Clever People Share The Loophole Discoveries That Helped Them Game The System
It feels good to play the system. Like, when you turn on all the cheats for a game of "Goldeneye" on the N64?
To go around the rules and avoid waiting in line is the basis for those "life hacks" you might have seen shared online. While it's cute that some people know how to keep your shoes from smelling using packets of ginger or how to save time by brushing your teeth in the shower, these stories are on a completely new level. People responded to Reddit user r/akivlam, who asked for the greatest cons and loophole exposers to share their tales:
What's the loophole that you discovered and subsequently exploited?
Playing Companies Against Each Other
I used to sell guitars at a music store. This guy started coming in and window shopping, getting prices. Didn't seem serious so no-one wanted to waste time on him, but I was nice and maybe naive so I spent hours testing pedals, amps, etc. Writing out prices. He'd come in every couple weeks, telling me he has some money coming in soon. Everyone thought I was wasting my time, and after a while I started to believe them.
Then one day he calls and says he's ready to buy, make sure I have everything he wants in stock for next week (it was around $1500 worth of gear if I remember correctly) when he comes in. I get his order ready.
Dude shows up with a huge stack of gift cards. Apparently the owner had been running a promo in the paper - go to this random record store, pay them $50 and get a $100 gift card to my guitar store. Could only get it once a week. This kid had been going to this place every week for like four months, buying gift cards and saving them up. Brought em in with this look on his face, like we are all idiots and he is the smartest MF around. And he was, there was no fine print, no limitations in any of the postings anywhere. Guy just got a monster discount for being patient. Im sure they lost money on that deal.
They don't offer that promotion anymore, either.
If They Don't Notice, Why Speak Up?
I got a birthday coupon for a free entree from one of my favorite chain restaurants last summer.
I showed the person at the cash register but they didn't check it. So I ate my free meal. The next day, I brought it to a different location and the person didn't check it either.
This went on for five days straight.
Stealing From The Bouncy Ball Machine
One time I found out a bouncy ball dispenser at Walmart could be exploited. I could put a quarter in, turn it part way and get a ball, then turn the handle back and get my quarter back. I did that to get a few balls before I felt guilty and asked my dad if it's stealing. I was really young so I didn't fully understand.
Getting A Free Ride. Literally.
I once signed up for a autoshop credit card.
I got my oil changed on our cars and new tires. I kept waiting for them to send a bill, and they never did.
I also told the cashier multiple times about not getting bills.
I also kept charging car stuff... Never paid once.
Nothing on my credit report, nada.
It's been ten years.
But, Which Tire? You Didn't Specify.
Decades ago, I purchased a set of tires from an autobody shop and was offered a road hazard warranty for $10 per tire. I accepted and they rang up $40. I said that no, it's $10 because I only wanted it on one tire. They argued there'd be no way to tell which tire had the warranty and I pointed out that it would be obvious because it would be the one that's flat. Eventually they called corporate/legal and I got my $10 warranty and as I was leaving they were taking down the signs advertising $10 per tire road hazard and ripping up the brochures. Three hours of stubborn well spent.
It IS A Clear Bottle, After All
When I was younger Mountain Dew had a promotion where 1 in 4 bottles won a free Mountain Dew. This was before codes and silly points, you just traded the cap for a new soda.
I realized I could look through the plastic bottle at the right angle to identify winners. I only bought 1 soda that whole summer! It was glorious.
Two Words: Free Burritos
A few years ago, The Cubs had a promotion with Qdoba where if the Cubs scored a run in the 6th inning or whatever inning it was, you'd get a free burrito. When you walked into the stadium, the workers would hand you this little booklet that had the Qdoba coupon along with others. So many people would just discard them on the ground by their seats. After the games, I would go around and collect as many as I could find. I'd take them into Qdoba and get me free burrito regardless if the Cubs scores in the correct inning. The employees never checked or knew. So many free burritos that summer.
Repeat: FREE BURRITOS
Yes! When Chipotle had all their virus crap 2-3 years ago, they sent out all these free meal coupons. I lived in an apartment at the time, got the coupon, and noticed another one sitting in the recycling bin in the mail room. I went back to "get the mail" multiple times that day and dug through that shit and had something like 40 coupons. No expiration date, no purchase required. I barely bought groceries for almost two months.
Adding To Subtract
When I started college, a family friend gave me a $50 gift card to a local coffee chain near my dorm, the kind of place that also has pastries and prepared sandwiches. I had very little spending money at this point, so this felt like a real windfall and I intended to make it last.
After 2 months of cafeteria food, I finally decided to splurge on a coffee and a muffin, the total is like $4.00. I hand over the gift card, and the girl on the register gives me this incredulous look. it was like I had just handed her monopoly money. Immediately this feels like it's going to be an problem. She asks me where I got it. I tell her it was a gift. She rolls her eyes at me, clearly irritated. She says they don't usually take gift cards, I guess they were pretty new at that point, but it was a branded plastic scannable card, obviously legit, so i politely ask if she can try it. She sucks her teeth and starts punching at the screen. 2 or 3 minutes of sighing and rolling her eyes go by and she appears to finish the transaction, hands me my receipt and throws the gift card on the counter without a word.
I'm kind of taken aback at this point by her attitude, but look at the receipt and see my gift card total is now $54. She credited my card with $4. I realize i'm trying my luck here but i quickly grab a sandwich and drink from the case and say, sorry i forgot i wanted to get these too. She rolls her eyes at me again and rings them up. The total is $12. Punches at the screen for a while again, prints my receipt - my new total is $66. Despite being a broke student, I probably would have pointed out the mistake if she hadn't been so rude. Also I figured it was a one time thing, it couldn't happen again, right?
