The Readers Digest Global Courtesy Test has put London at a rather disappointing number 15, but maybe the biggest surprise is that the city topping the list (and therefore trouncing us) is...New York.
In order to compile their list the RD sent reporters to major cities in 35 countries where the magazine is published and despatched them to perform a series of politeness test:
Two reporters — one woman and one man — fanned out across the city, homing in on neighborhoods where street life and retail shops thrive. They performed three experiments: "door tests" (would anyone hold one open for them?); "document drops" (who would help them retrieve a pile of "accidentally" dropped papers?); and "service tests" (which salesclerks would thank them for a purchase?).
New York topped the list because four out of every five people their did well on the courtesy test, with 90 percent passing the door test with flying colours, and 19 out of 20 passing the service test (not a huge surprise in America where 'have a nice day' is engrained into the public consciousness).
There's not all that much detail about London (or any of the other countries tested) but we can only assume that we faired pretty bloody badly if we came only one position above (oh, the shame of it) Paris.
Here's what Gothamist had to say about the poll.