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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?

People Reveal The Worst Health-Related Advice They've Ever Received

Reddit user Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo asked: 'What is the worst health advice you've been given?'

Whenever we feel like something isn't right about our bodies or we're suffering from some kind of medical issues, we want them taken care of straight away.

The problem with that is, that depending on whom we're getting information from, we tend to believe in the initial diagnosis or remedy because we trust the professional sources and we want quick solutions.

But do doctors and health specialists always know what they're talking about?

Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Strangers online shared their medical horror stories when Redditor Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo asked:

"What is the worst health advice you've been given?"

Not doing further research into something that raises eyebrows can be a fatal mistake.

Turns Out It Was Brain Cancer

"i went cross eyed and my primary said 'could be a sinus thing, get some mucinex.'”

"turns out it was glioblastoma."

– Guy_Faux

"Wow, that's an absurdly sh**ty doctor. The same thing happened to my mother and it was quickly determined that it was stage 4 lung cancer. She made it about 3 months after that. She was 48 and I was 18 so the idea that any doctor would ignore that is infuriating to me."

– Frisky_Picker

Second Opinion Saves Lives

"My primary doctor kept telling me that nothing was wrong with my thyroid, and I was a hypochondriac."

"I had been told at 12 years old that I had thyroid issues and she told me that doctor was wrong. I had to see a whole other doctor to get a referral to the endocrinologist because she literally refused to refer me to one."

"The endocrinologist said, I had scarring all over my thyroid, I had Hashimoto’s, and my levels were horrible, and she didn’t know what the doctor was talking about. She said she was glad I advocated for myself."

– littlemybb

Tiny Grandchild

"I was not the recipient of this 'advice' but I had a coworker proudly say how small her new grandchild was when they were born and that her daughter smoked her whole pregnancy to try and have a smaller baby. This was in like 2010, not the 1960s for reference."

"ETA: smoked cigarettes. clarified since that can mean more than one thing."

– Emkems

Unforeseen Ailment​

"Was sick for a year in my late teens. Saw multiple specialists to find the cause. Experimented with diet. Saw a naturopath that did some ‘electric pulse test’ thing that apparently gave indicators of organ health. After a few visits, and months of eating the weirdest sh*t, the test said things were improving (including my gallbladder). Months went on but I was still quite sick. I eventually ended up in hospital and one of my specialists decided to take my appendix out on a whim to see if it might help. Turns out I had something called a ‘grumbling appendix’ and it completely fixed me. Funny thing is, while they were in there, they discovered I was born without a gallbladder."

– Ok_Ear_8848

These are not appropriate remedies.

That's Not How That Works

"When I had an urinary tract infection someone told me to wash my vagina with vinegar..."

– _Puke_Bucket_

"And maybe add some diced onions and tomatoes to make a refreshing Mediterranean salad."

– Bos_lost_ton

Pushing Through

"Just push through whenever you're sick. If you can get to a doctor's office for a doctor's certificate you can get to school/college/work."

– BoyMonday

"My childhood pediatrician told my parents that 'A sick child never smiles.'”

"I tend to laugh/smile when I’m nervous or uncomfortable to self regulate."

– pinotproblems

"A doctor once told my parents that a child who isn’t crying can’t really be hurt. Because of that, it took me days to convince my parents to take me to the doctor after I fell on my arm because I wasn’t crying. It turns out it was broken."

– slowsunslumber

"Ignoring" The Problem Isn't A Solution

"A friend of mine was in horrible pain, and was repeatedly told (by multiple doctors) that she should stop complaining and just get used to it because periods are painful and that’s the way it is."

"After being blown off for years, she finally got a doctor to take her pain seriously- and it turned out she had severe endometriosis. The surgeon said it was the worst case he had ever seen in his career, and was horrified that it had gotten so advanced with no one listening to her."

– sapphireblossoms

Choking On Blood

"The school nurse telling me to tilt my head back for a bloody nose. That was an awful experience."

