Letter: Cold calls by charity unacceptable

Despite having two plainly visible notices on my door saying ‘no’ to cold callers, a young man called, wearing a charity’s tabard.

Despite having two plainly visible notices on my door saying ‘no’ to cold callers, a young man called, wearing a charity’s tabard.

I contacted the police, as I was under the impression that this type of direct approach is illegal.

Neither of the two people to whom I spoke knew whether it was or not.

The second one suggested I contact the charity concerned.

I did this, explaining the notices and that as a charity street-collector myself I am not even supposed to shake the bucket, let alone approach people directly.

The response was along the lines that they are ‘engaging with the public’ and ‘giving them information with a view to setting up a direct debit’.

To me, this is a pressured way of trying to get people to make a financial commitment for a period by targeting them in their own homes.

It is also potentially intimidating for some people and makes saying ‘no’ much more complicated than passing a collector in the street.

Chris Jones


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Comments for: "Letter: Cold calls by charity unacceptable"


Just politely refuse as I did last night, no need to get all het up about it!

The Original Jake

Greet them with a cheery smile, tell them it's great to see them out and about and that you already have a DD set up for that particular charity as you've been supporting it wholeheartedly for years. They'll say "wow, that's great. Thanks" and leave you in peace. Works every time, plus it's quicker and more pleasant than engaging in an argument.

Port Hill Boy

Why on earth would it be illegal? Knocking on someone's door? You have requested that you aren't bothered by cold callers but it is only a request.

Not good PR for the charity concerned but you do seem rather pompous about it all.


I had two young men who were representing the RSPCA knock on my door last week. Despite me having a no cold callers sign up I kindly asked them if they would mind coming back a bit later I was right in the middle of cooking my tea.

I was shocked what happened next as the two young men started shouting at me, calling me some very vile names, shouting about being a time waster and generally acting in a very threatening manner.

I not so kindly told them to get off my property before I call the police.

I still cannot believe people hired by charities to collect money behave in this manner.

It's down right disgusting!

katherine de gama

These people sound like thugs rather than legitimate charity collectors. Call the police in case they return. I did door to door as a Greenpeace volunteer and would never have treated anyone in a disrespectful or intimidating manner.


I too have had similar experiences of having people knocking on my door despite having a polite notice to ask them not to. I simply point to the sign and ask if they can read then close the door with a smile. We are not only hounded on the phone by charities trying to get to you sign up to DD's (despite having my number registed not to receive marketing calls) but we have them at the door as well.

It's not good PR and makes me more determined not to give next time.

Charity collectors take note you probably loose more good faith and donations by hounding folk in their own homes. Then of course there are the endless good cause ads on TV, don't get me started on those!! If we gave to every single one who asked we'd be charity cases ourselves.

edwin turner

it is high time this and other begging was dealt with and rooted out there is more feetmarks over smoking indoors---inhaling my moms endless fage never harmed me---but you cannot do anything or go into town without some wastrel trying to con you out of your cash

Andrew finch

"I contacted the police, as I was under the impression that this type of direct approach is illegal"

WHY do you assume two people possibly not police officers or with any legal training would have the correct answer for you??when you ring the police station in 2012 i do not think PC roan answers the phone.

As for cold caller a simple "no thanks good bye, shut door will do, or if you can just ignore the knock at the door, " if they are abusive be abusive back and tell them to do one .

Karlos Marx

I think the conduct of some charities are a bit scummy to be honest. On a slight tangent to this letter, when my mum was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, we instantly starting receiving pamphlets and cold calls from cancer charities. I always wondered how they immediately knew my mum's diagnosis been as medical information is supposed to be highly confidential.


I have a notice on my door. I always treat all callers the same way. I say soory, point to the notice and close the door. I do not feel guilt or rude about this, they have ignored my notice.

Just on the funny side I had a pair of late teenage callers, they had dark suits, short hair,bycycle clips and american accents. They just managed to say "you don't know who we are" I had to laugh, then shut the door. The church of the later date saints is just round the corner.


PS I am sick to death of all the plastic collecting bags that come through my letter box. Some times it's two or three a day. I used to feel guilty about binning them but as they mounted up I got over it and bin them every week.

I am on the caller preference system and ex directory so I do not get charity calls. As I look at every one who needs to, has my number.

Neil S

I too am sick of the waste of money that is charity bags. I have a notice on my door "Please NO charity bags" and an old ice cream box nearby where I place those are left - that seems to be more effective than the polite request!


Bob a job please Mister?

katherine de gama

I don't think direct approaches are illegal but certainly harassment is. From a lawyer - but must admit it's not my area of expertise.


Useful signs here :


but it does point out that it is not illegal for charities to knock on your door as they are not covered by the trading standards.


One of my elderly neighbors rings me, I then go down the street to find them, and have a word, and they never come again.


Get a fence around your yard & a couple of big dogs. It's the only thing that works. I also think its a pain to have to deal with these strangers at my home. We have 2 babies & constantly had sales people ringing the bell & waking them up.

honest billy

makes no sense what so ever with these plastic bags coming through our letter box, we get around 3 to 5 a week, sometimes! its only a matter of time before a child or animal gets hurt with one of these! whilst i fully understand a charity needs funds, the endless hard sell approach being taken by various charities is getting out of hand, to me it seems almost as important to for them to keep up with the other charities as it is about fundraising in the first place ! Not content with filling our high streets with sharply priced charity shops, then filling the street it self with chuggers ( charity muggers!) they now have the audacity to invade our home with glossy leaflets and empty bin bags through our letterboxes just in case we have managed to slip through their net on the high street! Dont get me wrong,charity is good and i do donate, but isnt charity meant to be dealt of your OWN free will?

Kay S

How much does it cost say for charity bags to be produced, delivered, collected, emptied, sorted and resold or whatever they do with the contents? Does the value exceed the cost?

If a charity receives a cash donation or legacy does that money go towards supporting the above costs of bag production and distribution etc?


I have a North Korean attitude when it comes to charity I just don't bother! £3 a month for this charity that charity where does it all end. Already had 2 charity bags this week straight into the bin! By the time the charity takes out the overheads there is nothing left for the people or organisation its intended for.


I use the same answer everytime I am confronted by cold callers, on the phone, in the street or at the front door 'Nobody speaks to the wizard'.

It leaves them confused and speechless.

I know it sounds daft but it works everytime.

Lee B

I can't believe some of the people on this thread accusing this man of being pompous and arrogant, just because he is hacked off with these irritating, pesky, and frankly intimidating cold-callers. And frankly in my opinion; *their* answers are arrogant and pompous!

I have gotten SO sick of these kind of people, that I NEVER answer the door now, until I have looked out of the side window (that has a net over it, so they can't see me.) If I don't know the person at the door, I will NOT answer. (Unless it is a delivery or the post.)

These people are a blasted menace, and I also get sick of them in Telford Town Centre and Shrewsbury, parading the streets. trying to get people to sign up to their charity. They almost ALWAYS use good looking lads to woo the ladies, like they're so stupid that a bit of flattery will make them give their money away, and good looking young lasses to woo the men, because men are obviously stupid to be taken in by a pretty face too.

For a start, I want to know how much money do these 'charities' think we all have? And another thing, I know for a FACT that these people get between forty and seventy pounds for EVERY PERSON they get to sign with the charity. I know, because I know several people who used to do this chugging.

As for saying 'politely ask them to go and be done with it etc;' It's all very well for the confident and frankly, smug people to say this, but not everyone finds it easy to do this.

These charity collectors should be banned full stop, on the streets AND with house to house calls, AND with the cold calling on the phone. They're a bloody menance!