Will Customers Avoid a Breached Business?

| November 09, 2010

A recent telephone survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in September 2010 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Cintas revealed that 91 percent would not return to a business if their personal information was stolen. From hotels to hospitals, the research provides insight into what types of businesses consumers would most likely stop patronizing if their confidential information, such as Social Security number or credit card number, was stolen.

"Data breaches not only impact consumers, but can potentially cost businesses millions of dollars and take a significant toll on public trust," says Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. "This research confirms that poor document management practices can significantly damage a business' reputation and discourage once loyal customers from ever returning. It could also discourage potential customers from ever entering."

The survey also reveals the percentage of adults who would take their business elsewhere, by industry, if their personal information was stolen. Findings include:

  • 77 percent would not return to a hotel they've stayed at
  • 76 percent would not return to a restaurant they've dined at
  • 70 percent would switch airline carriers

The survey was conducted by phone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Cintas from September 23-26, 2010 among 1,013 adults ages 18 and older. Results were weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population.

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