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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 Best Pickup Lines Of All Time

A Redditor asked: 'what's the best pickup line of all time?'

shallow photography of man hugging woman outdoors
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

When it comes to flirting, everyone has their preferences of how they like to be flirted with. Some people like cleverly crafted pickup lines.

I always thought pickup lines were a cheap way to get someone's attention. That being said, there are some good ones out there. I've been on the receiving end of both. "On a scale from one to America, how free are you tonight?" and, "You must be the square root of two because I feel irrational around you."

Both got me to engage in conversation, and I even dated the guy who used the first one for a while.

I'm not the only one that knows some good pickup lines. Redditors have both heard and used some pickup lines and are eager to share their favorites.

It all started when Redditor Sauce_Dealer420 asked:

"What's the best pickup line of all time?"

Read It And See

"You put the sexy in dyslexic."

– koookyko

"This made me laugh so hard."

"Because I can read properly."

– TappedIn2111

I'm Hooked

"This girl I used to work with and I went to a bar after work and we’re having fun, and she leans over to tell me a joke. And she says:"

"Three boy mice and a girl mouse were all stuck in a room with no doors and no windows. One of the boy mice asked the girl mouse how to get out and she said, “Sleep with me tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning.""

"The next day, he is gone. The second boy mouse asks the girl mouse how he got out and she says, “Sleep with me tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning.""

"Next day, he’s gone too."

"So now the girl telling me this joke says to me, “Do you want to know how the last mouse gets out of the box?”

"And I say “yes.""

"And she says, “Sleep with ME tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning”. All this while staring me in the eyes and smiling."

"I said, “Check please bartender!!""

"I forgot to ask her in the morning, but that was the best pickup line I’ve ever heard."

– reb678

Statistics

"The odds we sleep together are 50% because half of us agree so far."

– AlfheimKitteh

"Math is always super sexy."

– Acceptable-News-6811

Money, Money, Money

"Hey girl, are you the English financial system? Because I'm about to give you a weak pound."

– onemanwolfpack21

"Yo girl, do you know exchange rates? Because Euro 10."

– kkirchhoff

Winner, Winner

""Are you a magician? Cuz every time I look at you, everyone else disappears.""

"This line got me a wife and three kids. 😊"

– PRSHZ

One Liners

"Are you a beaver? Cuz damn."

– Starry_Night-

"If you were a fruit you'd be a fineapple."

– Slainna

"Hi, do you want to go for a ride on a Harley?"

"(My name is Harley) 😁"

– OMNIxvTRIX

No Losers

"If I asked you for a date would the answer to that question be the same as the answer to this question?"

– SchemePale6222

"I got blue screen in my head."

"Explain please."

– TastyToothpasta

"You can't lose. Say no, the answer is yes. Say yes, the answer is also yes."

"Dang sounds kinda creepy writing it out like that. Still clever wordplay though."

– Steeze_Schralper6968

Clever

"My go-to was always:"

"I used to be a history teacher, so I know lots of important dates. Want to help me make another one?"

"A little corny, but it usually worked."

– StuffToday

Refreshing

"That one actually worked with my ex on the first try."

"-Hey, do you like water?"

"-Yes."

"-Then you like me in 70% already."

– azurskyy

Sneaky

"Would you date a complete stranger?"

"If she says “yes” you’re in."

If she says “no.”

“Then allow me to introduce myself.”"

– Blastspark01

Playing Coy

"Once a girl came to me and told there was somebody who thought I was cute."

"I asked her who and she said “Me.""

– evil_boy4life

Prop Lines

"You have to have a handful of limes available to do this:"

"Hold the limes, drop the limes in front of the lucky person. Then say 'Sorry, I'm not very good at pick up limes.'"

– cannibalcats

Egg-cellent

"Best one that worked for me was:"

"Me: How do you like your eggs?"

"Her: Over easy, why?"

"Me: Just making sure I have things right for when I make you breakfast in the morning."

– Radiant_Boss4342

The Best Line

"How you doin?"

– 2x4x93

"There was a time when this was the ONLY line you could use!"

– JohnsLong_Silver

That line would definitely work on me!

United States political map
Clay Banks on Unsplash

Twenty years ago, a question about politics and dating might have elicited very different answers.

But a large part of the United States seems to be getting more radicalized and more polarized.

While two decades ago most liberal versus conservative differences in the United States were about government size or spending, now it's about who has a right to exist or have body autonomy.

