Some great comments in support of chuggers, very close together.

First off, let’s get rid of this argument that this is the only way charities can raise money. The Chief Exec of the PFRA tried the same argument on Today. It isn’t the only way they raise money. If it were, charities would quite simply not have existed twenty years ago. Did we really have chuggers in Victorian times, don’t recall them featuring in any Dickens I read… yet somehow charities existed and did some excellent work. And this idea that an existing website is as expensive as a £10ph chugger, who can expect one sign-up an hour if they are lucky, of whom around half will cancel within a year? Nonsense, once set up a website has a fairly marginal running cost.

Second, this isn’t about people who will respect a polite ‘no’ – as free paper distributors, Big Issue sellers, gyms, paintballers and all others seem to manage. This is about aggressive sales tactics, including the use of closed questions to engage a sales pitch, making comments about mothers’ unborn children, pulling headphones and phones from the ears of passers-by and chasing people who have already indicated they are not interested. Of course, we are told, this is the small minority – but it seems that an awful lot of people would happily support a ban on chugging and can provide similar anecdotes. It’s strange how this small minority have managed to be seen by the vast majority of the public.

And third, I’m deeply offended by the suggestion that political canvassers (of any party) are anything like chuggers. I imagine anyone involved in politics would share my feelings. It also shows that you haven’t actually a clue how canvassing is done, and I suspect this is because you don’t actually have people coming around that often. After all, it’s such an annoyance it took you ten minutes to think about it after your first comment.

I’m delighted that you (both?) have such positive experiences of chuggers. Sadly, every day, thousands of people have overwhelmingly negative experiences of chuggers – and that’s why we are pressing for action.