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Reporter exposes lies and exploitation in undercover charity sales probe

Conor Gogarty 2A senior reporter’s undercover investigation into charity door-to-door selling has uncovered lies and pressure-selling on doorsteps as well as worker exploitation.

Wales Online’s Conor Gogarty took a job with two companies, Vantage and Solution Cardiff, that operate as a single sales team, and spent months looking into their practices.

Footage captured by Conor while working for the team revealed the use of lies and pressure-selling techniques on doorsteps to get people to sign up to direct debit payments to charities.

He also found new recruits were told to “trick” people in doorstep pitches for charity sign-ups, as well as job adverts with empty promises of minimum salaries.

The sales team count the National Deaf Children’s Society and SOS Children’s Villages among their clients. Both charities are now investigating Conor’s findings.

His investigation has been published by Wales Online along with a companion 18-minute video documentary.

Conor, pictured, told HTFP: “We felt it was so important that people know about the processes we uncovered, from the young people working for the equivalent of far less than the minimum wage, to the way people were put under pressure to sign up to direct debits at their doorsteps, to the fact that money is collected for charities in this way.

“This investigation took months of work, with a huge amount of support from the Wales Online newsroom and the wider Reach network.

“I’m grateful to work for a news outlet that affords reporters the time they need to work on important stories.

“We plan to continue questioning authorities on what they are doing to protect workers, customers and charity donors.”

Vantage and Solution’s representatives have so far declined to comment on Conor’s findings.