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Predatory Business Tactics That Should Be Illegal But Aren't

Reddit user jwwin asked: 'What is a predatory business that shouldn't be legal, but is?'

Demonstrator holds sign that reads, "Drop this act of corporate gree!"
Patrick Perkins/Unsplash

Companies are typically in business for profit, and very few have the goal of keeping the customer's interests in mind.

But some corporations go even further to get more out of their customer in exchange for their "quality services" and as a result, the line between general business and scam becomes blurred.

Redditor jwwin asked:

"What is a predatory business that shouldn't be legal, but is?"

Students paying an exorbitant amount in tuition in order to seek higher learning should be warned there are additional expenses to cover for.

A Textbook Example

"College textbooks, they will release an 'updated' edition every semester but the information doesn't change. And then after you spent a fortune on the books the places that buy textbooks will give you like 5% of what you paid for the book."

– teethalarm

A "Double Whammy"

"Former Prof here. I talked with a book rep about this once and learned a lot. It is a bit complicated but worth understanding. Book publishers rely on large quantity sales to make any money on a book because the cost of production is so high up front (author, editors, printing, etc.). So, for a book to be profitable, it has to sell a lot of copies to spread the cost of production across all the books. A paperback in the fiction section might sell 100,000 or more. A textbook might sell as few as 1,000. So, the publisher needs everyone to buy the book to break even."

"Now add colleges into the mix. Somewhere in the 1980s (give or take), colleges saw publishers selling books and making larger profits on them than the college bookstore was making per book. So they got the bright idea to start buying used texts and reselling them. Before that, a text would come out and 97% (making the number up but it was close to that) of the students would buy the book in year one, 85% in year two, 75% in year three, 60% in year four and 50% in year five. A $50 dollar book would cost $25 to make (again, making the numbers up), sell to the bookstore for $40 ($15 publisher profit), and be sold to the student for $50 ($10 bookstore profit). Across the five years, the producer would make a profit."

"Then, college bookstores began offering students $25 for a used book and selling it for $40 ($15 profit - $5 higher than that of a new book). Students would then prefer the $40 used book over the $50 new book. But that cut the publisher's sales from 97% to 50% in the first year. Because they could not sell as many books they had to do two things: (1) raise the initial price of the text to cover the production cost in 1-2 years rather than 4-5 years, and (2) cut the cycle down from 4-5 years to 1-2 years to ensure that they got sales of the book. That is a double whammy. Texts that used to cost $50 now cost $300 or more. And they have a new version out every 18 months or so. Students refuse to pay that price and that cuts the sales numbers even further forcing the price up again. And, with new editions out so frequently, it is harder to sell them back to the bookstore."

"That's why you see so many 'course packs' now - where a professor will pick a few pages from a book to give to the students. I went from having nearly every student purchasing a text in my early career to having zero students with a text late in my career. Your professor probably dislikes the state of affairs as much as you do. I cut down what books I would select because I could not justify students paying that much for what they were getting. I would also recommend students look for older editions on Amazon and the like which got me in trouble with my administration because I was not supporting the bookstore. But, it was difficult to teach from a text that no one had or had access to. The University's desire to generate revenue from texts truly was killing the chicken because it was not producing enough eggs."

"So look for an older edition on Chegg, Amazon, or the like and match it up with what your professor is teaching from the new edition. You are right, it probably has not changed. Be careful for the problems at the end of the chapter - that is often where the changes are."

– BewnieBound

These businesses parade as services but they are notorious for taking more than what you're willing to pay for.

For A Future Owner

"Rent to Own (furniture, appliances, TVs, video game systems, etc.) The mark up on the interest over time ends up costing 4 times the purchase - or more."

– PartyAlarmed3796

"Well the trick is to not pay (seems to be what a lot of people do)."

– Expensive_Ad2695

"Which is why those places are so expensive and why they're actually kinda necessary for some people."

"They're taking a pretty big risk on people with no credit, and if a person with shi*ty credit needs a refrigerator or other necessary appliance, there's usually nobody else willing to work with them. Also, most of them report to credit agencies so you can build your credit through them."

"I'm not a fan by any means and I hate that people are buying video game systems and couches through them, but I still think they're filling a need."

– Pitiful-Pension-6535

Money Sucker

"Payday loan companies – they're like financial vampires, sucking the life out of people with high-interest rates."

– neonliolia

"And yet most of them are owned by major banks... hmmmm."

"Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank, JP Morgan/Chase collectively all own the largest payday lender companies."

– Bramtyre

"In Canada, there is an effort to turn Canada Post into a kind of bank that offers basic banking services to the most vulnerable. Not sure what happened to that, but it was an alternative to check cashing and payday loan rackets."

– hobbitlover

Greedy Event Vendor

"Ticket Master."

– LTVOLT

"Agreed. We went to a preseason hockey game the other week. Tickets were $5 each but there was around $8 of Ticketmaster fees for each one and you had to use their app to get in the door because the barcodes change like every 30 seconds or something. It's ridiculous."

– darfus1895

Where can citizens turn to receive genuine care without drying up their financial resources?

Big Pharma

"Health Insurance and over priced perscription drugs."

"Wife is type 1 diabetic. Her pump is over $1000 a month WITH 50% coverage. $177 for just the sensor pack. We have the best coverage we can afford."

– Dukeboys_

"US pays the middle man for health care coverage. The middle man and the health care provider come up with "health packages" you can buy into, just in case you get sick. It's just sick how they funnel money from the middle class into this."

– dcoolidge

"Healthcare insurance industry. They can straight up reject claims you should be covered for and make you jump through near endless hoops to get them to pay for the service that is part of your plan."

– ColdHardPocketChange

All Out To Get Ya

"Homeopathic 'medicine' sellers."

"Psychics"

"Domain search engine registration scams (fake emails or physical mail that shows up saying 'your domain search registration is about to expire' and look exactly like warnings that your domain name is about to expire)"

"Fake homeowner warranty/car warranty scams loaded with so many limitations and exclusions they’ll basically never pay out."

"Multilevel marketing systems like Amway."

– 4wqrewtety

Losing Sight Of Kids' Well-Being

"From my experience working in group homes for youth are awful. The owners only want money and the more kids in care the more money."

– OddReputation3765

Going Nowhere Fast

"Car insurance."

"You get penalized for using it. Even just once in some cases."

– Effective_Sundae_839

"1000% agree. I was rear ended by a hit and run driver while i was stopped at a stop sign. Literally came to a stop for 3 seconds max and got destroyed. Car insurance wanted to give me 4k and shut me up. It’s called the nuisance fee. I eventually lawyered up and got 25k out of it. But like wtf. B*tch that’s what we PAY FOR, following renewal of my policy it increased hundreds of dollars a month and that was even after i switched to a different company. 'A claim is a claim regardless who is at fault.'”

– HitBackZach

Businesses taking advantage of their customers should be a crime, yet here we are.

What companies can you think of that legally continue to look after their own profitable interests above providing a decent service?

Non-Sexual Things Married People Look Foward To Doing When Their Partner's Away

Reddit user shaka_sulu asked: 'Married folks, what's a non-sexual thing you look forward doing at home only when your spouse is away?'

Man enjoying sangria solo
Sangria Señorial/Unsplash

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

That scenario could apply to many situations, but it generally refers to an individual enjoying temporary freedom to do as they please in the absence of a foe or constant companion.

In romantic couplings, this may involve a spouse or significant other finally engaging in private activity that could be frowned upon in the presence of the other person.

Curious to hear examples, Redditor shaka_sulu asked:

"Married folks, what's a non-sexual thing you look forward doing at home only when your spouse is away?"

Some people are happy to take up extra space.

Spacious Parking

"Parking my car in the middle of the garage."

– starkpaella

"Genius answer. It always brings joy."

– Heynicejobtoday

Hush

"The quiet. My husband constantly has the TV on, even if he’s not watching, and I enjoy silence."

– 2workigo

"This. My wife lived alone for many years and always has the TV on, even uses the one in the bedroom as noise to fall asleep to. The first thing I do when she’s gone is make sure all the noisemakers are shut off around the house. Well, except the cats. They don’t have off buttons."

– jaybeeg

Bed Positions

"Sleeping on the diagonal."

– snogweasel

"When you're there, I sleep lengthwise And when you're gone I sleep diagonal in my bed."

– downvotingprofile

Quiet Viewing

"I had a day off work today. Husband was at work, kids at school, so after I did the school run I came home, wrapped myself in our softest heated blanket, lay on the sofa and watched 3 movies with no interruptions. It was bliss."

– PheonixKernow

These Redditors can finally revel in their respective indulgences when they finally have the place to themselves.

