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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?

The Weirdest Animal Facts People Know

Reddit user FunChemical3182 asked: 'What is the weirdest animal fact you know?'

platypus
Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

People accumulate facts throughout life on a wide variety of subjects.

Some are mundane while others are weird, wild or wonderful.

One subject a lot of people focus on is animals. Most people have a favorite animal that fascinates them that they want to know all about.

Keep reading...Show less

Content Warning: Mental Health, Suicide, Domestic Violence

We all know that we technically can't make anyone else do anything, and we certainly can't "fix" other people. Other people will only change or do something if they choose to; the only person we can really control is ourselves.

But some people really love to try, often to hilarious and terrible results.

Already cringing, Redditor Dapper_Algae6280 asked:

"People who entered a relationship thinking 'I can fix them,' how did that go?"

Time for an Upgrade

"There is a weird thing that happens when you 'fix' someone. They tend to think if you liked them broken, then they deserve better than you now that they are better than they were."

- TheRealLifePotato

"As horrible as it sounds, to have a happy, emotionally healthy relationship you need two happy, emotionally healthy people. If you want to be in that sort of relationship, you need to fix yourself first."

- inactiveuser247

"This right here. After three sh*tty relationships in a row, I realized this is a me problem. I took a few years off from dating to reflect and really learn to see red flags and understand myself so I wouldn't make that mistake again."

- MikoSkyns

No More Spark

"My now ex had PTSD, depression, and a variety of other issues she claimed. After two and a half years of dating (being my first and only relationship), she became more social, less suicidal, and overall happier as a person."

"She decided to cheat on me with someone else due to 'lack of communication' and us 'no longer having a spark". The irony."

"For context, we were 17 at the time, in high school, and I worked full-time hours with initiatives to hang out, which were refused. Red flags everywhere."

- elteragxo

"Your situation is eerily similar to mine, what the f**k?"

"I met a girl with mental and emotional issues and decided to fix them through a healthy relationship. She recovered and found someone else because 'the spark was gone.'"

- Aimlessdrifter8778

Misery Loves Company

"Now we are both broken."

- Brave-Butterscotch76

"The same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She married a very negative and miserable guy while saying 'he will get better' or 'we’re working on it,' and now she’s a very negative and miserable person."

- Moreofyoulessofme

Getting to Watch a Partner Grow

"At first we were only f**king. I don't know if I ever thought I could fix her, but I did fall in love with this beautiful lady with severe anxiety, depression, and trust issues after being in a domestically violent relationship."

"We were f**k buddies for about six months and I got a glimpse of her issues but I still went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend The heart wants what it wants."

"We dated for a year and a half (two years since meeting), and I actually got to see her at her worst a few times, but I was finally able to get her therapy with a great psychiatrist and treatment, this is when I asked her to move in with me. We've been living together for six years."

"Four years ago, she had the worst breakdown I've seen. She went full-on paranoid, wall-scratching nervous, she was even doubting me and my motives to be there. It was a very difficult week, and she left the house and went to her mom's house in the middle of the night."

"Eventually, her therapist was able to get a hold of her and get her back to her senses. Her doctor then suggested that I also should go to a counselor or at the very least we should do couples therapy so we had strong bases for our relationship and we did."

"I now look back and won't change her for anything in the world, she has grown so much, and she glows right now. I now see her smile and it's glorious. She's achieved a great position too and it's amazing just to see how much happier she looks."

- Spiritual-Narwhal666

Not a Match

"I fixed what I wanted to fix, but that still didn't make us right for each other. In the end, I think she's in a much happier place than she could have been, so I think it was worth the time invested."

"We were wrong for each other, but at least we both came out better positioned to receive the happiness that would come to us later."

- MrWeb20

In Their Nature

"A couple of months into the relationship, I fixed him."

"After some irritation, he stopped peeing on the carpet. Now, my cat still brings mice, but I guess, that's just his nature."

- mobileJay77

The Importance of Boundaries

"I don't know if I would say that I 'fixed' her (and I wasn’t trying to), but I definitely taught my last ex the importance of being able to set boundaries and to stop going out of her way to please people who consistently hurt her."