– hypo-osmotic

"I do like doing this because when I cough up the blood I can pretend I’m in a period drama and I have tuberculosis."

– OrangeTree81

These Redditors discovered that all pain is not necessarily "normal."

The C-Word

"Doctor said certain pain is normal as you get older. Turns out it was cancer."

– REDDIT

"That's a fibrous strip of breast tissue, you're too young to have breast cancer."

"Delayed diagnosis by 6 months. I was 31."

– juniper_max

Thinking Twice About Back Pain

"I got from a doctor, 'everyone has back pain. There’s nothing wrong with you, just use a heating pad.' It was kidney stones."

– 5hrs4hrs3hrs2hrs1mor

"Yikes, I am so sorry."

"I had a kinda similar experience. I went to the doctor for a morning appointment to get some persistent, worsening back pain checked out. Doc asked me where my back pain was, looked me in the eyes and told me I was fine and must have just slept wrong. He shut me down when I tried to advocate for myself."

"That night, I was admitted to the ER due to the crippling pain I was in. Turns out I had a serious kidney infection that was turning septic."

"One of the ER staff who helped me told me if I had waited another 24 hours, my kidneys would have shut down and I very likely would have died from organ failure?!"

"I’ve been dismissed by doctors over and over again in my personal health journey, and it is so frustrating and scary, as they’ve dismissed me for 'being dramatic' when there’s actually something very serious going on with my body."

– Yarr0wFeather

Vitamin D Overdose

"If you have pale skin, get just a little sunburnt every day so that your skin will 'learn' to get a tan. That’s how everyone else does it."

"My Solar Keratosis skin cancers would beg to disagree."

– comfortablynumb15

As much as we want to believe our doctors when they give us a health assessment and assure us we're "fine," you should never ignore your inner voice telling you that something is not right.

Your conscience is there for a reason.

Even if a doctor tells you it's okay to ignore the problem, you should think twice about ignoring your gut feelings.

Woman speaking to an audience
Photo by Ben Moreland on Unsplash

When giving a speech and making an argument, the most effective way to reach other people or get your point across is to speak with conviction.

However, speaking with conviction doesn't always mean people are speaking the truth... or even coherently.

Redditor MonkeyGentleman420 was curious to hear more stories of ludicrous things people said with unwavering conviction, leading them to ask:

"What is the stupidest thing someone has told you with complete conviction?"

We Know How Often Birds Check Clocks...

'That we set the clocks forwards and backwards so the birds don’t get confused with their migration patterns."- alliecita410

Speaking From Experience?

"'Two people can breathe underwater forever if they have a hose'."

"The first person breathes in while the second breathes out, then the first person breathes out and the second person breathes in etc'."- PahoojyMan

Dream On...

"She said:'

"'If you are dream about falling and you hit the ground in your sleep you'll actually die'."

"'It's been proven'."

"I said 'If you die in your sleep, how can anyone know what you were dreaming?'"

"Ruined a favorite story of hers."

"Sorry."- FrankieMint

falling GIFGiphy

Because ALL Cops Ask For Your SSN Before Cuffing You...

"From a coworker: 'If you don't have a social security number then the government can't do anything to you'."

"I asked if that meant, if I didn't have an SSN then I could just go kill someone on the street and the government couldn't arrest me."

"'Yep', he said, 'if you don't have an SSN then they can't enforce any laws on you'."- AllAboutThePotatoes

Keep Them Away From Needles...

"A former coworker insisted that the body believes the ears are injuries, and we are all constantly trying to heal our own ears closed."

"The only thing keeping them open, you ask?"

"Ear wax."

"We worked in healthcare."- Reflection_Secure

Credit To the Visual Effects Designer

"A girl I worked with was convinced that every single mythological creature was real."

"I’ll never forget one of her claims."

“Think about it, every movie you done seen all those creatures and aliens and sh*t, all that’s real."

