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Emails from Call Centre Recipients (dating back to April 2010)

This part in our series displays an email thread dating back to early 2010. It is being provided as an example that others have raised concerns about the fund raising activities of the RFSA long before the recent newspaper exposure.

From: Gavin ______

Sent: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 2:29 PM
To: Peter Olah
Subject: RFSA raffle contributions

Peter

I have over time received various telemarketing calls seeking support for the RFSA via raffle tickets.

Prior to any “donation” I checked out the RFSA web site to find out who they are. If I understand correctly the RFSA is the representative body for the RFS volunteers – the equivalent of a union however a union is not available to volunteers.

The 2008 and 2009 financial reports for the RFSA show that they raise approx $7m per annum from these raffles and nearly half of this goes in paying the commissions of the telemarketing company. Less than $1m goes to the RFS by way of grants.

I was not comfortable with this percentage of return and politely declined to assist.

I received another ‘phone call today again seeking raffle support.

I asked the caller to clarify who he was representing. He could not differentiate between the RFS and the RFSA except to say “we stand behind the RFS”.

When I asked how much of my $10 raffle ticket purchase ended back with the RFS he triumphantly replied “all $10”.

Clearly this is wrong and misleading and when I discussed the break-down of how his salary was paid and how little actually ended up with the RFS his reply was “well that’s what I’ve been told”.

Since originally researching this I have spoken to several people who have purchased the raffle tickets. Every one of them believes that they are contributing to the RFS. When I suggest that only 10% of their purchase ends up with the RFS they are clearly upset. Mostly these people are elderly and what I would consider “soft” marketing targets. I believe the telemarketers take advantage of their willingness to help and once they have made a purchase, they are placed on a call back list to repeatedly be sought for future ticket purchases.

My question to you is, what efforts do the RFSA take to ensure that their “brand” is being represented correctly by the telemarketers. Are you comfortable with the blurred line being drawn between the RFS & the RFSA and ultimately are you comfortable that only 10% of monies end back with the RFS.

Gavin ______

 

From: Peter Olah
Sent: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 4:12 PM
To: Gavin ______
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributionsGavin

Thanks for your email.

Please accept my apologies for your unsatisfactory experience with our call centre. There are a number of misapprehensions or misunderstandings about the RFSA, its representative and funding roles, and its expenditure in your email, which I will be happy to correct.

As a first step, however, I believe it is important to track down what went wrong with your recent call centre phone call and rectify it. In order to follow this up promptly and accurately, I’d ask that you forward the following information to me at your convenience:

1. Your full name
2. Your residential address
3. The phone number at which you received the call
4. The approximate time of the call today.

I look forward to your response so that I may further pursue this matter.

regards

Peter Olah
Executive Director
NSW Rural Fire Service Association

 

From: Gavin ______
Sent: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 4:16 PM
To: Peter Olah
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Gladly

1. Your full name: Gavin ______
2. Your residential address: 25 ________ __ _________
3. The phone number at which you received the call: 02 ____ ____
4. The approximate time of the call today: approx 2.00 p.m. this afternoon

Gavin ______

 

From: Peter Olah
Sent: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 4:26 PM
To: gavin_@__________.net.au
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Thanks Gavin

regards

Peter Olah
Executive Director
NSW Rural Fire Service Association

 

From: Gavin ______
Sent: Wednesday, 2 June 2010 12:46 PM (approx. 1 month later)
To: Peter Olah
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Peter

Have you had a chance to review this issue?

Are you able to correct my “misunderstandings or misapprehensions” about the RFSA?

Gavin ______

 

From: Peter Olah
Sent: Thursday, 3 June 2010 10:42 AM
To: gavin_@__________.net.au
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Gavin

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

I have been waiting for the finalisation of a related matter with an external agency, which is required for me to be able to give a complete response. I hope to have this by the end of this week and therefore to be able to respond to you on Monday.

regards

Peter Olah
Executive Director
NSW Rural Fire Service Association

 

From: Gavin ______
Sent: Monday, 7 February 2011 9:23 PM (approx. 9 months on)
To: Peter Olah
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Peter

Whilst trolling through my old emails, I discovered an outstanding activity.

Did you ever get the information required to get back to me on this?

Gavin ______

 

From: Peter Olah
Sent: Friday, 18 March 2011 11:58 AM (approx. 10 months on)
To: gavin_@__________.net.au
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Gavin

I have noted that you have utilised the concerns you previously raised with us to attack the RFSA in various public forums in your area. As you clearly have a vested interest in using any avenue at hand to attack the legitimacy of the RFSA (and indeed, in other instances, of RFS volunteers), I have no intention of further corresponding with you on this matter.

regards

Peter Olah
Executive Director
NSW Rural Fire Service Association

 

From: Gavin ______
Sent: Friday, 18 March 2011 12:17 PM
To: Peter Olah
Subject: RE: RFSA Raffle contributions

Peter

Thank you for finally replying.

I believe the timelines of this email thread will show how long I have waited for an explanation of my “misunderstandings” about the RFSA which you were going to provide. Almost a year has passed with only holding responses from yourself.In the absence of any information from yourself, I have raised my concerns about the RFSA funding practices in public forums so that people might also question who it is they are supporting, how much they are actually contributing to the RFS and make an informed choice.

I have never attacked the legitimacy of RFS volunteers.

I am happy to no longer receive correspondence from you on this matter.

Gavin ______

 

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