Corporate Virtue Signalling At Your Expense

by Simon 27 Replies latest social current

  • Simon

    The latest trend seems to be that you can't go to any store without being asked for money.

    No, not the money for the things you went in there to purchase, extra money for the store to donate to charity.

    Yes, that's right, the big-name stores, often making $millions in profits, ask you to give them extra money so that they can give it to charity and get some publicity about how awesome they are so that they'll look good to their customers, like, erm, you.

    It seems to have ramped up more in the last year or so and frankly, it pisses me off. If I want to donate to some cause, I'll give the money straight to them. I hate that it puts people on the spot to guilt them into donating and imagine some people on a tight budget may give even when they can't really afford it.

    Often you don't know what the charities really are (it's vague like "to help children") or how the money will be spent or even how much will go on the people it's supposedly to help (charity is a multi $billion industry, some just exist to pay themselves).

    So what to do? Well, when they ask "would you like to give $2 to [whatever]" I politely refuse with a "no thank you" but I'm thinking I should put them on the spot instead:

    "Depends, would you like to give me a $2 discount off my bill?"


    "Sure just take it out of the money you're already charging me!"

    Can anyone think of anything better? Or do you just think I'm "mean" and should cough up?

  • LV101

    Good topic - I hear ya -- I wondered why they were begging for contributions (which I fell for) every time I was checking out. I was only patronizing one department store that hounds me at the check-out counters on every, single, purchase, because they didn't jump in on the political arena -- or to my knowledge they didn't. They send coupons in the mail after you contribute but I forget to use them or they lapse. I'm so sick of it.

    No - you're not "mean" but it's annoying and clerks really push this like they make some commission and that bothers me. These brick and mortar stores are not doing well (I hear straight from my friend(s) at this particular mall) compared to online shopping (and this particular department store has closed many of its stores in the country) and they turn people off by their constant hounding. This 'contribution' begging is on some websites when i'm checking out, also, and it's annoying -- an art supply store, a makeup store, etc., this/that. Guess they're making it convenient for us to donate (oh, gawd) but it's irritating. We all have our fave charities leave us alone. Plus they hit me up for more shipping fees although qualifiying for free just to receive items timely.

    I understand why people prefer online shopping just not having to deal with sales clerks pushing for charities plus a gazillion other reasons! Easier to click the 'NO' box online when contribution requests pop up and not deal with humans.

  • stuckinarut2

    I get it!

    Mcdonalds does this with their "helping hands" day.

    They ask people to donate $2 to their own "Ronald Mcdonald house". This is a charity that they have set up.

    GREAT! Good on them. But they should just fund it without guilting customers into donating.

  • LV101

    Jack in the Box, Carl's Jr. - hear they do this from time to time, also. Even the grocery store clerks ask for contribution when I'm sliding my card through credit/debit machine checking out. So now I'm down to charging my donations/lol!

  • punkofnice

    Oh, I totally agree, Simon.

    I walk into Costa to get a coffee and I get a rainbow Pride cup holder. OK, so I support the rights of people including gay rights. BUT......I just feel that these establishment are using things like 'pride' to sell more products.

    As for asking for more money for charity......

  • ctrwtf

    Not rounding up your bill to donate to the food pantry is just mean. Especially when you've just purchased enough groceries to feed an army.

  • truthseeker

    Interesting observations Simon.

    I am seeing more requests for donations at the electronic terminals. You swipe your card and it asks you if you want to make a donation to "whatever."

    One always has the option to refuse. I also know that there are costs involved in doing this, namely the interchange fee that is charged to the Visa/Mastercard processor.

    How much of the fee is used to cover admin costs I have no idea.


  • sparky1

    I am in the automotive aftermarket business and my main supplier is in to this BIG TIME. To make matters worse, my supplier pre-bills us for these charity campaigns. We are charged on our statement for participating in this fraud and we have to sign a form if we want to opt-out and not participate! If we don't participate we are considered not to be team players. This morning, I opened our company email only to find another one of these requests from one of our vendors. If I want to donate to a cause, I will do so privately and anonymously.

  • Finkelstein

    I agree Simon, I find it inappropriate and annoying to ask for money right when you weren't expected it, just when you pull out your debit card or cash.

  • truth_b_known

    I believe charity is the way humanitarian causes should be funded and not trough taxation by the government.

    With that being said, I too find it annoying to be asked to donate to a specific charity every time i check out at the grocery store. At the least the store should say "Would you like to donate $1.00 to Charity X? We match every dollar donated."

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