"Someone has to have actually seen it to come up with that!”

"Apparently there’s no such thing as the human imagination to her."

"So yes, transformers are real, Godzilla is real, Independence Day is real."

"This was a 20-year-old that said all of this."- Dragonborn83196

Unicorn GIF by MOODMANGiphy

In Theory... Still Wrong!

"That the speed of light wasn’t like an actual number, it was just a figure of speech."- sunbearimon·

Check The Date...

"Sunburn is not caused by the sun, it is actually caused by sunblock."

"If you don't use sunblock then you will never be burned."

"Sunburn was created by the sun cream industry to sell their products."

"Seems easily testable, why not lie on the beach all day in one position with no sun block and see what happens?"

"Make sure you fall asleep for maximum effect."

"You go bright red and then blister to the point that you get taken to hospital for a combination of sunstroke and the beginning of shock then spend the rest of the holiday indoors face down with regular application of creams and replacement paraffin patches on the burns."

"It puts a bit of a dampener on your 2 week break."

"Sunburn is mentioned in Livy's history of the second Punic war and others over 2000 years ago which is solid proof that the 'Big Sunscreen' claim is ridiculous."

"However it would be hand-waved away by a True Believer of big Sunscreen."- Magnus_40

Sonne Sunburn GIF by Mitteldeutscher RundfunkGiphy

Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss...

"A distant relative, recently retired, once told me that he was going to hire a gardener and a housekeeper because 'the government will give you a grant to pay for them now'."

"This was a few minutes after a lengthy rant about how the welfare state should be scrapped because only lazy people lose their jobs and need to claim benefits."

"The same relative, some years ago, also announced with absolute conviction that he was going to hire a neighbor as a cleaner because 'she won't have anything to do now her kids are grown up'."- Plantagenesta

The Price Of Never Looking Up!

"Pineapples aren't real."

"They're entirely manmade and do not exist in nature."- tricksterloki

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR!!!

"My dad was experiencing end stage renal failure (was on dialysis at the time and has since had a transplant)."

"My best friend's boyfriend at the time looked at me dead in the eye and said he could reverse his condition with a vegan diet and that the only important organ in the body was the skin, so as long as you take good care of your skin, your other organs will function properly."

"Mind you, by the time my dad got on dialysis his kidneys were functioning at 11% and his SKIN WAS JUST FINE."- lyingintheleaves

But What Causes Cavities?

"I'm a dental hygienist."

"We had a patient come in with terrible teeth."

"They thought toothpaste caused cancer."- dilapidatedfungus

If Only...

"That women don't burp or fart, because only men have (the ability to pass) gas."

"Spoiler alert: he was horrified when I burped in front of him."- sequoia_summers

Guilt Is Easier When You Know It's Coming.

"First girlfriend was religious, and apparently it was okay that we had sex 'as long as she feels bad about it after'."

"Pre-planning regret was her loophole to do what she wanted."- Lone_Buck

season 2 famalam GIF by BBC ThreeGiphy

When people do speak with conviction, more often than not they firmly believed what they say.

So much so, that they have trouble believing the person brave enough to correct them.

In spite of the concrete evidence thrown in front of them...

Picture of a pink heart tearing in two, hung off a red and white string, set against a black background
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

When you're in a relationship, it's important to stay alert.

Yes, you of course want to give in to love.

But when you start seeing red flags, be vigilant.

You're gut always knows more than you give it credit for.

Sometimes those flags are a sign that it's time to jump ship.

if you see them... run.

Redditor Shinfekta wanted to compare notes on why people would immediately end a relationship, so they asked:

"What red flag is an instant break up reason for you?"

The signs are always there, but I tend to put on blinders.

I need to do better.

A Big Deal

Illustration Text GIF by Jacqueline Jing LinGiphy

"Someone that casually says they've cheated. There's no way around that for me."

Kitchen-Bid-8235

"Or worse when they treat cheating as somehow noble."

