You don’t know what’s going on at a place of business until you work there or a friend or a family member does and spill all the secrets.

And, once you’ve had some different work experiences, you really start to understand the good from the bad…and unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses out there that don’t have their acts together.

What are the worst business practices you’ve ever seen?

Here’s what AskReddit users had to say about that.

1. Painful.

“My wisdom tooth operation was f*cked up (which they under anesthesatised me for) so I went back 2 days later, they admitted their fault and that they would fix it there and then, but it would cost me equivalent $500.

I said no way, this is your screwup. They eventually agreed. I took the woozy pill they gave me as it was gonna be big work in there, operation went as planned and while I was not even with it they charged me the money, then booted me out onto the street. I was almost hit by a bus as I had no awareness of anything.

Found it all out later on from a friend who happened to be passing and saw me playing with cars on a dual lane road and B. an acquaintance in the waiting room who had watched me pay (ironically, I was there due to their daughters recommendation).”

2. Sounds bad.


From car sales to banking, they always Incentivize the worker to lie, cheat, discriminate and provide the poorest service possible to make the numbers look good so that upper management doesn’t fire them.

If you do your job perfectly but don’t try to cheat the numbers then you look like you’re under performing compared to the ones that do, creating a feedback loop insuring that everyone who wants to have a job cheats.”

3. So many things wrong…

“There’s this new fangled online grocery store- Move.

If you order something and it’s not in stock, they give you a store credit instead of a refund. So many things wrong.

How is their inventory management so bad that they don’t know what’s in stock?”

4. What?!?!


My example was a severe ice storm in late 1990s.

Our county was under road closure for 3 days. Blockbuster would not pause or hold late fees during that time.

That was the end of Blockbuster for me. The manager actually told me it wasn’t their fault the roads were closed.”

5. Not good management.

“If you own a restaurant/bar/grill, sitting at the bar getting blacked out and then screaming at employees for reasons you can’t remember the next day is not management.”

6. Consignment stores.

“Beware of consignment stores people!

Those store where you can buy used clothing for cheap and also can take yours in to be sold

There may be other kinds I don’t know of but the big red flag is if they do it like this:

They offer an agreement when you sell through them that they get a percentage of the sale price, BUT after a certain amount of time, if the item hasn’t sold, it becomes their property and they get full profit. But they allow you to come reclaim your item any time before that deadline

Ask them if they would assist you to find your item in the store should you decide to reclaim it

If they say “no” or offer an excuse like “we don’t itemize so you have to seek it out yourself” then DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM THEY ARE A SCAM

one example in my town is CJs Consignment. Not every item may be scammed like this but they may occasionally pick a high dollar item and decide they want the full profit. All they do is hide your sh*t from you. Maybe put it in the back or somewhere customers don’t have access to.

If you can’t find your item then you can’t reclaim it in time. They did this to me with a dress (kind of hard to miss a big *ss gown amongst shirts and pants) and then after my deadline, my dress magically reappears now property of CJs

Even former employees started sharing stories online of how they would hide people’s Shoes or bags or whatever so they couldn’t claim them before the deadline

Only trust a consignment store that will help you reclaim your item. Or better yet don’t do business with any that have deadlines like that (if such a thing exists).”

7. Interesting…

“Oracle software.

Oracle is a technology company which uses its one feature product (their database), and uses that product to drive sales and adoption of a slew of inferior garbage software through incredibly restrictive licensing terms.

Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce has a net worth of $8.8 billion dollars, and that is almost exclusively due to giving the market an alternative to Larry Ellison’s corporate extortion machine.”

8. Gross!

“My local Subway and their perpetual stew of meatballs.

Every day they “make” meat balls to be used on their meatball marinara sandwich. But every day they never use all of them so they put the left over ones into the refrigerator to be used the next day.

This is fine. You can get away with it since it’s held an appropriate temperatures during the day and kept refrigerated over night.

The problem comes after they make more. Instead of keeping the old and new batch of meat balls separate they cook off new meat balls and just add them to the old meat ball container.

So technically there could be one meatball floating around in there that is months old before it finally gets scooped up and placed on a sandwich.”

9. They’re not down with that.

“I briefly worked at a FedEx shipping center.

The first hour of orientation was basically ,“if you even think the word “union” we’ll end your f*cking bloodline.””

10. That’s not good.

“Burnell Productions in Renton, just outside Seattle.

Constantly lie, cheat and steal from their customers. When confronted, the CEO pleads poverty and needs money to pay bills.

The CEO was declared bankrupt in 2020 wiping the debt he had on 13 credit cards. Meanwhile he (the CEO) also has a condo that he hasn’t paid his mortgage on, for almost a year.

Then there’s over $40K spent on a mobile game, which he does not acknowledge, because he has an addiction problem.”

11. Great customer service!

“I went to an independent make-up store because I wanted to support small businesses and the shop girl told me I would need a lot of products because I was ugly.

I was SHOOK.

Like, I know I am no Halle Berry… but ugly???”

12. Shady.

“The Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia has a deal with two towing companies where they intentionally make event parking difficult resulting in people getting towed. They split the fines.

This includes directing people to overfilled lots hoping you get frustrated and park on the side, directing people to lots not for the event like the restaurant parking, removing the handicap signs so you can only tell by the painting, etc…

My friend dated a security head there who said the spectrum gets almost $100,000 extra a year from their cut of the fines.”

