The Reader’s Digest recently did an unscientific, social experiment to see how people would react to seemingly abandoned cell phones.
In the experiment, reporters in 32 countries where Reader’s Digest is published ‘lost’ 30 phones in each country, including Singapore, in heavily used public areas. The reporters would then
called them while observing from a distance. When someone answered a phone, reporters asked whether he or she would be willing to return it. If the person picked up the phone without answering it, the reporters waited for a call on one of the phone’s preprogrammed numbers, or watched as the finder simply pocketed the phone and walked away.
Surprisingly, the highest rate of return was from the city of Ljubljana in Slovenia, where 29 of the 30 phones were returned. At the other end of the scale were the cities of Kuala Lumper, Malaysia and Hong Kong, where only 13 phones were returned.
You might be asking: So, what is Singapore’s ranking? Am quite appalled to find (PDF file) that Singapore was placed joint-25th (together with Buenos Aires, Argentina and Taipei, Taiwan) with 16 phones returned. Just three better than the bottom two cities. Singapore was well below cities such as Mumbai, India and Manila, Philippines (24 phones returned), Sao Paulo, Brazil and Bangkok, Thailand (21), and Mexico City, Mexico (20).
Guess must make sure not to lose my phone in Singapore. Chances of recovering it is only about 50%.