Taste In The Finer Things

"The wife is a picky eater. When she is away, I either make a meal that she doesn’t like or I go to a restaurant that she doesn’t care for."

"It’s the little things. 😂"

– aizzo4

All Mine

"I cook almost all the meals. Almost being that we occasionally get take out. When I have a day off and my husband is working and my kids are at school/daycare, I go get breakfast and Waffle House. By myself. I sit there and eat a waffle, two scrambled eggs and bacon and I DONT HAVE TO F'KING SHARE! My husband despises Waffle House, but f'k I love those waffles. My parents used to have a waffle iron that made the traditional style waffles with the tiny squares until the cord shorted out. I miss them."

– missag_2490

Cheers

"My wife is in recovery, six years sober, and I support her in every way possible including, obviously, no alcohol in the house. If she’s away for a few days, I’ll grill me some steak tacos and wash them down with a really good Cabernet."

– Tom__mm

"I’m a recovering addict and I think you’re a great husband."

– JLHuston

Screen Time

"Watching TV shows he'd never watch, on the big TV."

– sexrockandroll

"There isn't an ancient aliens, shows from the early 80s (chuck Norris and Jack klugman), or horror movies that he won't watch - pausing every 3 seconds in case I miss something - that WE have to watch. When he travels for work I relish the quiet. Even the weather channel is enjoyable."

"My love for my husband has no end but he has the stupidest taste in shows yet whines if I would rather deep clean the basement than deal with any of it."

"But I can only deep clean the basement so many times..."

– Big-Mine9790

To each his/her/their own.

The Organizer

"Deep cleaning and reorganizing. I know, I'm a real party."

– Dependent_Top_4425

"You are my people. The garage door is hardly down before I'm getting busy!"

"There is not one thing better in this whole world than having some alone time in my spotless house."

– Individual-Army811

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

"Hike all day, get the sh**ty chinese takeout that she hates and I love despite knowing full well it’s objectively not good, and drink some nice beer while watching movies all night."

– holographoc

Establishing Order

"Putting things down and having them still be there when I want them."

"Having a clean house that stays that way for more than 30 seconds. I love him, but he's just a whirlwind of plates and seltzer cans some days."

– Lyeta1_1

When my husband's away, I watch all the horror films that have been stacking up in the queues of my streaming platforms.

He has a weak stomach for gore and violence, so we often avoid home invasion movies or slasher flicks and instead stick to comedy, drama, or dramedies, and documentaries.

Which is all well and good.

But when I have the place all to myself, I bust out the wine and Doritos and watch the latest Halloween or Scream movies I've been missing out on.

We've all had a conversation with someone where they say something where they've said something incorrect or inaccurate.

Sometimes, our gut reaction is just to laugh, as it was an honest mistake, such as mixing up a pair of celebrities or misusing or mispronouncing a word.

Other times, we might feel the need to put them in their place and not only correct them but educate them.

Then there are the times when we have just heard something so shockingly inane that we are left completely and utterly speechless.

Redditor Moo1124 was eager to hear all the dumb things the Reddit community heard which left them dumbfounded, leading them to ask:

"What's the stupidest thing you've ever heard anyone say?"

Before You Denounce Something, Make Sure You Know What It Is

"'I don't believe in astronomy'."

"We asked her if she meant astrology, and she asked, 'which is the one where like, you can tell what stars are made of?''

"We confirmed that was astronomy'."

"'Yeah, I don't believe in that'."- octohog

That Explains All The Traffic Jams?

"That when you press on the horn of your car, it lowers the amount of air in your front right tire due to it helping make that horn sound."- Boomstick123456

Oh, Dear...

"I was walking around the ruins of the ancient cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde just outside of Mancos, Colorado, (where the Ancient Puebloans lived from approximately 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D.) when a visitor asked the tour guide:"

"'Why did they build their homes so far from the highway?'"- badwolf1013

driving los angeles GIF by HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORYGiphy

Ribbet...

“'I can shoot with my left hand, I can shoot with my right hand, I'm amphibious'."- Master_Grape5931

Racist No Matter What...

"Apparently when my daughter was first born she looked vaguely East Asian."

"Enough, at least, for the nurses to ask if I was sure it was my baby."

"Now that was an incredibly weird thing to say to a new dad meeting his daughter for the first time, but it wasn't the stupidest thing someone said about this situation."

"That happened when I was retelling the above story to a client in a meeting."

