Two surprise charity telemarketing calls

Illustration depicting a phone with a cold caller concept.

Life is full of surprises – some of them pleasant and some a disappointment. I was both surprised and disappointed by two telemarketing calls I received on Friday of last week. Disappointed because the calls came hours apart, from the same telemarketing firm calling on behalf of two different charities.

Both calls came to my mobile phone. I am not a donor to either nonprofit organisation. I am usually happy to take telemarketing calls. I certainly do not frown upon charities using telemarketing to raise money, acquire new donors, or to sell raffle tickets. I also respect the work of most telemarketing agencies in Australia.

I told the second caller I had just received a telemarketing call a few hours earlier from their firm for another nonprofit organisation. The caller responding by telling me the firm was conducting campaigns for about 12-14 charities and I am likely to get more than these two calls in the coming days. This response both shocked me and added to the issue at hand.

These two calls raised questions or concerns:

  • Why wouldn’t the telemarketing firm run a match on all call lists to ensure multiple calls do not occur to the same person or household in the same day.
  • Are the charities who have contracted with this firm aware multiple calls are occurring to the same people and/or household in the same day? Are these charities aware of the other campaigns running parallel?
  • Do multiple calls from the same firm in the same day make the charities look badly?

I believe both the telemarketing firm and the charities owe it to those being called to coordinate the campaigns, calls, and asks.