Keep reading...Show less
Man peeking through window blinds
Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

Let's be honest: It's 2023, and times are pretty hard for most of us. We're all just out here, trying to do our best.

But while our instincts sometimes really save our butts, there are other times that our curiosity and impulses might get carried away.

In fact, they might get so carried away, we might find ourselves in some deep, deep trouble.

Redditor Mr_Manta asked:

"How has morbid curiosity screwed you over?"

A Troubling Find

"I found a human femur when I was a teenager and decided to take it home and hide it so I could inspect it."

"I was on exchange in Spain at the time. I didn’t know what to do with it after I brought it home, so like an id**t, I put it in my luggage five weeks later when I flew back home to my family."

"Airport security and I had really, really, really, really, really long talk."

"Edit: To answer all your questions, my friend and I had taken a walk to some cemetery in a roadside town. The population was 81. We thought the town had been abandoned, by the looks of it. We were dumb kids."

"We went to the cemetery and into some abandoned mausoleum. In it were So. Many. Bones. I grabbed a femur cause I was a 15-year-old who loved biology. I took it. That wasn’t cool."

- cowsmilk1994

What in the Pink Floyd...

"I Googled my estranged father's name and found out he died of an overdose, and they turned his cremains into a brick for a homeless memorial wall."

- Planet_Ziltoidia

Not a Smart Google Search

"I once Googled Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment. I wanted to see his furniture and stuff. That is NOT what I saw..."

- Efficient-Regular-96

Emergency Medical Technician Troubles

"I work as an EMT, a young EMT so obviously, I’m curious when someone says someone is dead."

"If you are a new EMT, don’t be curious; there isn’t anything good to see just major trauma."

- Individual-Estate758

Accidental Pepper Spray

"I thought this cool lighter was on a keychain, so I pressed the button. Turns out that cool lighter was pepper spray."

- copsdoesntstarttill4

The Horrors of Fire

"From the news: 'The Station nightclub fire occurred on the evening of February 20, 2003, at The Station, a nightclub and hard rock music venue in West Warwick, Rhode Island, United States, killing 100 people and injuring 230.' During a concert by the rock band Great White, a pyrotechnic display ignited flammable acoustic foam in the walls and ceilings surrounding the stage. Within six minutes, the entire building was engulfed in flames.'"

"There is a video shot by a cameraman from a local news outlet showing the start of the fire and approximately 13 minutes of heartbreak as the fire completely engulfed the building. As he circled the building he tried to open doors and call out to let people know that there was a way out, but the smoke was incredibly thick, and all you heard was screaming."

"The part that haunts me the most was the double doors at the front of the building, where people trying to escape were piled like wood in the doorway- one on top of another - people trying to free them couldn’t and eventually had to back off because of the fire. The video ends with the cameraman breaking down as emergency services finally arrived."

- Hot-Bandicoot8066

The Power of Electricity

"As a kid, I knew that you needed two wires for electricity to power an appliance. So I thought it would be a cool idea to let the electricity flow freely from one hole of a power outlet to the other, so I bent a wire in a U-shape and plugged it in."

"With my bare hands. At school, I believe in first grade. 220 Volt network. There was a flash, and I got thrown back, but thought nothing of it until some teachers came running and I got a lecture or two about safety."

- zedman_forever

A Recurring Mistake

"I found a memory card at work (retail). It sat on our desk for over two weeks. One day curiosity won and I stuck it in my phone."

"Memes, pics of family, and old man and old lady intimate parts."

"Then Google surprised me a few years later because it had uploaded them to my Google Drive."

- Itchy_Amphibian3883

Too Close to Home

"Finding out exactly where my dad died. He died in a car accident but I was never sure quite where it happened. I stupidly looked it up and found out it was right by where I lived and even drove past that exact spot plenty of times."

"Yeah, needless to say that did me way more psychological harm than good. I couldn’t handle it. Avoid that area at all costs. My husband got a job out of state and I was happy to move there just so I couldn’t be traumatized by living by that spot anymore."

- ZestyCloseTomato555

All Equal Deaths

"I killed a Rollie pollie when I was little and I still feel terrible about it."

- DoomSayerNih

Fair Enough

"Opening this thread and reading is officially at the top."

- Special_Lemon1487

Most of these entries were absolutely mortifying, and they remind us to be careful about what we're getting ourselves into, even if we're curious.

Otherwise, it can lead to terrible injuries if not terrible memories, which might even be worse, because they're so impossible to forget.

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.