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#1
Old 12-05-2006, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Close to home
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Grrr. Fraternal Order of Police bugging me.

The FOP called me for a donation, for the first time in my life, a couple of weeks ago. I was feeling all generous and full of holiday spirit, so I said sure, I'll commit to a pledge. They said great, we'll send you your donation packet. Be sure to pay up ASAP! And we hung up.

The packet arrived, apparently, about an hour after I'd left town for Thanksgiving. It was there when I got back, but sat on my coffee table for a couple of days while I worked up the moral courage to sit down and write a batch of checks. I finally put it in the mail last Thursday.

Last Friday I got a second packet from the FOP, reminding me that I owed them money and was a very naughty girl for not having sent it yet.

And just now--the following Tuesday--they actually CALLED ME to ask where the hell the money was. I told them the check was in the mail, and they let me hang up.

Grrrrr! Hello! Police extortion!
I know this isn't really the case, I know that I freely pledge to give them money in exchange for the vague hope that having their sticker in the back window of my car might save me from speeding tickets.

But really. A reminder in the mail, okay. A Big Brother is watching you and you're supposed to pay up so you'd better or we're coming after you NOW phone call from the police? Ugh.

FOP: get a grip. The damn check's in the mail, and meanwhile, I feel like I ought to watch my back. Securing the citizenry indeed.
#2
Old 12-05-2006, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,584
The people you talked to were professional fundraisers, not cops. I don't know how it is in your area, but in Indiana, the FOP's fundraisers turned over less than 15% of the money donated to the FOP. The rest went to fundraiser fees.

If you want to support your police, call your city council person and ask for better benefits for the police.
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"You know what they say about sleeping dogs; you can't trust 'em." --Oliver Faltz
#3
Old 12-05-2006, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Calgary
Posts: 918
Getting a follow-up phone call would probably cause me to change my mind about the donation.

The "get out of jail free" sticker for your rear window is interesting. It shows poor judgement from the police force. How could it not influence on officer (even to a small degree) as he is approaching your vehicle? The fact that you have contributed to his favourite charity is a brownie point in your favor. Do they sell these on the interent?
#4
Old 12-05-2006, 01:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Oh, man I don't know where you are, but the ones around here are ruthless! They always start out with a question about me, or my kids, or the new apartment we just moved into. How are we all doing? Do we feel safe in our neighborhood? Do we have any questions for the nice police officers?

And then they want money. And when I say no, I'm sorry, we're really broke, they start getting all Mafiosoey on me! Seriously! "Well, you wouldn't want to see the quality of your new neighborhood run down, would you? Who's going to keep your little daughter safe from the criminals when she's playing outside? There's a lot of creeps out there who do awful things to little girls, you know!"

What the hell?
#5
Old 12-05-2006, 03:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Over by dere
Posts: 27,023
I have a standard reply to them and to anyone else who calls a'beggin'... "I don't buy from or donate money to anyone who calls me on my phone to do business." I don't care if it's the goddamn Queen of Sheba. It's rude, and it ain't happenin' at Kasa Kalhoun.
#6
Old 12-05-2006, 03:10 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 12,040
I had one of these clowns hit me up a week or two ago. Here's an approximate recreation of the conversation:

Him: Good morning, sir. I'm calling for the Fraternal Order of Police saince I'm sure you're a concerned citizen and support your local police. The best way to do this is to have one of our stickers in the back window of your car so we can (heh heh) tell who the good guys are, ya know? We have several packages available. We're not asking for any money today, just taking pledges. We'll send the sticker and more information in the mail as soon as you let us know how much you appreciate the fine work our officers do. We have $50, $40, and $30 levels of support available. Which of these is best for you?

Me: None.

Him: Well, we'd hate to lose you totally. Should I put you down for $20 or $15?

Me: Well, I don't have a car, so I have no need for a sticker. (I then hang up.)
#7
Old 12-05-2006, 03:14 PM
I'm nice, dammit!
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 37,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
Oh, man I don't know where you are, but the ones around here are ruthless! They always start out with a question about me, or my kids, or the new apartment we just moved into. How are we all doing? Do we feel safe in our neighborhood? Do we have any questions for the nice police officers?
I never let 'em get this far. As soon as they identify themselves, they hear: "I'm not interested." <click> I, also, do not contribute to phone solicitors of any stripe. I do, however, support my VFD when they send me a request by mail, because I know the check goes directly to them.
#8
Old 12-05-2006, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 11,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
in Indiana, the FOP's fundraisers turned over less than 15% of the money donated
And I've heard of cases where it's under 10%.

