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THE HARD CELL; Shock of charity cold calls 'bullying'.


A WHISTLEBLOWER today reveals the shocking rules given to telesales staff raising charity cash for Cancer Research UK.

The ex-trainee cold-caller told how she was told to: PESTER people for money three times per call, as contracted. TARGET people battling cancer. BULLY students, OAPs and jobless people to hand over cash they couldn't afford; and was TICKED OFF for failing to push for a donation from a partiallydisabled, confused 92-year-old.

The instructions are on a crib sheet given to staff on pounds 6-an-hour.

The woman, who we are not naming, revealed: "We are taught only to terminate the call if the person we want to speak to is dead, under 18, physically or mentally incapable, or doesn't speak English."

She went on: "I dealt with a woman who told me she was 92 and partially disabled. She sounded very shaky as she explained she was living on pounds 25 a week. I terminated the call after I asked her for money once as I didn't feel comfortable.

"But my coach said that I was in the wrong. He said, 'Partially disabled' doesn't mean anything - she could just be walking with a stick'. And I was told, 'People at 92 can still make decisions about money'.

"When I said she sounded a bit confused, he said that the only time he ever terminated a call with an old person was when they thought he was their grandson." She added: "All the time we're tugging at heartstrings by quoting statistics we think will make that person donate."

The script, seen by the Mirror, tells staff who get through to a cancer victim to respond: "You know most of all why it's important to give."

Pell & Bales - which also works for other charities - will make at least pounds 68,000 if it hits a pounds 176,000 fundraising target.

Last night "deeply concerned" Cancer Research UK immediately suspended telephone fundraising until a full investigation had been completed. Pell & Bales declined to comment.


SO COLD CALLER Staff were given scripts
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2009
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