"Eventually this would lead to us breaking up, but I have no regrets. I have issues of my own that were wearing her down and she did what she had to. Same rules apply. We’re both better off because of it."

- TylerTexas10

Happily Ever After

"She fixed herself and I fixed myself with each other's support, and we are living happily ever after, it seems, with ongoing work on ourselves and our relationship."

- DonPronote

An Uncommon Ending

"I didn’t fix them. But I tried my hardest to be patient and supportive while they fixed themself. Sometimes I was better at support than other times. Sometimes they were better at fixing than other times."

"It ended up being worth the patience. Things have been great with us for years now. I know this isn’t the normal outcome though, and I feel incredibly lucky."

- I_Invented_Frysauce

A Little Help from Our Friends

"Usually I'm the one people try to fix.. I think the repeated attempts definitely helped me. Now my current partner gets to enjoy the previous hard work."

"...I think I just got tired of hurting the people who love me and fixed myself, though."

- addrien

All Their Idea

"You can't fix anyone. You can only fix yourself, but if you really want to try and fix someone, you have to make it seem like it's their idea."

- BuhrZap

A Helping Hand

"I don't think you can fix anyone. You can only help them fix themselves, which is very different."

"If someone is actively trying to fix themselves, and you can actually be the person to support them through it, then it can work, but it could also not work."

"I do think there should be a distinction between the two. I mean, trying to fix someone is a bad idea, but if you like someone and are willing to support them in their journey to fix themselves, it's probably not the worst idea in the world."

- brooksie1131

Lesson Learned

"It went so well that they managed to cure me of the desire to 'fix' anybody."

"I’ll toss you a life preserver if you’re trying to save yourself. But I’m not jumping in the water with anyone so they can drown me on their way out."

"People who need to hit rock bottom in order to better themselves will use you to soften their landing if you let them."

- GlobalPermit5428

Best Friends Forever

"It went well but it didn’t work out."

"So we kind of fixed each other we were both at very weird points in our lives and we only dated for about one and a half years. We didn’t need a romantic partner but we did need a friend in each other."

"We’re both in better places now and the best of friends. We both want each other to be part of our lives just not as lovers."

"All and all, I say we got the best outcomes in our lives."

- CODMAN627

So Worth the Investment

"He was an Uber driver with only a high school diploma."

"I married him anyways and bankrolled his education because he was fun as f**k to be around, was the smartest person I’ve ever met, and loves me like I’m the only woman on Earth."

"Now, he’s a computer engineer and we are landlords together and have bought investment properties. We are very happy together."

"Partners work together to create success. I think selfish people ask, 'what’s in it for me?' Marriage is about selflessness."

"I’m glad I sacrificed for his education. His mind would be wasted otherwise and he’s a genius."

- BabyElephantWalks

In most of these cases, the situation went poorly after a Redditor tried to change someone, and for good reason. If that person isn't ready or doesn't want to be fixed, it's only going to damage the relationship.

There's also something to be said about unconditional love. If you don't want to date the person exactly as who they are right now, why are you even trying to date them?

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Guy at the gym
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

Tough guys put on a facade that indicates to others that they always know what's going on.

But their confidence doesn't always match their intellect, which is probably why they cover their insecurities by walking around and trying to show everyone who's really the boss.

If that's the case, they should keep their mouths shut because not everything that comes out of their mouth needs to be heard.

Yet, it can be amusing to everyone else.

Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor PrototypeShadowBlitz asked:

"Reddit, what is the stupidest thing you've heard from the 'alpha male' community?"

You might find these guys at a bar.

The Dude Must Be Hungry

"Had a run in once with a group of young lads about something in a bar and one of them said we are top of the food chain bro and you will be the prey."

– insertitherenow

"'Whatever, mall ninja" -proper response."

– TheEighthLord

If The Shoe Fits

"That they were an alpha male."

– I_Have_A_Name37654

"The use of 'Alpha Male,' unironically is every indication that you're dealing with a child's understanding of manhood."

