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A non-scam...I think

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

A non-scam...I think

SWMBO has for many years donated to a very well respected national charity (name withheld) Yesterday a letter arrived thanking Mrs P for agreeing during a recent telephone call to increase her donation from X figure to Y figure.
Trouble is, no such phone call took place.
The letter contained all the correct account details, and looked very genuine except for one small detail; it gave a contact number to call (an 0300 number) if there were any details needed discussing. The number lacked on digit, which of course meant that any attempt call would fail. After a while the increase would happen by default if there was no contact.
Mrs P sometimes lacks some mental acuity (due to multiple strokes) and may be forgiven for forgetting a call. But a check of all our phones call logs showed no unaccountable calls.
So, looking up the charities contact number (rather than the one in the letter -it turned out to be the same as that in the letterhead-) confirmed that the letter reference was indeed one of their sequence type. But the number quoted didn't have a database entry. The letter's author was also confirmed as a staff member.
The fund-raising manager I spoke to was extremely upset with this event, and promised to look into it at the earliest opportunity (all calls are recorded) promising to call me back with a full report. So far she hasn't.
So beware out there if you donate to a charity by standing order or DD you may find your donation has increased without your knowledge.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: A non-scam...I think

Yay!... there are some "tricky movers & shakers" about out there.....  Undecided
Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: A non-scam...I think

Standing orders can't be changed by the receiving party. If any charity did that to me I would remove my funding immediately and report them to the charity commission.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: A non-scam...I think

@ dvorak I'm waiting for a response from the charity to see if there may be a genuine error of some sort before very reluctantly doing so. The contact I had seemed genuinely flustered, shocked and horrified in a way that would be very hard to "act" As stated the charity is extremely well known with a "gold-plated" reputation. That would probably be better off dealing with this "in-house" 
I have no interest in embarrassing this charity. And would far sooner they played me a recording of the "alleged" phone call that backs up their side. Unfortunately, neither their records or ours indicate the call ever took place. Mrs P is adamant she didn't take the call, she normally leaves incoming calls to go to the answering machine (it hasn't) The question mark is my wife's very poor short term memory but, she is aware enough to not agree to anything like this unless she wanted to or discussing it with me first, I'm inclined to believe her.
Let us be clear, we're not talking about vast sums of money here, Mrs P is well able to afford the increase. But there is a principle at stake here.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
nadger
Rising Star
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: A non-scam...I think

Hope you get to the bottom of this as one wouldn't like any charity, well known or not, to deliberately pull such a stunt.
I support Cancer Research UK, by DD, as they were a prominent name when I had chemotherapy for bladder cancer.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: A non-scam...I think

We hear often of rogue salesmen. Perhaps the charity has employed a  professional fund-raisers who is on commission and they have gone rogue to boost their own income.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: A non-scam...I think

Might be alanf.
But apart from pointing out the situation as I see it,  I have carefully refrained form speculating a cause. In fact there's a very light hint that maybe Mrs P has forgotten about a call but I don't think so.
I just hope there is a simple explanation to all this. But I have to say, thus far the charity has not got back to me which doesn't bode well for something simple.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.