You'd be surprised what you'll find buried in contracts and legalese. And you'd be even more surprised how easy it is to bend the rules if you know what you're doing. It can feel exhilierating and gives you the opportunity to pat yourself on the back for your own brilliance, duh.
After Redditor workalonesf asked the online community, "What is a loophole that you found and exploited the hell out of?" people revealed how they stuck it to the man.
People Break Down The Best Loophole They've Ever Exploited
Was on a cruise ship a few years ago that had a pay-per-minute Internet policy. You'd buy like 200 minutes of wifi access for $100 or whatever crazy price it was. They had a little portal that you went to, to start and stop the timer, and tell you how much time was remaining.
I quickly realized that the timer counted by whole minutes. That is, if I started at 12:00:01, and stopped it at 12:00:58, then it counted as 0 minutes of internet use.
For the entire cruise I took advantage of this. Start the timer, fire up your internet apps like Facebook and Instagram and let your timeline and emails download, or launch a website and let it load. Stop the timer. Browse your feed and photos and read your website and emails offline, compose posts and replies etc. Start the timer again to send/upload, stop it again within a minute.
I milked those 200 minutes for an entire 3 week cruise and still had 45 minutes left over at the end.
"80% of my paycheck into retirement"Giphy
Right out of college I worked a job that had a 100% match to any retirement contributions. I was young, lived rent free with my parents, Had no student debt, and could grab OT nearly every week. After some budgeting I figured I could throw 80% of my paycheck into retirement. I did so for 9 months until my supervisor called me into the office to sign a policy change that limited retirement contributions to 50%. I'd stashed away nearly $35,000 on about a ~$32,000 annual pay. I had no life for about a year, but damn if it didn't jump start my retirement.
"The Weight of Potatoes..."
Not me, but a friend of mine (among others I'd assume) managed to get an entire sales campaign cancelled that a bank in my country did.
IIRC the bank tried to promote one of their debit cards (which are basically prepaid credit cards) via some bonuses and gifts you'd get as customer, e.g. one of 20 products you can choose for free if you start using it etc.
One of these bonuses they offered was a small payback, you'd get after each purchase. What they did was basically rounding up the amount you paid (to full Euros) and give you the difference.
So if you bought something for 27.63€ you'd get 37 cents gifted from this bank.
What he then did was only possible because we were university students back then, had very flexible work time and some of our friends were temping in super markets... he went to the super market our friends worked at at times when basically no one else was there and purchased hundreds of single potatoes. Each one = one purchase with the card. Depending on their weight each of these potatoes was like 2ct or 3ct, so for each purchase he got 98ct or 97ct gifted from the bank, making him profit about 94-96ct for each potato.
He got about 250€ (plus an unreasonable amount of free potatoes) in 2 days with this until the bank called him like "uh... could you like maybe stop that...?" and he just shamelessly responded "why?" to which the bank person on the phone had no good answer. So then he just went on and made some more money until the whole incentive thing got completely cancelled a few days later.
"Thanks Red Robin!"
When my brothers and I were 6-10 years old we found a crane candy game where you were "guaranteed to win" something. We found a laser sensor in the area where you pick up your prize. This indicated whether or not something had dropped. So, by holding the flap door open at the bottom the sensor was never triggered so for 25 cents we nearly emptied the machine. Thanks Red Robin!
I've done stuff with Swagbucks. Now they limit it a bunch more, but a few years ago when I used it a lot more often I'd pull up the ad videos either on phone or computer, mute it, and let it run while I watched tv/did chores/etc. I got a bunch of free stuff from Amazon with it (for a while amazon gift cards were cheaper than all others at the $5 rate, so I'd trade it in for a bunch of $5 GC until they built up enough to buy more. definitely made a few hundred dollars off it for the 6-8 months I used it consistently, virtually all by just letting it run silently while I did other stuff on another device. Now they cap the amount you can earn daily by video to some low amount.
"Pick up for phone orders only!"
I used to frequent a sandwich shop (they've since closed) that could be very busy at times due to how close it was to a convention hall. The process for ordering food was much like that of Subway: approach the counter, tell them what you want, you get to sit there and watch them construct your sandwich. They had room enough for three sandwich makers: two people behind the counter and one guy manning the back area for pick up orders. They almost always had a guy dedicated to the pickup window and during peak times he would help out, but his priority was phone orders. The window was marked "Pick up for phone orders only!"
