Friday, April 06, 2012

The Hard Sell

Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor keep digging. This morning, in the Ottawa Citizen, they report that:

A training manual used by call-centre workers soliciting donations for the Conservative Party outlines high-pressure tactics designed to overcome the objections of pensioners, widowers and the unemployed to raise money for the party.

The manual used by workers in the Ottawa office of Responsive Marketing Group (RMG) instructs callers on how to deal with low-income donors who say they can't afford to give.

Everyone receives these kinds of calls. And everyone is annoyed by them. But, remember, they are made on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada -- who tell us their mission is to serve the people of this country. But consider what former employees of RMG have said about the tactics the company uses:

"I felt like I was bullying them all the time," said one former worker. "You're trying to guilt them for giving for this good cause."

"It made me feel creepy, but the whole industry is creepy. If you didn't do well, you got fired. You had to sell these guys. You had to create a sense of urgency."

The much vaunted Conservatives' fund raising advantage is based on bullying those whose support they seek. In fact, the Conservative Party's approach to everything is based on  bullying -- supporters, the opposition, its own MPs.

It has become a well established pattern.

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