The majority of Brits were so cynical when it came to accepting a genuine offer of goodwill that they turned down free money, research has revealed.
Cash was offered by five women to commuters at busy bus stations up and down the UK but an average of only eight people at each station, out of thousands of bus travellers, took up the offer.
Women wearing a sandwich board that read "Ask me to pay your bus fare and I will" were positioned at bus stations in Newcastle, Medway, Manchester, Perth and Leicester, but were mostly just ignored.
The experiment ran during morning rush hour each day for a week and just 38 people in total across the country accepted the offer.
When questioned, the minority who did eventually accept the free cash admitted they were reluctant at first because they thought the offer was too good to be true.
Those who did accept were generally teenagers, suggesting that the older we get, the more cynical of goodwill gestures we become.
Results showed that 69% of Brits were too suspicious to accept offers of goodwill and also felt rewards and freebies are often too good to be true, while only 23% of people thought it possible to get something for nothing.
The research was conducted by Ice, a loyalty scheme which rewards customers with Ice points for spending on eco-friendly goods and services.
Jude Thorne, Chief Executive Officer of Ice, said: "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."
The company teamed up with Arriva UK Bus and Stagecoach Bus to offer free points redeemable against future purchases for customers who book their tickets online.
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