ARD draws heavy criticism after donation ceremony for flood victims

In the special ARD program “We Hold Together”, donations of 16.5 million euros were collected on Friday evening. Photo: WDR / Ben Knabe

Shouldn’t the donation hotline at least be free? – ARD received criticism after fundraising event

Flood disaster was the specific topic in the ARD on Friday. On this occasion, the radio included a testimony ceremony for the victims in its program. Ingo Zamperoni and Sarah von Neuburg hosted the event in prime time.

While the supervisor of Tagstein from Cologne held discussions with the affected, assistants and experts, in Leipzig, where Sarah von Neuburg was associated, on the stage were mainly stars such as Herbert Grunmeyer, Sarah Connor, Max Geisinger and Yvonne Caterfeld.

ARD donation ceremony sparks criticism on the network

Of course, most donations should be collected during the ceremony. Celebrities like Nina Bot or Alexander Klaus sat on the phones and answered calls for donations. But what made some viewers skeptical: The phone number to call was by no means a toll-free number. Instead of 0800, those wishing to donate had to call the expensive 0180.

For a call from the German landline network, a fee of 6 cents was to be paid, and it was up to 42 cents per minute from the mobile network. In the end, 16.5 million euros were raised in donations.

Surprise in the hotline for donations for a fee

The paid hotline has been a thorn in the side of some Twitter users. The ARD channel criticized loudly under the hashtag “#Wirhaltenzombination”:

ARD justifies a hotline for a fee

When the fee-paying hotline was criticized in ARD’s live Twitter post for the donation ceremony and asked where the fee would be paid, the broadcaster immediately responded and explained:

Photo: screenshot

In response to a comment from another user, ARD also said: “Toll-free numbers are at risk of being misused and not reaching those who actually want to donate.”

While some were angry at the extra costs, most probably didn’t have problems with it. After all, a hotline being charged at a donation party isn’t necessarily unusual. For example, the song “A Heart for Children” also carries a fee for a donation call.


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