Phone solicitations for police are a racket. When I'm called, I simply say "Thanks, but when I donate, I do so directly."
#9
Old 12-05-2006, 04:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 11,663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema
And I've heard of cases where it's under 10%.

Phone solicitations for police are a racket. When I'm called, I simply say "Thanks, but when I donate, I do so directly."
It is a little unreal. I've talked to people that write the contracts for FOP's and telemarketing companies. What they do is agree to raise X number of dollars for the FOP, let's call it 2 million. Then they go out and get donations for X dollars, let's call it 20 million. They send the FOP their 2 million and pocket the remaining 18 million; all perfectly legal by their contract but still rather scuzzy.
#10
Old 12-05-2006, 04:32 PM
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 12,083
I've told them to send me something in writing, and they never do.
#11
Old 12-05-2006, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Victoria BC
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"Well, I don't want FOP, goddamn it! I'm a Dapper Dan man!"
#12
Old 12-05-2006, 05:28 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic, USA
Posts: 8,859
I was getting pestered by three different organizations claiming to be raising money for the local police department. I was like the shaken-down bar owner in the movie, "The Big Easy" - telling them sure, I'll pay, I'll pay, but just one guy!

So I started trying to get more identification information from them, and all three organizations stopped calling me.
#13
Old 12-05-2006, 05:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The great PNW.
Posts: 3,636
When I was still in the trucking business I used to get calls claiming to be the Oregon S.P. I'd blow them off, but I sometimes wondered if it was legit. I never took the time to check them out though.
If they want to raise money they should get the word out through the local media and make certain that it's above board. I don't think public agencies should be using third parties to do fund raising. Some of the local F.D.'s do an annual fund drive. They stand at busy intersections, in uniform, and get people to put money into a fireman's boot, which they hold in their hands (not on their feet). I think it's for kids or something like that.
I never donate to, or buy from solicitors, in person, or on the phone. Actually I rarely give to charities anymore, because of the abuses and because they tend to bug the hell out of me when I did give, including sharing my address and phone number w/ other solicitors.
#14
Old 12-05-2006, 07:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalhoun
I have a standard reply to them and to anyone else who calls a'beggin'... "I don't buy from or donate money to anyone who calls me on my phone to do business." I don't care if it's the goddamn Queen of Sheba. It's rude, and it ain't happenin' at Kasa Kalhoun.
I have a standard reply too - "No."

(you can only take so much before you start getting short with people)
#15
Old 12-05-2006, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalhoun
I have a standard reply to them and to anyone else who calls a'beggin'... "I don't buy from or donate money to anyone who calls me on my phone to do business." I don't care if it's the goddamn Queen of Sheba. It's rude, and it ain't happenin' at Kasa Kalhoun.
I have a standard reply too - "No." (you can only take so much before you start getting short with people)

Seriously, you are far too kind. It's a frigging donation. As soon as they called you you should have told them to just forget it.
#16
Old 12-05-2006, 07:27 PM
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Oops, sorry for the double post. I wasn't finished, dangit. A mod can delete the first one if you see this.
#17
Old 12-05-2006, 08:17 PM
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Location: West Palm Beach
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I've tried several of these approaches: telling the caller that I don't do business over the phone, saying that I prefer to donate directly, etc. They always refuse to send me anything by mail, so they never see a penny from me.

I got a similar call last month for the Florida State troopers (or something to that effect). I asked the caller if he was a trooper. He said no. I asked how much of the donations he collected would go to the Florida Troopers. He said 100 percent. At that point I just hung up on him. Lesson number one: don't lie to me when you're asking for money.

The fundraisers used to start their calls with "do you believe the Florida Troopers provide a valuable service to the community?" I was tempted to answer, "hell no! I hate those jerks!" just to see how the caller would respond.
#18
Old 12-05-2006, 08:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11,625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemike2
Getting a follow-up phone call would probably cause me to change my mind about the donation.