– 88Dubs

Brat Pack

"Me and my bros are all alpha males."

– SonOfDadOfSam

"I was skiing one time and rode the lift with a guy that said, 'I don't feel no pain. I live with 5 roommates and none of us feel any pain.' Okay, bud. That's a really interesting coincidence."

– NicPizzaLatte

They sure thrive on making sexist comments.

Contagious Femininity

"A coworker said, 'I don't spend too much time with my girlfriend because I'll become too feminine.'"

– Lazy_Natural6154

"FELLAS IS IT GAY?!"

– aliebabadegrote

Sexist Categorization

"I have been called a beta for saying that my wife makes more money than I do. She works in a more lucrative field and is more educated than I am, so it makes perfect sense that she makes more than I do."

"So I came back, and this post has really blown up. There's just a few things I want to clarify."

"1- I have only ever been called a beta online."

"2- I work full-time in project management. I have a master's degree. I have a 6 figure salary."

"3- My wife has a PhD and works in finance. She also has a 6 figure salary, it's just a higher salary than my own."

"4- I'm sorry to anyone who might feel as though my original post misled them."

– ExaminationDouble240

It's Teamwork

"A real man would be proud of his wife for achieving success, and not fall for that sort of insecure bullsh*t."

"It's not a contest, that's the real joke here. Good on you for seeing the big picture."

– Mrbeardoesthethings

Do these roles about parenting sound familiar?

Childish Things Are Too Girly

"Real men don't take their kids trick or treating is one that I heard recently."

– constructionguy89

"Related. Guys who brag about not changing diapers, not playing 'girly' games, etc. Essentially guys who brag that their only contribution to fatherhood is money and masculine things like fishing or football. Even then some of them brag about not paying a lot of child support to prove they didn't let the system take advantage of them."

"I can't imagine a life so empty my only accomplishment worth bragging about was being a terrible parent."

– Green7000

This Woman's Work

"I was told that taking care of my kids is woman's work. Apparently it's concerning that I try to spend so much of my free time with them. Oddly enough the meatheads at my grappling club think it's sweet I occasionally have my daughters' hair clips on and nails painted."

– MrFunktasticc

People discussed rules in the bedroom.

Never Submissive

"That a man is turned off when their wife/girlfriend seduces them, because if she wants sex and shows it she is a sl*t, also making the man the submissive one…"

– kamalaophelia

Stifling Emotions

"Not the whole community, but was cuddling with a guy once and could tell he was trying not to get emotional over something that was bothering him. He said, quite literally, 'it's not alpha male behaviour.' I told him that I liked that he showed emotions sometimes, and he looked disgusted by the fact that I pointed it out."

– LambLifts

In high school, a classmate who was on the football team said I was a "sissy" for listening to classical music.

The other classmates laughed at me, which was hardly surprising since all of the guys on our unbeatable football team were considered stars on campus.

This kind of mockery was a typical day for me.

I can laugh at their idiotic comments now but back then, I don't know why I ever let them get under my skin.

Man standing behind large flowers
Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

We've all done things, or in some cases, regularly do things that others might consider weird.

Even so, we often feel no shame or embarrassment and embrace how unusual these habits are, and take our friends teasing or laughing at us for doing so in stride.

Sometimes, however, we might not like to advertise some of our unusual habits or actions and make every effort to keep them a well-guarded secret.

As raised eyebrows are much easier to take than blatant judgment from friends and peers.

Redditor Key_Nectarine_1969 was curious to hear all the weird things people have done which they still keep under lock and key, leading them to ask:

"What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done that you could only tell people anonymously?"

The Devil [Dogs] Is In The Detail...

"All throughout middle school, there was someone who tucked unwrapped Hostess Devil Dogs into the toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms, so that when you pulled some toilet paper out, the devil dog would fall out into your hand."

"We had to have an assembly about it."

"That person... Was me."- bejeweled_sky

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

"Was drunk at an escape room with coworkers."

"It was an extreme one where you are handcuffed the entire time."

"I decided in my drunken state that it would be bada** to dislocated my thumb and slip off the cuffs like the movies."

