Friday, 6 November 2009

Uncharitables

Some charities - just make me question things...  I started donating to a fund that was supposedly taking my $20/mth and using it to provide living condition improvements to some country in Africa.  Why am I not clear on the aims of this fund?  Because I paid them for a few months, and then started idly looking for anything they'd actually done, and found doodly-squat.

I used their email address and sent them my details and asked them to stop debiting my account.  They didn't.  I sent a second email, six weeks later, and told them that if I had to pay my bank a fee for stopping their debits, I would be billing them for those fees plus my time, and that I would also begin legal action against them for theft.

That got a result, and email from someone at their office promising that the debits would be stopped by my request.  I said a nice thank you, and asked them to also remove my name, details, and email address from their databases.  I (wow, this is good response!) received a reply to that too, saying this too had been done.

Until about six weeks later, when I got an email from them asking me if I wouldn't like to renew my debit arrangement...  So I emailed again and said, very bluntly, that I had their written promise to remove my details from their database.  I actually got a phone call from someone, who said that the email must have been obtained by one of their other recruiting efforts.  So I politely asked him how the recruiter would have known I'd been a previous subscriber, and then said that if I got one more spam email or request from them they would definitely see inside a court room.

And that worked.  Finally.  Until...  I got one of their "please renew" letters in the snail mail some three months later...  No I haven't bothered to sue them but if I get any more mail from them, I'll name them here.  (And I'll make sure they get to see this article, too...)

So charities are NOT my favourite people in the world, you understand?  And that made today even more galling.  I came inside after a stretch of gardening and saw I'd missed a phone call.  Since they were kind enough not to hide their number, I called them back.  After establishing that they were a charity I sometimes bought raffle tickets from, the Indian woman on the other end asked me for my phone number to see why I'd been called.  Not finding anything, she launched into a potted history of the charity, and finally asked me for a donation.

That is all on my mobile phone call, on my dollar, thank you very much.  I pointed this out and she didn't seem to care a lot, asked me again if I would donate to them.  I explained that I was on a disability pension and couldn't afford it, and she asked if anyone in my family would like to donate.  I think it was about at that point that i said something along the lines of "goodbye" and hung up.  Or maybe it was "fuck you..."

Anyway - that's why if you come to me and ask me to support your "blue fuzzy karaoke shave-a-thon for save the orphans" I'll probably say something along the lines of "goodbye."  Or whatever...


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