called hands on "prevention" of cruelty, but they do a SPECTACULAR amount of fund raising! Not that the NSPCC is worse or different from may other charities, just one that gets mentioned often, perhaps as it does more advertising and professional collection than many do!

    If you want to give to charity, then put the money where it gets effect, if not what you might be doing is giving a MINISCULE proportion of that money, and be keeping someone in a lot of income!
  17. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Its amazing how much self justification is here - Begging? - Oh no not our Bands, People can give or not - I see little difference between having a collecting bucket and Blarting out Carols (Which I will be doing this Chrstmas), and going door to door with my collecting Box in September (Neither of which I get paid for - we are all volunteers from our churches).

    I again ask what is the more worthy - Collecting so that the band can continue with maybe reduced Subs? or (As in the case of the NSPCC) protecting a Defenseless child from Abuse?

    I know I am in a minority of one here, but to quote from the Bible - "... You hypocrites. First take the beam out of your own eye, before you take the speck out of your brothers eye..."

    Those members of Bands who dont collect have the moral right to object. Everybody else? Its similar to somebody who takes a pen home from work without permission - Its not stealing - well yes actually it is.
  18. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    You're missing the point - no one is saying that donating to charity is wrong - its the way it is done. It's the (paid - not volunteers) people that effectively harass you on the street and wont take no for an answer, to the point where I actually felt uncomfortable walking past other members of the same organisation, and I actually crossed the street to avoid them! Mine was a case in point where the guy pretty much harassed me for my bank details even after I told him I wasn't interested. I am happy to give someone a one-off donation on the street or door to door, but I am not interested in handing over my bank details on the street to a complete stranger. If I want to donate then I will set up a standing order, as I already have done.

    BTW - I already regularly donate to the NSPCC oh and cancer research, and the lymphoma association and I'm considering a regular donation to MIND after recently losing my dad. But hey, if you want the moral high ground - have it, its all yours.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  19. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Actually I am a full member of one of these Charities. The Salvation Army. I have worked on its International Headquarters, and my Parents were Officers.

    I think I know enough about how the SA works to make a fair comment and assessment on what happens to the money and on who we help.

    We collectors take nothing from what we collect. It all goes to the SA direct. In addition those same people who are collecting the money are frequently the same people who are active in the SA's Social programme.

    I am very satisfied with what the SA does and how it handles its donations, and the work it does.

    (As is the chap who donates £20 every year still wen I collect, because of how the SA helped him out 20 years ago when he was in desperate need).

    I refuse to feel Guilty about collecting door to door, to help out my fellow Human Beings.
  20. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Point Taken.

    Genuinely Sorry for you for the loss of your Dad. I remember that feeling.

    My Hearfelt sympathies.

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