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Research shows we’re less trustworthy as a nation than we were 10 years agoBack

It’s been a particularly tough couple of years for UK consumers, but recent research commissioned by shows just how tough things have been.

Consumer trust has fallen to a significant low, with nearly half of us believe we’re far less trustworthy as a nation than we were just a decade ago.

Over 50 per cent of respondents thought there are far more scammers and con artists than there used to be, with a similar number preferring to shop on the high street rather than online due to the risk of fraud, or the prospect of receiving goods that aren’t as advertised.

The nationwide survey looked at general issues concerning consumer trust, including impressions of how trustworthy Britain is compared to years gone by and attitudes to shopping online.

Of those surveyed 82 per cent said they lose trust in people when they don’t deliver on promises, while 77 per cent said it was because there questions aren’t answered straightforwardly. Similarly, the use of jargon made 48 per cent people distrust others.

Overall Britons seem to be getting more cynical – with half saying that they thought that there are more scammers and con artists than there used to be, and the same amount saying they have become a lot less trusting as they have got older.

Despite the rise of online shopping, with £770 million spent by shoppers in December’s pre-Christmas rush, those surveyed still have a mistrust of buying from websites, with 54 per cent saying they would rather make their purchase in a shop, or over the phone. The most common reasons cited were the threats of fraud online and not receiving goods that matched the description.

Nearly 40 per cent also said that they were dissuaded from shopping online because of previous delays in receiving their order, and just under a quarter were nervous about buying from a private seller on an auction website or similar, preferring to buy from a reputable online retailer.

We launched in January to counteract car buyers’ fears concerning used cars online. We are owned by our advertisers, a consortium of established UK dealers, and guarantee that every one of the 20,000 cars it lists meet The 10-Point Difference – a charter that covers everything from vehicle inspection and write-off checks, to a one-year warranty and pre-delivery valet.

The survey also looked at your experiences and opinions of car buying. Look out for future blogs that shed a surprising light on our thoughts and behaviours when buying a new motor.

Posted by Leana Kell on 27/02/2011