There are a surprising number of things in this world that we actually know are scams, but the companies just keep going, and we get used to them, and that’s that.
If you want examples, well – here are a bunch that might surprise you.
1. Artificially inflated.
The diamond industry, specifically as it relates to jewelry.
Everything that the average person “knows” about it stems from propaganda and advertisements created by DeBeers.
They aren’t rare, they aren’t worth what you pay for them, they don’t appreciate in value and are a terrible investment. They aren’t special.
2. There’s no magic pill.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the Internet that sells some sort of „millionaire education“ it’s all bullsh%t.
Every single one of them. They are all liars, most of them are not even rich to begin with! They fake it enough that some idiots buy it. You are customers to them. Nothing more.
3. Nothing is truly unlimited.
Internet Data Cap. F*cking scammers.
We’re living in our RV, and “unlimited” cellular internet is a fraudulent lie.
They all throttle your speed and de-priorize your data packets for using too much of your “unlimited” data. I hate these f*ckers with the fire of a thousand suns.
4. Why are there no other options?
Basically scammers adding huge marks up but making it impossible to use anyone else.
Not to mention allowing mass purchasing bots to scoop up tickets only to offer a third-party market platform for those same scalpers to resell the tickets at increased prices to the fans actually going to the show — TM takes a cut twice!
5. No way around it.
Those Keymaster games that usually have something like a Switch and a pair of Beats and stuff.
I work part time at an arcade and you physically cannot win a prize until the machine has taken it’s retail equivalent in cash.
6. When you do the math…
Starbucks. I pay $9.99 for 51 oz of Folgers Ground Coffee, roughly 380 8 oz cups. That comes out to about $0.02 per cup of coffee. At Starbucks, a Tall Dark Roast costs $1.85.
I could have 92.5 cups of Folgers at home before I pay for 1 Starbucks.
My tub of Folgers is worth $703.00 if I were to sell it at the same price as Starbucks. AND I’m using reusable cups every day.
7. Just walk away.
I just paid for the privilege of setting up my router.
My cable company recently started trying to charge me for my router. Which I own.
I got a notice saying “we noticed an error in billing and we will be charging you for the equipment rental starting in December”.
The f*ck you will, I have every receipt from every cable or phone transaction I’ve ever done for that exact reason. I paid outright for my router so I wouldn’t be renting their sh%tty equipment at $12/month.
Now they want to charge me for my own property. After receiving that notice I hopped right on to customer service to get it resolved, and they directed me to their “loyalty department” because “they could best handle it over there”.
I cut off the conversation and just cancelled my service. Cable companies are pure scum.
8. Human nature.
What’s worse is when the companies try to do right and we force them back into scamming.
Stores like JC Penney sell $10 shirts for $20 at a %50 discount. They also inflate the price of belts, wallets, and underwear but then lower the price of pants. It all evens out but the customer gets the satisfaction of getting a deal.
Once they tried to get rid of that with a “fair and square” pricing strategy but it almost bankrupted the company and it never fully recovered. People don’t want to buy cheap stuff. They want to buy “expensive” stuff at a discount so they feel like they’re getting a bargain.
9. No idea why these are still a thing.
The school picture industry. $80 for an awkward picture of my baby? Nah, thanks.
10. Bad deal.
Rent-to-own furniture and appliances.
There was an episode of Hotel Impossible where the owner rented the couch in her lobby on a weekly basis for years.
She could have bought multiple couches with the money she spent on that one couch she doesn’t even get to keep.
11. And it’s no better than tap water.
Bottled water, like Dasani.
Especially in places like an amusement park that mark ups the price a shocking amount. