Monday, April 16, 2007

Open letter to Barak Obama

Re: How not to get me to give you money

Dear Senator Obama:

I am sure that as a busy senator and hopeful Democratic nominee for president you have no direct oversight of the organizations or individuals who phone bank for you. However, I thought you might like to know that my interaction with a caller who contacted me on your behalf has made me less likely to give you money in the future.

Last night a guy called to ask me to support your campaign. I told him that I would not donate until you had a real plan for universal health care in the U.S.A. (health care access is my thing, and since every other Democratic candidate seems to have a plan, it doesn't seem too much to ask.) The guy responded: "He TOTALLY has a plan!" and hung up. Maybe it's me, but insulting and hanging up on potential donors doesn't seem like a great way to get them feeling the wallet-opening love.

I am sure the call was not random, as I have given money to Democratic candidates in the past and am on various lists of left-leaning, bleeding heart tree-huggers. It seems like a bad policy for the people reaching out to me (and my credit card) to insult or annoy me. Maybe you know better, I mean, you did raise $25 million so far from 108,000 contributors. So maybe this "piss off the donor" thing is working for you. But just in case it isn't the thing for everyone (except me), I thought you might want to suggest your phone bank managers do a little training.


Nonlinear (I still won't contribute until you have a plan for universal health care) Girl

Edited to add: I sent a (slightly less churlish) note to the campaign via the website, and this morning got a form-email completely unrelated to what I'd told them. The email was super rah-rah, yay for us, and for you (assumed contributor to this presidential campaign juggernaut). I did learn that he actually had 104,000 (not 108,000) first quarter contributors, so at least I got a little fact-checking out of it.


  1. the new girl4/16/2007 11:04 AM

    Awesome letter.
    Did you ping his campaign site??

  2. I think you were supposed to call back and indicate you were totally convinced by the totality of the caller's totally and then fork over your hard earned dough. I know I would have.

  3. ah - customer service, in all its glorious forms - makes life so much less stressful

  4. (un)relaxeddad4/16/2007 1:39 PM

    Round our way, they still have to knock on doors and get insulted to their faces.

    At the polling booth for the local elections last year, I did tell both the liberal and Labour candidates how deeply disappointed I was in their parties and the choices they gave me. They actually apologised and said they agreed!