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Door to door collection

(30 Posts)
janieuk Mon 29-Oct-18 20:38:53

This is a strange one. At 8 pm tonight a young girl knocked at my door collecting for the British Heart Foundation. I advised her that I already supported them and then she said "This is a strange request but could I please use your toilet?". I know that I couldn't hold on if I needed to go so I let her in and directed her upstairs but If I'm perfectly honest I didn't feel totally comfortable about it and I said this to her. I live alone, it was dark, and I was a little taken aback by it. she was a lovely young girl, and extremely grateful, but I did say I thought she might be better using a pub toilet or similar. Perhaps she wouldn't have asked if a male had answered the door. Has anyone else had this happen? I may have felt less concerned if it had happened in daylight and it is, after all, a basic need that we all have but I hope these workers stay safe. It's not an easy job as most of us I imagine are fed up of being pestered in our homes by cold callers of any description.

Situpstraight1 Mon 29-Oct-18 20:41:25

To be honest if it’s that late and I’m not expecting anybody, then I won’t answer the door at all.

Well done for allowing her in, but please don’t do it again!

sassenach512 Mon 29-Oct-18 21:21:31

Even lovely young girls can be thieving little madams janieuk I do hope it wasn't a ruse to get upstairs and quickly scan your bedroom for valuables.
If it was dark and I lived alone, I wouldn't answer the door and it may sound hard but I'd tell her I was sorry but I don't let strangers into my house and she'd have to go to a pub.
So many people have been guilt-tripped into letting people into their homes, to their cost when they find money or valuables missing later.

Don't feel bad about saying 'no'.... your home, your rules.

janieuk Mon 29-Oct-18 21:27:31

Sassenach512 my bathroom is at the top of the stairs and I stood at the bottom to make sure that was the only room she went to. I'm glad you're agreeing with my concern about this, I hate that we're in a world where no one can be trusted, and I do think she was a nice young girl, but I've a mind to contact the BHF so that they can advise their workers this isn't the best thing to do for either them or the householder.

Jane10 Mon 29-Oct-18 21:35:54

Door to door collection can uncover vulnerabilities. I was once collecting for our local hospice and an elderly lady opened the door dressed only in an eau de nil coloured cardigan! I was very taken aback but she went and got some money and put it in my tin. She was quite nonchalant about it.
I phoned the local GP practice, having noted the house number, they weren't very interested. The health visitor was more helpful. I hope something was done as otherwise...

sassenach512 Mon 29-Oct-18 21:52:19

I'm glad to hear she was genuine janieuk I felt quite uneasy when I read your post, it is sad that we have to be on our guard more these days.
You shouldn't have been put in that position however, I agree, maybe the BHF should be made aware, especially as the dark nights are here again, it's not appropriate having collectors coming door to door.

Stay safe x

annodomini Mon 29-Oct-18 22:09:09

I don't answer the door without using the chain, especially after 8pm. And I don't think I would allow anyone to use my loo. And I tell doorstep charity collectors (chuggers) that I have my own preferred charities.

Liz46 Mon 29-Oct-18 22:20:51

We have a 'no cold callers' sign on the door. It works well.

POGS Mon 29-Oct-18 22:28:05


Sorry if I upset you but I would have reservations over this scenario during daylight and most certainly in the evening.

It is a well known tactic for thieves / opportunists and whilst you watch one person another person may go unnoticed into another part of the house.

I would be surprised if the British Heart Foundation did a door to door collection at 8 pm and I would check with them tomorrow.

Sorry to be so pessimistic.

sodapop Tue 30-Oct-18 08:14:17

I agree with POGS nobody would be collecting for charity at that time of night.
Please be aware of your own safety janieuk and don't let anyone you don't know into your house at any time however innocuous they seem.

M0nica Tue 30-Oct-18 08:14:40

We have had charity door stop calls in the evening and as late as 8.00pm - and I think it was British Heart Foundation, or possibly the Red Cross.

Like anno, my response is always, that we donate to a portfolio of chosen charities and are not currently planning to review or replace any of them them. It sounds a bit pompous - and it is. Deliberately so, because it is so effective.

BlueBelle Tue 30-Oct-18 08:50:41

Blimey you are over trusting I would NEVER. let a stranger in to use the loo it’s the oldest trick in the book and as for her looking lovely that’s niave Jane Very few perpetrators of crime look like criminals

BlueBelle Tue 30-Oct-18 08:53:41

I should add what does a criminal look like? most criminals are able to pile on the charissima that’s how they get away with things

GrannyGravy13 Tue 30-Oct-18 09:14:33

We have a sign "no cold callers" on our door.

