What do you think about this? A new study reveals that whilst 89% of Brits consider themselves to be “honest,” we’re more than happy to let small indiscretions fall by the wayside if it means we get something for nothing – calling the nation’s integrity into question.
The 2016 Integrity Study, commissioned by the UK’s largest cashback and reward platform Quidco, showed that despite Brits wanting to believe they’re a nation of honest shoppers, 38% would consider keeping extra change if they were given it by an unwitting cashier. This sentiment is most pronounced when dealing with international businesses, with the vast majority of Brits (71%) happy to keep extra change from American coffee chain Starbucks than British company Costa (29%).
Brits are the worst offenders in Europe when it comes to pocketing small change with 57% of French and German respondents saying they have never kept extra change from a cashier if they were given it by mistake. This contrasts with 52% of Brits who said they have kept extra change when given it by an unsuspecting cashier. The French came out top in the honesty rankings with 92% of those polled saying they consider themselves honest.
The Quidco Integrity Study, which will be benchmarked each year, put a spotlight on everyday indiscretions to test just how far Brits were willing to push their moral compass to get more for their money without feeling pangs of guilt. One of the starkest findings occurred in the 18-34 age bracket. A generation of savvy shoppers, this group exuded the most confidence in their desire to “game the system” by seeing themselves as a generation of entitled shoppers.
Victoria Leyton, spokesperson for Quidco, who commissioned and contributed to The Quidco Integrity Study, said: “Never mind Gen Y, it’s Gen E(ntitled) that retailers need to be focusing on. This new breed of savvy shopper is gutsy, a genuine deal-hunter who knows the value of their customer and is not willing to short-change themselves when shopping online or in-store. They know a good deal when they see one and if they feel undervalued, won’t hesitate to play the system to get what they want, even if that means telling a white lie or keeping a few extra pennies in their purse.”
She added: “This group of ‘Generation Entitled’ shoppers are disrupting the status quo and realigning the moral compass, indexing high on nearly every metric we tested against. From getting away with a free 5p carrier bag, fibbing on an insurance form or deliberating mis-scanning items at the till, Gen E are willing to put their integrity on the line to get something for nothing.”
Key findings supporting this trend include:
– 33% have not paid for a 5p carrier bag at checkout (19% UK average)
– 24% have returned damaged merchandise for a full refund (14% UK average)
– 23% have returned worn clothes for a full refund (11% UK average)
– 21% have fibbed on an insurance claim or form (11% UK average)
This new mind-set of entitled shoppers means that retailers are having to be more innovative in their strategies to grab these savvy consumers. Being time and cash poor, the nation is fast turning into a group of life hacks, willing to do what’s necessary to make every pound spent count. The fact that nearly 50 per cent of Brits unapologetically sneak their own food or alcohol into a theatre or cinema is emblematic of this emerging trend.
“We all know how tempting it is to keep quiet when we’ve been undercharged for dinner or to keep a bit of extra change we’ve been given by accident but this doesn’t class as honest behaviour, however you wrap it up! Quidco recognises that people expect more when they shop or eat out which is why our users can earn guilt-free money straight into the bank account. We think this counts as good, honest, extra-value savings.” added Victoria Leyton.
Quidco commissioned a survey in 2016 looking into perceptions of Integrity in the UK, France and Germany. In total, 6009 people were polled across these three countries, with 2001 respondents per market in the UK and Germany and 2007 in France. Key findings from the Study will be benchmarked each year as part of the Quidco Integrity Index to show how the nation’s views differ year on year.