Has this happened to you?
You’re strolling up to a cash register to make your purchase. The cashier rings you out and asks, “Would you like to donate $1 to (some charity)?”
You weren’t planning on spending an extra dollar. You aren’t even completely sure of the cause in question. But it’s just a dollar, and you’d feel like a jerk if you said, “no.”
Or maybe, you refuse donations without thinking twice.
Whichever the case, I think these types of solicitations are incredibly annoying.
Yesterday, I went into Family Christian Bookstore and I was barraged with several bits of upselling. It was insane!
First, I asked the clerk where I might find a particular book. She pointed me to it, and then brought me another related book that was “only” $5. Ok, no thanks.
At the checkout, she pointed me toward the $5 “members-only” section so I could look over this month’s deals.
Next up was her asking if I wanted to pre-order a new VeggieTales movie and get another triple-feature movie for free.
Then, she wanted to know if I wanted to donate a Bible to a prisoner in the Allegheny County jail. The donation cost $5 and purchased a Bible from the “members-only” section. Wait a minute. If the company was truly being philanthropic about it, wouldn’t they offer those Bibles for sale at their own cost, instead of at their retail price? So that seemed sorta off to me.
Last, she wanted to know if I would round up my purchase to the nearest dollar to donate money to the flood victims of Pakistan.
Good GRIEF! All I wanted was one book. And I’m hit with all these sales pitches/donations requests.
And you know what? I was so caught off-guard and wasn’t really thinking it through, because I did buy a Bible to donate. And I did buy the VeggieTales pre-order. I figured, wow, 4 VeggieTales movies for $13 total — I could use those when the baby comes to keep Johnny entertained when I can’t give him my full attention.
So yes, I am a sucker.
But I left feeling really icky about the whole thing. I emailed customer service and they said they’d forward my complaint to management.
In the future, I will just say “no.” I don’t really care if I look cheap or ungiving. I’m not. I donate plenty of money and goods to charities that I’ve taken the time to research.
How can I know if XYZ charity will actually make good use of my donation? I can’t know that when I’m put on the spot. And I don’t need to be encouraged to make impulse purchases.
What do you do in these situations? Which places bug you for donations?