"It wasn't."

"We got kicked out, my coworkers were weirded out and I had to go to the hospital."

"I quit a few weeks later."

"White collar wasn't for me."- Grotesque-penguin

The Bread Of Heaven

"Stole over 1,000 wafers from church because I really liked the communion wafers & didn’t know where else to get them."

"I felt really blessed & cursed for a long time."- hALLIEcinate

catholic the exorcist GIFGiphy

Retracing Steps...

"Once I got off the subway in NYC and I was super early for an appointment."

"So I picked a random guy and just followed him on foot for like 30 minutes, pretending I was like a private detective or something."

"Always kept about a half block behind."

"He turned this way and that, and eventually went into a building I had lived in 9 years earlier."

"It was weird, and so was I."- OKsurewhynotyep

Hygeine Be Damned...

"I found a dead rat in a field when i was younger and kissed it bc I wanted to say goodbye."- qeleia

exercise push up GIFGiphy

Bad Decisions Have A Way Of Getting Back To You...

"We got super drunk and ate a ton of spicy food in New Orleans."

"Back at the B&B, the food started to come out the back side."

"I was sitting on the toilet sh*tting bricks of fire."

"At that moment, the booze decided to hang a u-turn."

"The trash can was out of reach and I couldn't risk standing up from the toilet for even 5 seconds."

"The closest receptacle was the bathtub."

"I managed to turn in such a way that I could keep shi*ting in the toilet while projectile vomiting into the tub."

"Both ended up clogged, and there was no plunger."

"I had to call the owner to explain that I had destroyed both their toilet and their tub simultaneously."- HoopOnPoop

Things Best Left To Professionals...

"My partner is weirdly prone to cysts."

"I had to drain a 3 inch cyst on her back (thankfully she had a dr's appt the next week), then multiple other little cysts on her legs and chest."

"I never told her to her face but that first giant cyst literally haunted me, the amount of pus and blood I saw....good heavens."- SleepyBiologist

uruguay spot GIF by sargentoPezGiphy

At Least A Lesson Was Learned...

"When I was walking to school one morning, I saw a kid (7-8 yo?) kicking a dog."

"I ran over & kicked the kid and asked him how it felt."

"He ran off and no one saw."

"Still not sorry."- sneezyailurophile

All Creatures Deserve Love

"I was extremely socially isolated as a child and tried to make friends with the coyotes who lived in the woods by our home."

'I caught one in a snare and fed and kept her."

"I wanted a friend."- letthetreeburn

That's What Friends Are For...

"My wife and her best friend pick me up from a frat party black out drunk."

"Then they helped me take a sh*t on the toilet, wiped my a** and then gave me a shower and put me to bed naked."

"Don’t remember any of it."- nc3100

Party Love GIF by Chris CiminoGiphy

Not The Right Kind Of Manure...

"One time I went outside at like 2AM and put the garden hose nozzle into my butthole and sprayed some water into it, then farted it out onto the lawn."

"Basically gave myself an enema with a garden hose."

"I did this because I was bored."

"My neighbour saw me and told my dad (lived at home at the time)."- WaspsInMyGoatse

A Little Fantasy Now And Then...

"When I was younger I joined an international dating site that I figured was a scam."

"Put a black square as my picture and gave myself a fake name, and then looked through their users."

"And after about 10 minutes I had like a 100 messages."

"Most of them were messages telling me how handsome I was or how these women fell in love with me at first site."

"Now I knew it was a scam but when ever I felt down or got rejected for a while I would pop back on the site and read a few messages."

'Yeah it’s kinda cringy and probably pathetic but it made me feel better."

"I would just turn off that logical part of my brain that knew it was a scam for awhile and just pretend I was this popular and desirable guy."

"And it honestly got me through the day sometimes."- Demonking3343

dating app GIFGiphy

If anyone says they've never done anything they're ashamed, or at the very least less-than-proud of, in all likelihood, they are lying.

Or, more likely, they understandably want to pretend that it never happened.

Which might be a little easier than harboring a secret.