2diceMisplaced

Hear Me!

"Wanting and demanding my attention but not reciprocating whatsoever."

Cranky_Windlass

"My ex. She would get pissed when she would talk to me about something while I was working and I wasn’t giving her my full attention. But every time I wanted to tell her something while she was doing nothing, she would get 'ADHD distracted' and completely ignore me or interrupt me to say something completely irrelevant."

ModestMustang

"I had a friend like this! he literally completely ignored me for 6 months and then blew up at me for not responding to him within an hour. Very strange."

KindBrilliant7879

Wronged

"Never admitting a mistake."

Curious-Force5819

"I know a total hottie that is notoriously known for not being able to admit he’s wrong, sucks because he’s a gem outside of this. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fair and responsible person in general… but he 100% can’t admit he was wrong in banter or a light argument even when he realizes he realizes he’s wrong hahaha lost confidence in him ASAP."

Zomgirlxoxo

"This is a big one, even when these types of people apologize they still pass the blame. 'I'm sorry for my behavior but you made me really angry.'"

space_being135513

Never Again

"Unmanaged mental illness. Never again."

RuggedHamster

"I was with a girl that had that and I helped her through all of it and it was so hard to deal with it all but somehow I managed but when she felt better she just left me for her best friend’s ex and I was left with all that trauma because I loved her with all my heart and soul but she was just using me to feel better… and when she broke up with her best friend’s ex she came crawling back begging me to be with her again but it was too late.. the damage has already been done and I can’t do that again even though I still love her but I can’t tell her that... sorry for venting."

d7oomy998899

Afterthought

Sad Sponge Bob GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"If someone makes you feel alone, that you don't matter, or if you are a second choice on most of the occasions, you need to leave."

Mycatsnameislegolas

Always know when to acknowledge your feelings.

And know when to depart.

Behavior

Andre Leon Talley Manners GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy

"How they treat animals, children, elderly, handicapped, and service workers."

REDDIT

"A wise man once said: judge a person not by how they treat their equals, but by how they treat their inferiors."

Major-Ad148

Just Kidding

"Being mean as their 'thing' or 'just a joke.'"

netsbr

"'I'm just sassy!'" No, you're a bi*ch."

BansheeShriek

"I’m going to be honest, with certain friends I am absolutely ruthlessly mean, to the point that people are actually concerned it’s just bullying."

"However with strangers, I’m nothing like that. And the friends that I am meant to, they do the exact same thing back to me. We also know that if we need each other, then the meanness is dropped instantly, and it’s nothing but support and love."

5tr4nGe

​Well-Meaning

"Zero accountability for anything. Everything they do is absolutely justifiable because, well, they mean well."

Throw_thethrowaway

"Yeah, I was looking for this answer! And it’s true outside of romantic relationships also! I had to end a friendship over this exact behavior- it was never her fault, always the victim, and her hurtful behavior shouldn’t be addressed because she 'meant well…' but my feelings are still hurt so why don’t I matter?!"

helibear90

"This. Can't stand people who always play the victim or blame everyone else and never take accountability for what they do."

_5minutesalone

Boundaries

"This one may take a while, but I would break up if I notice them creeping over personal boundaries, and not stopping when I tell them about it."

"People cross each others' boundaries all the time. I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt until it becomes apparent that they have no intention to respect me."

"For example, if I don't like tickles or being startled, don't do that. It's not about the tickling, it's about them respecting me. And if there's no respect, there's no relationship."

Ptatofrenchfry

Talk to Me

Sarah Jessica Parker Hbo GIF by DivorceGiphy

"If I'm hearing about a problem in our relationship from someone else rather than the partner. It shows huge trust issues."

"I've seen three divorces in my life, and they all were the result of the girl venting to her mother and her friends about issues she should have discussed with her husband."

michajlo

Communication is key.

If you're not talking to you're partner, why are they you're partner?

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.

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