"He asked to see a photo of my kid as a newborn, remarked how she really did 'look Asian', and then proceeded to ask if I thought my child might end up having an Asian accent when she got older."- JoeyCalamaro

"Where are you from, China or Asia?"- SonaPen22

Cbs No GIF by HULUGiphy

When Life Gives You Lemons

"Asked someone if they drove a stick."

"They responded, 'no, I drive a car'."

"Now I have a dad joke I’ll remember forever."- 99problemsbut

ID Please...

"I once found a big bulldog in my back yard."

"I don't own a bulldog."

"He was a big friendly, but slow witted guy."

"He look healthy and had a collar but no tags so I knew he was a local."

"I made sure he had water and went to the front yard to start knocking on doors."

"As soon as I stepped outside I saw the family three houses down all gathered in their front yard."

"So another case closed for our young detective."

"I walked over to them and said, 'You guys missing a bulldog?'"

"The mother looked at me and said, 'Is his name Tyson?'"

"The question took me aback."

"I mean, he didn't have tags."

"They knew he didn't have tags."

"So all I could think to say was, 'He didn't say'."

"'But I'm pretty sure he's yours'."

"To this day I wonder if that woman knew how dumb that question was."- Spodson

looks stupid english bulldog GIFGiphy

Under The Influence

"Stoned friend ."

"What year is February in?'"- IHave47Teeth

Woof Woof...

"My teacher told a class of 16-17 year olds about that super loyal dog in Japan who walked to the train station daily for nine years to wait for his owner, who died at work."

"After hearing that story, a girl raised her hand and asked 'Why didn't somebody just tell the dog?'"- Senator_Ruth_Martin

That's Why The FDA Warns Against It...

"When I was 12 years old a friend told me 'smoking is good for you because the smoke makes a shield around your heart when you breathe it in'."

"He argued that the smoke could prevent you from being stabbed or shot."

"Even at 12 I knew he was a moron."- ipondy

There's Denying Global Warming, And Then...

"Solar panels will cause a global ice age, because the law of thermodynamics states energy cannot be created or destroyed, so obviously they must be removing heat from the air."

"With no sense of irony of the scale nor efficiency (or lack thereof) of solar panels and their capacity to cool."- peptobiscuit

In Debt, Maybe...

"I knew a Finance major in college who thought he was worth $20k because he had two credit cards with $10k limit each."- alano134

No one loves a know-it-all.

Especially when they don't actually know anything at all...


A man with an ostentatious watch rifles through a wardrobe
Photo by charlesdeluvio

Shoplifting is a prevalent issue, but why do people do it?

Some reasons can be as banal as boredom, but other are far more intruiging.

Redditor WineOhCanada wanted to understand why people steal, so they asked:

"People who shoplift on the regular: why do you do it?"

I loved shoplifting.

Until I was caught, that is. I was a price tag switcher.

I apologize.

So Excited

Happy Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy

"It makes me feel alive. Jk I don't any more but as a kid, it was for sure a thrill thing."

silly-billy-goat

The Need

"I’m going to give an actual honest answer as someone who has not done this in many years… it becomes addicting."

anewchapteroflife

"Came here to say this. Back in my high school days, I would do it all the time. It's like a rush. Now my shoplifting days are when I forgot the can of soup on the bottom of the grocery cart and don't realize til I'm loading it in the car."

TheRumpleForesk1n

"I used to work in loss prevention. A lot of times we would let you go; especially teenagers. We knew you would be back and have pictures on the wall of you. We focused on shoplifting rings with a higher dollar amount and employees. Employees rob you blind."

taco_cop

The Hit

"I was greedy and had poor impulse control. While shoplifting was terrifying... having the shiny new thing after gave me a dopamine hit. I got caught three or four times and I thank Christ I was under 18 each and every time."

happyele

"It was less about greed for me I think, I've never been addicted to any drugs, whenever I got caught I would always test negative for anything, the custody sergeant who would take my fingerprints/DNA/drug swab would say 'Sean you're the only one that comes in regular that's not on any drugs, what's going on?' I explained that I was homeless, lost my job because the company I worked for folded, and life just kicked me in the butt."

"Flirty Chez I called her, and she would always give me extra food whenever I was brought in, I just thought that was how she was, then one day she said I need a girlfriend and I shot her down, no more flirty Chez. She was shooting her shot and I rejected her without even knowing it."

hardcoresean84

Exchanges

"Much to my mom’s embarrassment, I was a serial shoplifter as a baby. At least I had the presence of mind to take off my socks and shoes and leave them scattered around the store in exchange."

