Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RSPCA Fundraisers

The front doorbell rang.

Rather reluctantly, I answered it - I could see that there were two people there and this suggests either Strange Religious Cult People or Sales People.

It's generally easy to tell one from the other. Strange Religious Cult People often start by asking you if you've ever thought of the meaning of life. At this stage I generally open my eyes wide, and with as much innocence as I can muster, I say "No!" in tones of bewilderment and then close the door slowly yet assertively.

Sales People, on the other hand, generally start by asking you a question that they hope you will answer "Yes" to, to get you engaged in the conversation.

Now then, these two came over like salespeople. Cheesy Smile Man and Cheesy Smile Man's Serious Mate.

But, interestingly, they were wearing blue jackets with RSPCA all over them. You can see a photo of the type of thing here.

"Hello!" said Cheesy Smile Man, with a kind of false bonhomie. "Is this a convenient time to talk to you?"

"No," I said, "because I'm just having my tea." Which was true.

Instead of taking that as a translation of the words GO AWAY, he persisted.

"In that case, is there anyone else in the house over the age of twenty-five that we could talk to?"

"No, there isn't."

He didn't seem to care but decided to carry on talking to me anyway.

"Don't you just hate cruelty to animals?"

(See - - a question demanding the answer "Yes". How I wish I'd said "No.")


"Now then, the Government has just brought in legislation that means that they can finally prosecute those evil people who are cruel to animals."

I didn't know the correct response to this. Probably "How wonderful. Can I give you all my money?" So instead I said "Uhuh."

"And we're trying to bring this whole local community together in support of this."

He gave me a studied look of warmth and tenderness. I wanted to hit him. He carried on.

"Because here in Britain we really care about animals, don't we?"

(Another saying-yes opportunity! Woohooo!)

"Do we?"

"So if you could just agree to a Direct Debit of just blah blah blah blah blah"

(I'm sorry about the lack of accurate reporting here but I had stopped listening and was considering the going-coldness of my tea).

I finally hit on a good thing to say.

"No." And the crucial thing is, to say it as you are closing the door, so that there is a comforting click by the time you get to the O bit of No.

The point is, that because these men are wearing RSPCA jackets, you could be fooled into thinking they're from the RSPCA. But they're not. They're from a fundraising company, and before it gets any profit from all this door-to-door stuff, the RSPCA has to pay the fundraising company. Read more here (the same link as before with the lovely blue jackets).

A big flaw in it all is that they didn't come over like genuine animal-lovers. They came over like second-hand-car salesmen of the dodgiest type: entirely false and lacking in integrity. As a matter of fact, I am a genuine animal-lover and they made me want to find a puppy and kick it. (Only joking, folks!)

Obviously these tactics have been working for the RSPCA but I don't like this kind of thing, and I don't approve of it, and I'd never set up a direct debit with anyone who came to the door like this. And I wish that nobody else would either, because then the RSPCA might stop doing it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live in a 'no cold calling zone'. This means that we can play the "We live in a 'no cold calling zone' card" on whoever comes to the door. Works every time.
Try getting one set up in your area. It certainly reduces the number of people who ring the doorbell just to see if you're in.

10:18 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

I would like to take up this part of their article right now even though no such pests have called at my house.

"But in the unlikely event that one of our fundraisers makes you feel uncomfortable, please contact our Supporter Care department to make a complaint"

My complaint would be that I don't have a large dog to set on them.

10:22 pm  
Blogger Ailbhe said...

I always say "I never sign up to anything at the door, have you a website?" and then they can f off and leave me alone. Or I say "I'm not interested and this is a waste of your time and mine, thank you," and close the door. Depending on whether they are a charity or selling something. Oh, and "I am entirely happy with my relationship with God thank you," too. Followed by "I don't discuss my religious beliefs."

12:19 am  
Anonymous Helen said...

The word, I believe, is 'chugger':


12:36 am  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

I had a similat type of phone call from a company that was trying to get people to sign up on behalf of The Children's Society. Wouldn't take no for an answer.

Why do I never remember to say "Could you just hold on while I turn the radio down?" and just leave them hanging.

4:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's a phone call I now simply say "We're not interested thankyou" and hang up.

Without waiting for them to stop talking (because they never do).

It's a bit more difficult at the door - especially as I am too polite to put on the "bored already" face which bolsters me on the phone - but I'm getting better at it.

I find using "we" makes it sound far more assertive. As if this is Totally a Policy Wot I have Discussed (with my Manly Husband, obviously).

- Julie paradox

8:38 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home