13. Not a good thing.

“Hostility towards raises.

Rewarding your existing employees is almost always cheaper than hiring new. Ive had a manager that scoffed at a single 3% raise for someone who had no raise for 5 years. Good luck hiring a new person with that experience and for less money.

There’s a reason why job hopping gets you more money, and it’s not because hiring new is cheaper.”

14. Making it complicated.

“Any company/service that allows you to sign up using the internet with minimal verification but requires you to either produce ID, bills, proof of address, or show up in person to cancel that service.

If I can set it up via the internet I should be able to cancel it, too.”

15. What a jerk.

“A veterinarian I once worked for tried to make me re use bloody IV tubing between patients, “just rinse it out” he told me.

He charged the same amount for a pain injection for a 5 lb pet and a 150lb pet, he over worked and underpaid his employees, he was rude to his clients, and tried to make staff carry out tasks they were not qualified/educated to do.

He would cut corners in any possible way.”

16. That’s just dumb.

“I used to serve at a restaurant where we wore pagers that buzzed us when a table’s food was ready. Good idea right?

Well the owners had the policy that you had to immediately go pick up the food no matter what, and that included if you were in the middle of taking another table’s order. They said that people “understand” and are cool with it. Of course they weren’t though. Every time I stopped taking a table’s order and went and got the food, they were totally p*ssed off.

I could not believe the owners did not understand why literally no other restaurant on the planet does it that way.”

17. Bad business.

“I worked at a restaurant that wouldn’t let people get a refund on their food even though there was a cockroach in it.

Instead, they offered a 10% discount on the food as per their “policy”.

Needless to say, this restaurant no longer exists.”

18. Hmmm…

“A store put a massive discount on weighted blankets. They were originally selling for $150, but were now being offered for $39.99.

The catch? You’d need to sign up for free as a VIP member online. Ummmm ok no harm done.

So i signed up and bought the blanket. And so did thousands of other people.

The store cancelled our orders and refunded our money, claiming that they weren’t able to fulfill our orders. And now they had a couple thousand more new names on their mailing list.

And sure enough marketing emails came pouring through. I unsubscribed once but still had emails coming in.

F*ck you Spotlight (Australia).”

19. This happens a lot.

“Trying to get employees to quit.

My managers at a fast food place didn’t want to keep long term employees due to having to pay them more and firing them means unemployment costs.

Quitting in the US means no unemployment and not having to give raises.

20. Car rental.

“I worked for a big car rental company in the returns department.

They would push us to find and charge customers for any new damage on their cars by awarding bonuses on top of our monthly salary. We were given mirrors to look for scratches under the cars where costumers would normally not have checked before they rented the car, often leading to heated arguments over if it really was their fault or not.

The company did not care either way and made us charge their insurance deposit if they refused to pay. The daily verbal abuse and stress from being sandwiched between my managers and angry customers has definitely left a mark on my mental health and I will probably never work in the traveling industry again.”

21. Banks can be bogus.

“Major banks sorting your transactions when you have a low balance in such a way to maximize overdraft fees.

Honestly, overdraft fees in general. Many banks will charge you an overdraft and deny the transaction. Because apparently it costs them $35 to deny a transaction.”

22. A large hotel chain.

“I worked as a food service manager for a large hotel chain, let’s call it “Chariot Hotels”. The general hotel manager wouldn’t approve repairs/replacements of equipment unless we were expecting an inspection in the next 2-3 months.

The immediate bad effect of this was a lot of negative reviews. Our ice-maker broke, so we had to send employees to the other side of the hotel to get ice from an ice machine to make iced coffee, smoothies, etc. resulting in extremely long wait times for iced drinks.

We also lost money because a lot of the cold food, like chicken salad, can be made in bulk and stored for a few days in the fridge. Unfortunately, half of our fridges didn’t cool properly, so we had to make a lot of foods fresh every day and discard a lot of food.

Lastly, I quit when I got tired of requesting repairs that never happened. 2 weeks later, they got an early inspection and an exceptionally bad score for a chain (they passed, but just barely). The general manager blamed it on the former food service manager (me), and I believe she still manages the hotel to this day.”

23. Awesome, but terrible.

“In the town I grew up there was this guy who ran a music store. The kind that sells musical instruments.

He would sell brand new stuff at 50-60% discount, hell a friend of mine haggled a brand new Gibson guitar off the shelf for maybe 75% off. I bought several cymbals off him dirt cheap. (For you drummers out there, Sabian AA, not cr*p)

Turns out, his family was filthy rich (old money) and running the store was his “hobby”, you know just something to do. He would sit there, smoke, discuss which Zappa record was the best, and basically give stuff away.

It was awesome. And terrible business.”

24. Ugh.

“I worked in a small boutique hotel with a fine dining restaurant and a gastro pub connected.

You had to juggle service and reception all the time. Our hotel director felt it would be appropriate for us to wear a headset to answer calls for the hotel while serving to make sure we didn’t lose out on any room sales, stating that the customer would be understand as long as we excused ourselves.

“And here we have some locally sourced braised lamb, served with vegetables grown at a farm located just north… Excuse me for a minute while I answer this call”.”

Have you ever seen any really bad business practices that made you cringe?

Talk to us in the comments and tell us about them.

Please and thank you!