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New polling shows nearly a quarter of consumers believe businesses are ripping them off for profit

Poll: Nearly 25 percent of consumers believe businesses are ripping them off for profit

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WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — For any business, the ultimate goal is to maximize profits, but that can put companies at odds with the needs of consumers.

"About one out of four people say companies make money by cheating their customers," pollster Scott Rasmussen told Circa. "Is it better to provide a good service and meet real needs, is that the way you make money? And I think most business theorists and most company strategists would say, yeah, if you want to build lasting value, if you want to make a lot of money, you want to try and serve your customers.

"But still, one out of four think they're cheating their customers. That's the way you make money."

New polling from ScottRasmussen.com reveals that 40 percent of people believe that successful companies profit by cutting costs and underpaying staff.

"People are less concerned, perhaps, about cheating customers than they are about how their workers are treated," Rasmussen said. "Customers can leave and go somewhere else. People know that as consumers, we have a lot of control over companies. If we find out they're mistreating us, bad things will happen to the company."

According to Rasmussen, the power to stop companies that engage in unethical behaviors lies in the hands of the consumer.

"People want companies that lie to be prosecuted," he said. "People want officers involved who lie to be prosecuted when that happens. But in a lot of cases, people believe the best way to deal with a company that's not treating you well as a customer is to go somewhere else."

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