The "get out of jail free" sticker for your rear window is interesting. It shows poor judgement from the police force. How could it not influence on officer (even to a small degree) as he is approaching your vehicle? The fact that you have contributed to his favourite charity is a brownie point in your favor. Do they sell these on the interent?
If the phone solicitor for the FOP is similar to those for the FOFF (firefighters), the police on the street do not favor the charity. They see it as little more than a legal scam.

They've called here, and when I say my husband donates time at work, since he is a firefighter, they hang up.
Here they sell tickets to the "Firemans' Ball." I have yet to meet a fireman who knew anything about a Ball.
Once, shortly after I met my husband, I thought about purchasing two tickets for us. When I asked when and where it was held, he told me the "tickets" were really just a donation, there wasn't really an event. When I said that sounded like mis-representation, he hung up.
#19
Old 12-05-2006, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
I know this isn't really the case, I know that I freely pledge to give them money in exchange for the vague hope that having their sticker in the back window of my car might save me from speeding tickets.
The funny thing is that they never explicitly say that the window sticker will help with speeding tickets so sometimes I ask them point-blank if that's the case, but they never commit to anything. And I always ask how much of the money goes to the actual police, sheriff or firefighters' organization. A couple of times, the solicitor claims not to know, but it's usually 15%, so I tell them I'll drop a check off at the local police, sheriff or fire station.

Fortunately these companies haven't called in months.
#20
Old 12-05-2006, 09:46 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
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The FOP is a money grubbing whore. Most of the cops in New Jersey do not belong to the FOP, most belong to the PBA. And yet the FOP calls everyone in the state. The PBA has a long standing rule that they will never solicit by phone, only through mail or at an event that is easily verified as legit. Like it was said before, most of the money raised for the FOP does not go there. I would also bet that all of the money that is raised by these telemarketers goes to the national headquarters and your local department does not see a dime.
#21
Old 12-06-2006, 01:47 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 12,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
Here they sell tickets to the "Firemans' Ball." I have yet to meet a fireman who knew anything about a Ball.
Reminds me of the joke/urban legend about the woman whose cat gets stuck up a tree and calls the fire department. When a firefighter arrives and rescues the feline, the woman says that out of gratitude, she'll buy a couple of tickets to the Firemen's Ball. The reply: "Ma'am, firemen don't have balls ... uhh ... ".

Quote:
Once, shortly after I met my husband, I thought about purchasing two tickets for us. When I asked when and where it was held, he told me the "tickets" were really just a donation, there wasn't really an event. When I said that sounded like mis-representation, he hung up.
My mom used to fall for similar scams -- someone would call representing "Magical Puppet Show" or "Santa's Winter Wonderland", and tell her that her donation would cover tickets for either six children or herself and a guest. Naturally, the idea is that the mark will "think of the children", and thus not ask for the location of the event, let alone try to show up for the performance.
#22
Old 12-06-2006, 03:11 PM
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A different "police" organization called me today. I happily sent them packing. Thanks for the heads-up, everyone... I had learned from this message board that a way to see if these things are legit is to ask them to send you literature in the mail--which the FOP was of course happy to do. After I promised I'd pay them for it.
#23
Old 12-06-2006, 05:02 PM
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Years ago I dated a guy who solicited these funds for a "living" I quote "living" because after I got to know him and his co-workers better, they didn't do much eating or sleeping. More drinking and drugs. A previous poster was correct. This is big business. A representative goes to the FOP promising them a set amount of money by a set time and they keep the rest. The worst job were being given "cold cards" which are people like you. They just called randomly without much hope of a donation. If your boss liked you that particular day, he would give you hot cards which were suckers that have already donated. Those poor souls would be bugged day and night until they finally either had their number changed or continued to hang up enough times that someone ripped up the card. I would imagine you are going to be bothered for a while since you are now marked. In addition, if a business or individual gave cash, that would be marked, receipts stolen and they would be hit up for bar money as needed.
It's disgusting and I am sorry I know these things. I dated some real winners in my twenties.
I actually laugh now when I get those calls as I think about the slime sitting in that phone room.
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