There were many times (when the inside was packed with customers) where I would literally stand outside this window placing an order on my cell phone with the phone order guy laughing and shaking his head while he took my order and made my sandwich. I could see the customers in line inside and they could clearly see me.
One time, a customer in line got pissed and started complaining about me "cutting the line" and that I couldn't place my order at the window since it was for phone orders only. The guy behind the counter said that there wasn't anything wrong with what I did since I did place my order over the phone, I just happened to be standing at the window when I did it.
I bought a card once for $10 that had 16 coupons for a BOGO pizza from Dominos. They were little stickers that you were supposed to pull off and hand in when using them, but they never asked for the stickers. They also didn't have an expiration on them. They also didn't tell anyone it was supposed to be one per order.
We'd order 8 pizzas at a time, used them for two years. Thousands of dollars of free pizza really help when you're a broke college kid.
Several years ago AT&T was running a trade-in promotion increasing the value of old iPhones way beyond what they were selling for on eBay/CL at the time. This promo thankfully wasn't bundled to a new phone purchase and could be done on any active line of service with AT&T - so no limits on phone trade-ins.
I ended up buying 31 old iPhone 4s for about $70 each on eBay and trading them all in to AT&T on promotion for $200. Worked out to $6200 in AT&T credits (got myself 2 iPads, a 2 new iPhones at the time, and enough of a credit on my bill I didn't pay for cell phone service for almost 2 years).
I really miss this type of promotion!! 😭
I remember being young and going to Chuck E. Cheese. When you were pulling your tickets out, if you found this sweet spot then you could just keep pulling the tickets out. My mom had a hard time figuring out how I got 10,000 tickets in under an hour.
Not sure if it counts as a loophole, but I worked at a books/music/video store when I was in high school. We were supposed to remove the "in training" portion of our name tags after the first two weeks. I just left mine on so that customers wouldn't ask me questions. A full year of hardly anyone talking to me at work was the best full year of my life.
"First and Last Names"
I worked guest services at a mall and had been there long enough that the name tags had changed from first & last name to just first name. But I never got the new one and never brought it up because who cares? Only two of us had the old style.
If we got a belligerent customer that demanded to see a manager, but no one else was around, I'd walk up and just my confidence (having been there for years) would calm them down. They'd take one look at my name tag, see the longer name, and think I was the manager.
I'd repeat what my newer coworker said and apologize for inconvenience due to company policy, they'd apologize and do whatever we suggested. If I or the other employee with the old tag weren't there, someone would fish out the supervisor's tag from the drawer and put it on, do the same thing.
Saved a lot of heartache, tears, and time. Confused the management team when they got a complaint/compliment card about a manager that didn't exist though. They usually just threw those out.
"Check the Inbox"Giphy
There's software that generates credit card numbers. Now you can't actually buy anything with these numbers, because when the system tries to charge them, it gets rejected. However, there was a website (like many others) that would give free amazon gift cards (via email) for trying out partnered subscription services that offered free trials. You'd click the offer link, get redirected to the partner site, fill out all the information and use the fake number, and it would confirm on the offer site before getting rejected by the partner site. About a week later, you'd get a digital amazon giftcard in your inbox. Got enough to buy a PS2. Long time ago, haha.
"We Know You"
Before the pandemic hit, I used to sometimes go to Taco Bell between classes for a snack. One day I got a receipt with a code to fill up an online survey for a free taco on your next purchase (which is what I was buying anyways, since it was just a small snack). I decided I'd fill it up and buy a soda (which was cheaper) next time just for the free taco, thinking it wouldn't give me a new code, but it did.
Anyways, I started doing it so often that the employees started recognizing me, and one even told me "normally I tell customers to remember to fill out the survey, but I'm sure you'll remember."
"Sticking it to the Hut"
Not really a loop hole I guess just a way I ripped Pizza Hut off for a couple thousand dollars in food and drinks. Back many years ago when places were just starting to set up their websites for online ordering I found a way to refresh the page the right way where I could enter a coupon code to take 10% off as many times as I wanted to. We did a practice order to make sure it worked. We did like a $30 dollar order and brought it down to like $7 and paid with a $20 and let the driver keep the change.
Since it worked we started doing bigger and bigger orders. We would only get like 2 pizzas but we got lots of wings, deserts, cheese bread and drinks and other random side items. Our orders were coming out around $90 and we ordered every single day and many days twice. A couple of times the delivery guy said "your total is.... wait that can't be right.... $8?" We told him our uncle worked for corporate and gave us really awesome coupons and always tipped the driver really well.
