The Top 3 Reasons Americans Are Boycotting Companies

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Customer boycotting a business /

In a time when just about everything is viewed through the lens of politics, it’s no surprise that many people have ideology at the front of their minds when they shop for goods or spend money on services.

Recently, LendingTree surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and found that 1 in 4 are boycotting a product or company today after patronizing it in the past.

Commenting on the findings, Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst, says:

“It means that millions and millions of Americans have felt strongly enough about a company to take their money elsewhere. And those with the highest incomes are the most likely to boycott, making it an even bigger deal for businesses.”

Following are the top reasons consumers choose to boycott a product or company.

1. Political donations

Making a donation
Sean Locke Photography /

Respondents who boycott companies for this reason: 39%

Today’s companies have to walk a fine line. In a country roughly split between liberals and conservatives, aligning your business with one side of the political aisle is bound to offend a huge group of potential customers.

And in fact, nearly 4 in 10 consumers who boycott a company do so because they don’t like the fact that the business donated money to a political party or candidate holding opposing views to those of the miffed consumer.

2. Presumed mistreatment of employees

Laid off, unemployed worker
Thaninee Chuensomchit /

Respondents who boycott companies for this reason: 34%

Companies that don’t treat their employees right are taking a huge gamble. Not only is such behavior unlikely to generate worker loyalty, but it also drives away customers.

If you don’t like how your boss treats you, perhaps it’s time to learn about the “4 Types of Remote Jobs You Can Land Quickly.”

3. Stance on social issues

Protester with a bullhorn
michaelheim /

Respondents who boycott companies for this reason: 33%

In the past, companies largely stayed mum on social issues. Being apolitical was considered to be good for business.

Times have changed, and businesses are more likely to take stands on hot topics than ever before. But doing so is risky, as one-third of those who boycott companies do so as a result of a stand these firms have taken on social issues.

Other reasons

Workers on strike
voy ager /

Respondents who boycott companies for these reasons: 10% to 33%

There are many other factors that can incite a consumer to boycott a company. According to LendingTree, they include:

  • Supporting or opposing certain pieces of legislation: 30%
  • Supporting or being based in certain countries or affiliated with specific governments: 27%
  • Engaging in behavior that is environmentally harmful: 21%
  • Handling the coronavirus pandemic in an offensive way: 20%
  • Having an unethical business model: 15%
  • Not paying a “fair share” of taxes: 13%
  • Being anti-union: 12%
  • Being on the receiving end of boycotts from “everyone else I know”: 10%

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