I think you were to trusting janieuk, you may have been safe this time, but please be more careful in the future.

TerriBull Tue 30-Oct-18 09:19:15

I think you should contact British Heart Foundation OP and ask whether they allow their representatives to knock on doors at that time of night, in the dark, to try and ascertain if the visit was genuine. If indeed it was, then perhaps you could add, unsolicited nighttime calls, particularly for women on their own, aren't welcome.

annodomini Tue 30-Oct-18 09:52:03

The big charities mostly out-source fundraising to companies who employ mainly young people to 'doorstep' residents with requests for a signature on a direct debit mandate. I took this up with Macmillan some years ago when I was 'chugged' after 8pm. I told them it was wrong, especially on dark evenings in an area like mine where there were many older people. I got a frosty answer on the grounds that this was an effective method of fund-raising. Now they have me on their mailing list and I continue to receive their emails, but, thanks to the sign on my door, no more 'doorsteppers'.

bikergran Tue 30-Oct-18 10:49:39

I very rarely answer my door anyway..all my friends give me a quick txt "are you in"? I don't accept uninvited callers. if its a parcel it will be left at the post office where I will collect it at my leisure.Same goes for trick or treaters doors locked curtians closed etc....the young ones who I used to know are long gone and grow up so I don't know who is coming to my door.

I did once open it few years ago to be confronted with 6ft youth in a hoodie and never again! made that mistake. YOU DONT have! to open your door to anyone you are not expecting..

No way would I ever let anyone in my house who I wasn't comfortable with.Its the oldest trick in the trade especially if you have a front and back door.

TerriBull Tue 30-Oct-18 10:54:36

annodomini, Macmillian's response to you demonstrated not only a cavalier attitude, but a complete lack of empathy. As you say on dark evenings, particularly for women on their own, opening a door to a stranger is not something, many want to do. It might well be productive from their point of view, but 8 pm is an unsocial time to be intruding anyway. I wouldn't open the door in the dark if I were on my own. I think some charities need to rethink such a method which imo is pretty alienating and possibly counter productive. We have several direct debits going out to our chosen charities, I'm not sure I wouldn't cancel if any of those charities responded in the way you described to a very understandable concern.

Elegran Tue 30-Oct-18 11:38:42

It isn't a good idea to have young women collecting at the doorsd after dark for their own safety as well as for people living alone.

Telly Tue 30-Oct-18 14:00:14

I would probably not have answered the door. We also have a no unsolicitored callers sign. I would certainly not have a let a stranger in at night under these circumstances. Charities are big business. Nothing more.

Oldwoman70 Tue 30-Oct-18 15:55:00

I have motion activated lights outside my door - if someone rings the bell after dark I look out the window first, if I don't know them I open the window and ask what they want. I certainly would not let a stranger into the house. It is sad we have to be so careful but it is better to cause someone a little bit of upset than to end up a headline in the newspaper!

bikergran Tue 30-Oct-18 17:04:54

There are now Doorbells that when someone presses the bell it activates your phone (smartphone etc) and it shows you who is at the door, the doorbell has a small camera in the spy hole. Think they run about £100

Not sure how it works if someone just knocks on your door I have only just come across them. ? I presume if you hear them knock you can switch the phone app on.

bikergran Tue 30-Oct-18 17:06:58

It would be perfect for me as I cannot see who is at my door until I open it as I don't have windows at the side etc, my door does have safety glass half way but its frosted so cannot see who it is.

Writerbird Tue 30-Oct-18 17:25:20

I agree with what has been said so far. As a woman who has lived alone for some years, I have learnt never to open my front door unless I am absolutely sure who is on the other side of it. I would never let a stranger in. If they claim to be from some service company, they'll have ID and you can call and check even so.
I live in a sheltered flat with door buzzer entry to the building and there have been several occasions when a couple of people have blagged their way in and taken money from residents under one pretext or another. As it turned out they were all known to the police so if I'm in any doubt at all, that's who I call.

janeainsworth Tue 30-Oct-18 17:30:11

Years ago I was travelling with 3DCs oldest aged 9 from Cumbria down to my Mum’s in Stockport. There was a traffic jam on the M6 and car engine overheated.
I came off the motorway and called at a house on the A6 near Garstang. It was 20 years before mobile phones were available and I needed to phone the AA.
It was dark, after 8 o’clock but the lady whose doorbell I rang had no hesitation in letting me use her phone.
I’ve always been grateful & like janieuk tend to give people the benefit of the doubt & try to ‘pay it forward’.