Rebuild: The Vile Tele-Chugging Cold Call Tactic

The country’s longest-serving poppy seller, 92-year old Olive Cooke, threw herself to death in the Avon Gorge. Reportedly driven in part by the exhausting pursuit of charities.

She appears to have received countless contacts, including 180 letters a month, from various ‘good causes’. Her friends say she was hounded for money. And that she is not alone.

For those unfamiliar with an English High Street, ‘charity muggers’ – aka chuggers – relentlessly pursue shoppers. Physically stopping them as they walk by. They demand to trigger regular donations by setting up by banking instructions on-the-spot.

Strangely, when I’m wearing my business attire – fully suited and booted – I never get harangued. Yet when in weekend civvies….there’s no escape.

The cold call version of this is duly termed tele-chugging.

I’ve heard many call centre agents recount their tales of woe from inside the belly of the beast.

One such contributor to BBC national radio, “Andy”, confirmed much of what is already in the public domain.

Their aim to resurrect cancelled payments or convert once-off gifts to ongoing regular amounts with “donor upgrade”.

No does not meant no. Only three Nos means no.

Any call ended before a third No and the agent is in serious trouble.

A constant atmosphere of jobs on the line.

It is after No No.1 that a specific Sales tactic rears its ugly head;


It’s time to go deeper. Move onto an even bigger sob story. As well as lessen the ‘requested’ monthly donation. It is alleged that these stories are made up. Deliberately spiced to tug the heartstrings. Even evoking fictitious beneficiaries and parallels with the ‘target’s’ own children.

And it gets worse.

For a second No simply opens the door for another Rebuild. And the agent aiming for much smaller alms. Anything they can “scrape”.

Cue many a listener apparently being driven to tears.

If your canvassing efforts sound in any way reminiscent of this, it really is time for an about turn.

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