WRONG. The next few months I got the total of that card up to almost $200.
I ate very well that semester.
Winning With Mom On Your Side
In high school we had a fairly expensive cafeteria and I ate A LOT as a teenager. We also had a yearly fundraiser for the school that auctioned off things like the best parking spot, front row at graduation and free lunch for the year. After my freshman year my mom smartly added up all the money I had spent on lunch the past year and decided that was her limit on trying to win the free lunch in the auction.
She got it easily.
I burnt that place to the ground my sophomore year and again my junior year taking full advantage of that unlimited lunch.
They did not offer the lunch deal at the auction when my senior year rolled around.
Playing For Free
When I was broke I forgot to disable auto-renew for x-box Live so when the charge hit my account, I had to call them and ask for a refund. Super simple process and I had my money back the next day.
And to my delight they forgot to remove my Live access.
I had it for a whole year. When it was time to renew, I paid, called them the next day to cancel, and sure enough had free x-box live for another year.
Getting The Casino To Pay? That's New
I used to work in an office building downtown. Parking was expensive. Most places were about 10 bucks a day. So approximately 200 bucks a month. A bus pass for the month was about 80 bucks.
Then i discovered the casino paradox. If you parked at the casino, it cost 10 dollars. Expensive right? If you signed up for a casino club card, and you spun 10 dollars worth of slot machine, parking was free. Usually, you're left with about 6 bucks out of your original 10. Bad if you're purely gambling but now parking costed you 4 dollars.
Things got even juicer when the local sports team had a coupon for 5 dollars in free play on the back of each and every 50/50 ticket for an entire season. Since everyone loses they left their left over tickets all over, which I picked up. Now, with my free play money, I was technically getting paid to park downtown!!
Thanks, Tony the Tiger
A few years ago, a cereal brand had a promotion, where a box their new cereal included a coupon for another free box of cereal.
Presumably, the intention was that you would buy one and get one free. But you could use the coupon to get a free box of cereal that included another coupon.
So, I bought one box of cereal at the start of summer, and then continually used the coupons to get more of that cereal for the next several months.
Beer On Your Birthday
I bought beer once at the grocery store using the self checkout line. When you ring up booze on the kiosks, it'll say it's calling for an attendant so they can check your ID. When the lady came over, she looked at my ID and then hit the top corner of the screen, input a four digit code and then typed in my birthdate. I saw her code.
So now whenever there's a long wait at the kiosk (because there's only the one lady for about ten machines) I will just put in the code and my birthday myself. Oh and you have to make sure you turn off the volume on your kiosk or it will say "ID check required" very loudly. I've only done it a couple times but nobody has stopped me.
Taking One And Doubling It
I took advantage of a retail websites online gift card sale. They were offering "gift cards" for 25% off, for a weekend sale. The great part about it was that they weren't actually gift cards they were just codes that they emailed to you to act as gift cards, allowing you to use it instantly. Well... it turns out you could buy gift cards with gift cards, for any amount. So my 17 year old self turned $20 into $650, over the course of about 4 hours and bought a brand new snowboard set up! I have never seen them run that sale again.
Free Coffee = Life
Years ago, a convenience store had emailed coupons for free cup of coffee. I had to print it myself cuz for some reason it wouldn't scan on my phone. So I printed it and used it and got my free large coffee. All good so far.
Then I thought it'd be worth trying to print again and use it. They scanned the bar code so I thought the system would definitely know if it has been used. Guess what? That wasn't the case. I printed coupons and made copies. My brothers and parents love this coffee. We used to print the coupons and use it EVERY morning for 7 months.
Not Even Sure How This One Works...
A few years ago, there was an app that was kind of caught on called Pocket Points. The aim of the app was to reduce smartphone usage in classrooms by giving you "points" when the screen was locked and not in use. You could use the points on deals local to your area, one of which was a pizza place that pretty much across the street of my college campus. The points were only generated when your location data said you were in a classroom, which was determined by "being in a building within a college campus".
I wanted free pizza and I did not have the patience to wait for it, so I emulated an android phone on a spare laptop I had and downloaded the app onto the emulated phone. I was able to set the location of the phone to be my college campus, which allowed me to passively generate points all day with no effort. I don't think they had any infrastructure in place to deal with that methodology. When I wanted to cash in, I'd log into the account on my actual phone and redeem the points for some good good free-zza.
I ate a good number of pizzas for free until they changed the way their deal was set up. (Instead of a fully free pizza, it turned into a BOGO deal). But I probably had like 7 pizzas for free because of this, which was totally worth the ~2 hours to figure out how to effectively emulate the phone.
Rolling In Rebels
We have drive-thru coffee shops. They have coffee drinks, smoothies, Italian sodas, iced teas, energy drinks, etc... And they are on every corner in town. On your birthday you get a free drink---any kind, any size, no matter how expensive it is. You just pull up, tell them it's your birthday and tell them what you want and they say Happy Birthday and give you your free drink.
I stayed wicked buzzed the whole way through the day on my birthday last year, going from one to the next trying something from every category. It was all good and I drank it all. I even told them at my third Dutch Bros stand what I was doing and they high-fived me.
I was regretting it that night though. I felt like I had electricity pulsing through my body and I'm pretty sure when I slept my eyes were frozen open. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it again this year. Leaning towards yes though.
Future Venture Capitalist
Every morning I would stop and pick up a six pack of Pepsi cans. I would only drink one but I'd sell the others to my classmates. Made more than enough to buy another pack the next day with money leftover. My school didn't like my version of capitalism.
Start Small, Build Big
For years my dad was giving me cash for lunch money and my mom was pre-paying my lunches. I was ballin outta control with mountain dews and snacks at school.