All good things must come to an end though and one day it just stopped working. Some nights I lay awake tossing and turning thinking of how awful a thing I did to Pizza Hut . . . jk I regret nothing, it was awesome and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was part of a great summer. We were tired of pizza after like 1 week but we kept on ordering just because we knew it wouldn't last forever.
Not sure if it's a loophole but I'm currently remoting in from home to work because of COVID. Since I'm salary I don't log in or submit a time card. Instead they require all employees (hourly or salary) to log in on Skype so they can track how long you're online. Except that they didn't disable the settings so I have my status remain "Available" for 20 minutes of inactivity so I can take 50 minute lunches and not get docked for it.
1 Credit Card point for every dollar spent.
But up to 5X for every dollar spent abroad.
I've been on a 6 year "holiday" abroad and they haven't brought it up.
The soda machine at a dorm I lived in had a weird glitch. If you put in five cents more than the asking price and pushed the product select button, the machine would empty all of its change out at once. We did this a few times and got $20-40 each time!
I was visiting a hospital on a daily basis for many weeks ( premature twin babies) but they didn't do multi-use discounts. "There's the hours you were here - pay up" type of thing. And it was costing something like £5 - £10 per day
Until a few days in I realized that the hospital had only recently appointed the car parking company and they haven't yet installed the "arrival time" machine at the car park entrance but had only put a temporary machine in the Hospital lobby.... which you were meant to use on your arrival.
And from that day on I got my "arrival time" ticket when I was leaving and only paid minimum stay.
This isn't something I did, but this a pretty good story for this thread.
This guy owned a pizza shop which was eat-in and takeout only - no delivery. But he would occasionally get calls from people complaining about their food after placing an order for delivery. After some investigation, he had found that Doordash had listed his restaurant without bothering to ask for permission.
In looking at the listing though, he realized that one of the prices on the site was wrong - they were selling a pizza for only $16 that he charged $24 for. So he just started ordering huge amounts of that pizza, because with each one, Doordash was paying him more than they were charging him. And since he owned the store and didn't care about eating the pizza, he just started delivering himself plain dough to save on costs to make even more of a profit with each one.
"2 Years Free"
In college I worked at a dining hall with a parking deck right next to it. Parking pass would have been several hundred dollars a year, and to park in the deck without a pass would have been
$20/day $10/day for the hours I would be at work and in class.
But it wasn't automated, and the booth workers went home at 11pm, so after that they had to leave the gates open for residents to get in and out. Being a college kid, staying on campus until 11 was easily doable, so I parked for free for two years.
"All for a Buck"
I once bought a gorgeous, solid oak dresser with attached mirror accent that was priced at $1200 for only $1. I was on a website surfing for dressers for my newborn and came across a free shipping promotion. So I filtered results for dressers for the lowest priced item. Up pops this dresser for only $1. Upon further inspection I realized that the same dresser in other finishes were priced correctly at $1200. But this oak dresser was priced in error. I reluctantly added to my cart half expecting it to update the price... but it remained $1.
Plus they had free shipping that day, so my cart total was $1.06. I completed the transaction and then called their CS number. I explained and was put on hold for almost 20 minutes. The woman came back and confirmed it was an error but that they had to honor the price. The page it was on went unavailable before I could let anyone else in on my find... **An after thought to mention... freight shipping was normally $399 so it was a truly an amazing score.
"In the Blood"Giphy
Had intermittent anemia in college that I was trying to improve. But the blood work was about $100 each time.
I started donating blood and if I was too low they'd turn me away and I'd keep trying to up my iron. If I was high enough, I got to donate to a good cause.
"Normally this would be $70+"
This pizza place local to us had a glitch in their online ordering service for a while. You could technically combine 2 deals of 50% off. One was 50% off for any XL pizza of an order that was normally $30 or more, and the other was 50% off on a XL Pizza, with two 2-liter drinks, wings, and cheese fries at regular price.
If you put both of these coupons in, you only paid for the wings, cheese fries and pop which would be about $18. With delivery charge + tax it would be about $25. Plus 2 Extra Large Pizzas for literally free.
Normally this would be $70+. Any other coupon you could not combine, but this one worked together for some reason. For some other reason it would mark 50% off 2x on each pizza. We discovered this when we were ordering food the day we moved in. Feeding our friends that helped us move in. We thought it was a 1-time thing. Tried it a few weeks later and it worked. We did this at least once a month for the year or so we lived there.
