MoneySaving Christmas Quiz… Where the real knowledge lies…

Over Christmas we launched a quick quiz to test and train people’s MoneySaving knowledge. Now the full MoneySaving IQ test has replaced it, I thought it’d be interesting to review what people got right and wrong.

When I wrote the questions, I wanted them to be difficult as I don’t believe people would see a benefit if they weren’t. As the average score was five out of ten (nearly 40,000 tried it), it looks like I succeeded.

Spoiler note… there are some similar questions in the IQ test, so do that before reading.

Easiest Question.

The huge majority, 98%,of people got the question

“What gives you the strongest consumer protection if you’re buying goods worth over £100?” correct, answering “paying by credit card”

We’ve been pushing the section 75 guide very hard for months, as it’s one of the most important things to know in the recession. Whether it’s down to that, or people just knew anyway, it’s gratifying to know the message is out there.

For this reason I felt I had to make the section 75 question in the IQ test much more difficult, going into some of the minutiae in the rules.

Shopping Rights Not So Strong.

Yet the majority of people didn’t know the answer to…

“You’ve bought a dress for a friend for Christmas and they don’t like it. When you return it with the receipt a week later, which of these is the retailer legally obliged to do?“

Only 40% correctly answered “Nothing, unless it was bought online” and almost as many incorrectly thought “Offer a credit note” was right.

This is a common confusion; many people think you can return anything because shop policies often allow it, but actually, unless there’s a fault, you simply don’t have a right. The exception is if things are bought online or by mail order, due to distance selling regulations (see the consumer rights guide).

There was similar lack of knowledge on the other consumer rights question in the quiz…

Huge underestimation of the power of downshifting

Perhaps the biggest surprise was how few people knew the real impact of downshifting. Where you drop one brand level lower? The question was phrased as follows…

“Here’s a good New Year’s resolution; try dropping a brand level on everything you buy in the supermarket. How much would someone who spends £100 a week on food save over a year by doing this?”

And here are the results…

    A. £200… 5,771 people
    B. £600… 16,628 people
    C. £1,300… 11,297 people
    D. £1,700… 4,457… people

Actually the correct answer is D. £1,700, as dropping down a level on everything typically saves you a third on your food bill (see the Supermarket Shopping guide). I suspect such huge numbers just aren’t that easy to believe, yet we’ve done a lot of number crunching work on this and it’s remarkably consistent.

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