Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bus Passengers Refuse Free Cash Hand-outs

Well, despite complaining about the ever-rising cost of bus fares, it seems that the majority of bus passengers will happily refuse the offer of free money.

In a unique -and, frankly, slightly bizarre - experiment, money was offered by attractive-looking women wearing sandwich boards that read "Ask me to pay your bus fare and I will" at bus stations in Newcastle, Medway, Manchester, Perth and Leicester - but they were mostly ignored by the public.

The experiment was run during the morning rush hour every day for a week, yet throughout the whole time only 38 people accepted their offer of free money. The company just couldn't give it away.

It seems that we, as a nation, are not very trusting. When questioned, those that did accept the cash admitted they were initially reluctant because they thought the offer was too good to be true. They were also mostly teenagers, suggesting that the older we get the more cynical we get.

Overall, more than two-thirds (69%) of travellers were too suspicious to accept offers of goodwill, saying that they felt rewards and freebies are often too good to be true. Only 23pc of people thought it was possible to get something for nothing. Bad news for the marketing executives, then.

The research was carried out on behalf of Ice, a loyalty scheme which rewards customers with Ice points for spending on eco-friendly goods and services. You can watch footage from the experiment in action in Manchester at: www.youtube.com/user/MyIceChannel/videos

It's a delightfully odd experiment which, if nothing else, demonstrates that you really can't take the travelling public for granted.

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