UsualFrogFriendship

"I was once on a camping trip with my parents. We left the campsite for a day and when we got back our soap had been stolen from the tent. Just our soap, nothing else was taken, but we did find the shoes of the perpetrator!"

"This kid left them right at the entrance of our tent, so it was not difficult to find out who did it. When we went to get the soap back and give him back his shoes, sadly the kid threw it over a fence, so we never got it back."

ptbroeke

Influences

Breaking Bad Crying GIFGiphy

"My easily influenced mind was corrupted by TV. If it's good enough for Marie Schrader then it's good enough for me."

DavosLostFingers

TV rots your brains and decision making capabilities.

Do the opposite of your favorite characters.

End of Times

Nbc Shoplifting GIF by SuperstoreGiphy

"When I was bedridden due to Covid, I had a friend who shoplifted a whole damn box worth of medicine from different drugstores."

"I was very impressed and confused, as I didn't ask for it. Great friend though!"

pepper-blu

Criminals

"As a former loss prevention officer, most of the people I stopped were stealing to resell the items. Many people were clearly drug addicts and many people I stopped had meth and other drugs on them. Not every shoplifter is stealing to buy drugs, but a ton of them are."

"A lot of other people just stole items they wanted, and some people just have a stealing problem and would take whatever random BS they came across and thought would be easy to steal. If I ever saw someone stealing food I'd usually look the other way, but that was pretty rare to see someone taking food, it was usually clothes, electronics, makeup, or tools."

BigBudZombie

The Rush

"Addiction. And that's addiction to shoplifting, not drugs. It's a rush. Confidence grows with each success. It becomes an obsession. It brings an amount of power when stealing from giant corporations. For me, this question is similar to asking an addict why they are addicted to drugs or alcohol."

"I haven't shoplifted in three years. I attended Shoplifters Anonymous and continue to go to therapy which are both very helpful. I'm very lucky I didn't lose everything."

tacoterrarium

Self-Control

"In high school, I dated this guy who would shoplift and I got influenced to start doing it. After we broke up I kept doing it all throughout college since I was a broke college student who had no self-control. I only shoplifted from big retail stores and told myself it was 'okay.' Post college I stopped because the possible consequences as an adult and to my career were not worth it."

isatacobelle

There was no good in it

"I used to do it as a means to support my drug habit. I wouldn't call what I was doing shoplifting though. I moved the volume and high-end merchandise. Honda generators from Home Depot or Lowe's. Shopping carts full of Tide pods, and Similac baby formula. I'd hit Nordstrom during the holidays for their perfumes and colognes. COACH, Burberry for purses."

"I made a good chunk of change from it, yet I was still homeless. Most of my money went to drugs, and hotel rooms at shi**y hotels. I'm no longer like this. I reached out and went to rehab this past July. I now have 132 days clean and sober, and work an honest job. My life's boring as hell now and I love it. Even though people on the street complimented and applauded my skills."

"I was never proud of myself for any of the stealing I was doing. There was no good in it. Now I feel good about myself and can be proud of what I do. It's a nice feeling to go into a store and not have to be aware of my surroundings and not tighten up when the greeters ask for a receipt. Because now, I can happily show them one. Lol."

Crotch-Monster

Think First

Steve Austin Wrestling GIF by WWEGiphy

"I work for a 3-letter retail store in NV and we have a ton of theft. I see a lot of random products for sale on the FB marketplace. If it adds up to over $1,200 it’s grand larceny and you get arrested."

"Walmart also allows up to a certain amount to be returned with no receipt and you get cash back."

samisalwaysmad

What have we learned kids?

Theft never really pays.

Do you have any experiences? Let us know in the comments below.

job interview
Van Tay Media on Unsplash

I once burst out laughing during a job interview.

It was for an internal position so I knew all of the interviewers well, but even if I hadn't I doubt I could have kept a straight face.

What cracked me up?

This interview question:

"If I attended a backyard BBQ with your last boss, what do you think they'd say about you?"

After I stopped laughing,

I told the interviewer—who happened to be my then boss' boss:

"I'm sorry, but that sounds like a question from the Miss America Pageant."

The interview panel got a laugh out of that. And yes, I did answer the question.

So what odd, absurd or just plain strange interview questions have people gotten?

Keep reading...Show less