While perhaps not the most profound study of all times, the research company Ice recently tested out an interesting theory. Arming a collection of lovely ladies with sandwich boards that read, “Ask me to pay your bus fare and I will,” they circulated at bus stations in Newcastle, Medway, Manchester, Perth and Leicester.
The experiment was done during rush hour every day for an entire week. Most travelers, who undoubtedly could use the assistance in a tight economy, were too skeptical to stop and inquire. Only 38 people total – out of thousands who passed by – actually took up the offer and got home for free that day.
Most of those who stopped, incidentally, were teenagers. Perhaps showing that the young haven’t yet been tainted by the assumption that there is no free lunch, and no such thing as something for nothing.
As Jude Thorne, chief executive officer of Ice, reported, “Our experiment shows that as a nation, we simply don't accept the notion of genuine bargains, discounts and offers with no catch, despite admitting that difficult times are forcing us to seek them out actively.”
In total, on 23% of people actually took up the offer.
Watch Ice in action here: