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article imageOp-Ed: The Chuggers are at it again; calls for legislation

By Alexander Baron     Jul 17, 2012 in Business
The chuggers are at it again, and this time there have been calls for them to be regulated as shoppers and others complain about harassment and worse.
It is probably slightly misleading to claim they are back, because they have never been away, but after a BBC exposé nearly two years ago, and further complaints last September, it may be that some of them have been trying to keep a low profile, which is kind of difficult to combine with twisting people's metaphorical arms.
Last month, the Daily Telegraph sponsored a 12 day investigation by an undercover reporter which concluded that little or nothing has changed, at least not for the better. The paper even made a covert video, which shows chuggers both in the classroom and training on the job.
The new angle is duping people into donating money by text.
Previously, chuggers have been paid on commission, but the ones investigated here are not, rather they are paid £8 an hour and are expected to meet targets.
For people who find this sort of thing distasteful but who still want to donate to charities, there is a simple solution. Don't give money to chuggers, and don't donate to big charities. Donate to smaller organisations such as the environmental charity Froglife, or a certain hedgehog rescue, or do a bit of research. A charity that pays its chief executive £100K + salary doesn't need your donation, and you won't be appreciated.
Alternatively, many small charities and similar organisations need volunteers; if you have a bit of spare time on your hands you can make a positive contribution that won't leave you out of pocket, but may just give you a warm feeling inside.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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