We always gave the driver a $10-$20 tip and he knew what we were up to. The place never said anything about it for years. Eventually they updated their site a couple years ago, and we had moved out by then.
I worked at a place where you could request any day off with pay according to what you had accrued. We would ask for a day off with pay and then work our regular scheduled day off. 6 days paid. Work 5. Anything over 40 was OT. Few of us did this for years before management did the math.
Opened an Amex credit card and the introductory offer was 10% cash back in restaurants for the first year. I worked for a crappy chain restaurant as a server, so I would just stack a few of my large cash tables and put them on my card, then pay it off every week. Made an extra $20-$30 a shift.
Domino's pizza Australia. When ordering online, delivery charge was added to the first pizza. So I'd buy garlic bread, hot chips, chicken wings, a drink and some deserts and skip the delivery fee by paying by card online. Kept it up for 2 years before they "updated their terms" and shut the loophole.
There was a summer where I got free chipotle all the time. I had a gift card that had like 2 dollars left on it. I hadn't updated the app yet so it still had the "use my gift card and pay the rest in store." However either the computer at the store said I already paid the full amount ahead of time or I always came in during a time that they were swamped so no one ever asked me to pay. They also never charged my gift card. I got away with it until the app made me update it.
Sears has a program called Shop Your Way Rewards. They had some electronics items back in the day that would give you roughly the same amount of points back that the item cost. So a $40 pair of headphones would come with $30-$40 worth of the SYWR points. Well a group of enterprising folks found out how to generate as many coupons as we wanted and that $40 item became $25-$30 and the $30 in points became $40 by using coupons. You could also use points to pay for the item in question as long as you spent $0.01 in cash.
So I was getting +$9.99 for every order placed. Sometimes it was order 5 of these things for $200, use 2 awesome coupons and you'd get back $250 for $160 in points spent on the items. I bought so much stuff from Sears over the course of 2 years. Made roughly $50,000 selling the junk electronics on amazon/eBay. And was able to stock up on craftsman tools, clothes, new appliances, and a couple of recliners using the points I acquired. I ended up on a first name basis with Shelley (or Sheila maybe?) the SYWR rep that ended up banning all of my accounts lol.
"Props to my Grandma"
Coming to school 3 hours late. I found out that as long as you have a parent's note, you could come in late unlimited times. The only restriction is that after 15 days missed for a class, you'd fail it. So, at the beginning of the year I pressured my guidance counselor to move my two study periods to period 1/2 and a blowoff class (which I didn't need the credit for) to period 3.
Came to school at 10-10:30am every day my senior year opposed to 7am. Extra 3 hours of sleep, bringing fast food into lunch, and avoiding the hectic metal detectors made it well worth. Props to my grandma for writing 140 late notes for me at the start of the year. That my friends, is how you play the system.
"Boys and Girls"
My school had uniforms, it was kinda strict with those... but nowhere in the rules it stated that girls should wear the female uniform and boys the male uniform. Sooooooo, I bought the male one and wore it. A lot of teachers wanted to give me detention, but when I went over the school rule book and crap, they had to stay steaming mad because I was not breaking any rules. They assumed it was implied, but the only think stated was that the uniform was to be worn properly, be clean and fit well, but that's it.
By the time I graduated, a lot of students were doing about the same crap I was.
That rule changed shortly after my generation went off to university. sorry kiddos, maybe you will find new loopholes to give the inspector an aneurism.
"Coffee, Tea & Free Sympathy."
The Starbucks subsidiary Teavana (now out of business) would let you use your Starbucks rewards ("stars" or whatever they're called) to get loose tea by the ounce. However, there was an error in their point-of-sale system that only deducted 1 reward point, no matter how many you spent in a given transaction.
My wife and I spent 32 rewards on a couple pounds of the most expensive loose tea they had. She checked her rewards balance the next day, and holy shit, she still had 31 reward points left.
So we drove to a different Teavana and got a bunch of loose tea from them, and then another, and then another. We were in Los Angeles, so there were a lot of Teavanas within driving distance.
At retail price, we took a thousand bucks or so of free tea off their hands before the loophole was closed.
At an anime convention I used to go to, parking at the convention center would cost like $80 for the weekend. And the attached hotels used valet parking, that also cost a lot. But we found that if you parked all weekend but "lost" your ticket, they'd only charge you the daily max of like $20.
We did this for several years before the convention center wised up and started not allowing lost tickets on the convention weekend. Though around the same time, we started using hotels not attached to the convention center so there was other close parking available.
