The scheme, which has 2.5 million members in the UK and sends out information packs to all new and expectant mothers, has already felt the wrath of Mumsnet, after the group called for a ban on Bounty representatives targeting new mothers on NHS wards.
More than 25,000 people signed a petition calling on Health Minister Dan Poulter to ban commercial parenting clubs like Bounty from the Health Service.
Now an online petition on Change.org is urging people to call on Her Majesty’s Customs & Revenue to stop paying Bounty to distribute Child Benefit forms.
The petition states: “Maternity wards are a place for family and friends, for new parents to be with each other, for resting and preparing (as much as one can) for the new experiences ahead. They are not a place for sales reps peddling their wares and extracting personal information to sell on to others.
“Yet in maternity wards across the country Bounty sales reps abound and an alarming number of new parents are reporting feeling harassed and pestered by them. Even worse some are reporting being misled, lied to and disrespected at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. Why is this being allowed in our NHS? And why is Bounty being paid by HMRC to distribute Child Benefit forms as they travel the wards?”
It goes on to claim that in 2011/12 HMRC paid Bounty £90,000 to distribute Child Benefit claim forms within the packs that they hand out to new parents on wards.
The petition adds: “Some Bounty reps have been misleading parents about the need to hand over their personal information to the rep, before they can have the form. This abuse of the situation Bounty has found itself in, as the main distributor of the form needs to stop.
“The distribution of Child Benefit forms should not be done through a commercial enterprise, there are more suitable routes. And by removing the Child Benefit form from Bounty packs, any false sense of legitimacy that has been given to Bounty by handing out this important form will be removed.”
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