“You’re not coming in here!” or “that’s probably not in your price range,” are comments heard surprisingly often by customers in Germany, wrote Der Spiegel magazine in a report out on Monday.
Thirty percent of customers are subject to discriminatory remarks at some point in an average year – most often based on their sex, age or socio-economic status, according to a study by Augsburg University, Bavaria.
Often, 64 percent of the time, the hurtful remarks come from staff members, rather than management or fellow customers, said the study authors.
Turkish customers have a particularly hard time, with 81 percent discriminated against an average of 5.7 times a year compared with just 27.5 percent of German customers who experience discrimination on average 1.3 times a year.
But discrimination of this kind is not without detriment to the company in question, with the majority of customers reacting to negative experiences, wrote Der Spiegel.
Twenty percent complain directly to the company and half will switch to the competition. Nearly 80 percent tell their friends about it, spreading “negative word-of-mouth,” according to the study.
Companies should be aware of the damaging effect of such experiences and the “considerable risk discrimination poses to economic success,” wrote the authors.