Used to go to the casino for a night out. My friend and I would go to the heavily subsidized gamblers restaurant at the back and get a really nice meal for $10. After which we would go to the sports betting room and play free billiards for an hour or two. The coffee machines made great hot chocolate (also free), so we availed ourselves of that service heavily. Once we were done, we would wander the floor of the pokies and usually find a few stray coins which we would place in the nearest machine and see what we could get. Never won anything, but it wasn't our money, so no loss. Then they took the billiards table away. Didn't seem worth it after that.
"Get Thee to the BART!"
BART (local lightrail service in the Bay Area) has just started rolling out reusable cards that you could load money on instead of having to use the one-and-done tickets. BART works by buying a ticket for the exact amount you need to get from A station to B station, putting said ticket into the entrance booth, riding BART, and putting your ticket into the exit booth. Some distances are super expensive, upwards of $15-20 each way.
So when they first started allowing people to buy the reusable tickets, they didn't associate any purchase fees with it and you could buy one at most BART stations. I bought one with $10 on it and wanted to take a trip to the financial district of SF, but I must've spaced out cuz I ended up in the Mission, which would've cost me over $10. At the time I just went through the station without thinking about the lack of funds to cover my ride and since the ticket worked, I just forgot about it until I checked the balance the next day and saw a negative balance.
This got me thinking... if BART allows for the reusable cards to have a negative balance, why not just buy several $2-3 cards and use those for long trips? Man I must've saved hundreds for the first few months it was working, but then they fixed it thanks to all the damn news media reporting it, like this: https://www.google.com/amp/s/sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2010/11/11/clipper-card-loophole-allows-2-ride-to-any-bart-station/amp/
At my work, if you want to purchase more holidays they calculate the cost via what they pay you per day and then spread the total cost over a 12 month period to make the purchase easier for you. So if you buy 1 extra day and your rate is £50 a day, you only pay £4.16 a month for example.
If your pay increases the cost scales with it which gave me an idea.
I knew I was in for a pretty big payrise so I bought 10 holidays just before it happened and asked if I could pay for them upfront, they agreed but thought I was mad.
I got the payrise but all the holidays were paid for upfront on my old salary and they didn't clock on so I saved about £400.
Carl's Jr. app offered something like 10 points for "checking-in" each time you visited. Once you had 100 points you could get a free $6 burger
Well, I figured out the "checking-in" counted as long as your cell phone was within maybe 100 yards or so of the restaurant.
And I drive past a Carl's Jr. right before my house.
So I would check in on the way to work each morning and check in again on the way home
Free burger every 5 days.
Then they changed it so 100 points was a BOGO instead but it was good while it lasted.
The Mc Cheapy.
McFlurries were like 4 bucks. All it is is ice cream in a cup with some shots of topping. They dont even mix it.
So we asked for a soft serve, 30c, two shots of toppings, $1, a cup and a spoon (free).
On Airbnb, some hosts allow you to change the date of the booking without any additional charges, (but would charge you if you cancelled the booking within certain hours) so if i had to cancel my booking without losing money i would change the date of my reservation to a month ahead of what it is currently and then in a couple of days cancel my reservation and get a full refund.
I haven't been able to afford to exploit this yet, but in my county, if you display a historic aircraft and open it to the public 12 times a year, you don't have to pay property taxes.
"I Love Tesco!"
In England there's a shop called Tesco's, all year they sell terrys chocolate oranges, but at Christmas they raise the price and give it a discount to encourage people to buy them despite it being the same price. Last year there was a loophole with stacking sales, so when you bought a toothbrush and three chocolate oranges, they gave you 50p. Between all my shopping there I must have bought about seventy. I was going to give them as gifts, but they're really good haha.
"I saved up..."
I worked at a restaurant in a hotel where you could collect "employee bucks" of sorts for going above and beyond at your job. You could use them to pay for things like a room stay or food in the hotel restaurant. They were worth a dollar each, but you obviously couldn't cash them in for real money.
I saved up about $450 worth, used $100 worth to pay for a hotel room on a day I was working, bought a soda from myself at the restaurant and tipped myself the extra ~$350 and signed it all to my room bill. Upon checkout it just shows that I spent $350 at the restaurant, not a breakdown of the bill. So then I used my employee bucks to pay off the hotel bill and got an extra $350 on my paycheck (minus taxes of course).
"We did it for ages..."
We had a situation at my old job (a huge, international company) where we'd work shifts, either 8/10/12 hours. Anything after 8 hours was overtime.
Sometimes we were scheduled for the next shift quite soon after the last one had ended, for example 05:00-12:00 and then 19:00-00:00.
Someone discovered that if there were less than 8 hours between shifts in a 24-hour period, anything after 8 hours total was paid the overtime rate.
We did it for ages and then in the context of some team chat, some twat asked one of the managers whether the above scheduling would still be feasible.
Turned out the management hadn't even noticed and stopped it immediately. And back to minimum wage we went.
In college there was a parking garage that charged around $2/hour. I couldn't get a parking pass but learned the heated garage that charged $2/hour had a $20 fee for a lost ticket. I would park my car in there for a few weeks at a time and when I had to leave would lose my ticket and be forced to pay the $20 lost ticket fee.
A parking pass was around $500 to park outside and I ended up paying around $300 in lost ticket fees to park in the heated garage.
"That final step..."
When I was at university, the pay-for campus printers all worked on a system where you'd print your documents, release them at the printer, they'd print, then after they've finished printing, it would then contact the server to get the cost deducted from your balance. That final step always took a while and I discovered in my first year that if I cancelled the print job as the final page was rolling out of the printer, it wouldn't deduct the cost from my balance. With this method I got free printing for nearly two years before they upgraded the system!
"The next day..."
One time I was at McDonalds with a friend and I got a McWrap for 2€, and I decided to try out filling out the survey at the bottom of the receipt for a free drink. I got my drink and to my surprise on the receipt I got for the drink there was another code for a survey, so I tried it again and it worked. We did it about 5 times until we decided to leave. The next day I decided to try it again and for some reason it didn't work. A month ago I was at McDonalds but unfortunately didn't work again.
"They didn't care..."
Moviepass was $10 a month and you could use it to get 1 movie ticket a day. I lived next door to a Regal, and I went everyday because Regal would give their reward points for every ticket purchased. They didn't care that Moviepass was paying for the tickets then giving them to me as part of my subscription. In 8 months I spent $80 on the subscription and saw everything that came out and I racked up enough Regal rewards points for about 50 free popcorns or drinks.
Moviepass went out of business but I still had all the Regal rewards.
"There was no specification..."Giphy
The local Wendy's had a survey on the back of their receipt that would get you one free burger of your choice with the purchase of any other "premium" burger.
They also had a special on where the Dave's classic single, considered a premium burger, was $2.
There was no specification that the free burger had to be "Of equal or lower value".
The first time I didn't even make a purchase, just went into the store, found a receipt near the garbage, filled out the survey, got my code, and then ordered their Asiago cheese chicken burger (their most expensive item) with a Dave's Single. 2 burgers for $2.
Then of course I had a receipt for that purchase, which lead to infinite $2 for 2 burger deals.
"I lived near a casino..."
I lived near a casino that would let you get chips using your credit card. I liked some if the show's and restaurants there but never gambled. So every time I went I'd charge $5K to my credit card for chips. Then I'd cash out at a different teller swing by the bank on the way home deposit the money and pay off my credit card. I did this maybe once a week.
Boom $5K of free points / cash back.
"Because of that app..."
Early in the smartphone world there was an app that gave you points for watching TV shows and ads that you could turn in for gift cards or discount codes.
The rewards were not great but over time and by waiting for gift card restock you could make out like a bandit. However, the shows they wanted you to watch were not my cup of tea (a lot of prime time shows and reality shows) and I wasn't home for a lot of them so I thought I was SOL. Turns out, the app had a grace period where if you had recorded the show on your TV you could still get credit, so I just pirated the shows and set my phone up to "watch" them while I did something else. Then I realized it only listened for about 2 minutes before it gave you credit so I was able to get through the log of shows in about 40 minutes and make a killing.
Because of that app I was able to get a kitchen aid stand mixer, a smoker and a bunch of other stuff because of the gift cards.
"By signing in..."Giphy
Microsoft used to have (still might for all I know) online training for videogame retailers in order to train store employees on current and upcoming products that they could sell. The training gave points for each video and knowledge quiz you took, which could be exchanged for free games, computer hardware, store gift cards, etc.
By signing in under a random Gamestop store ID number (which was posted online), skipping the video, and brute forcing the knowledge quiz, was able to rack up a whole bunch of points and get several XBox games and simple computer hardware for essentially nothing.
Never worked a day of retail in my life.
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If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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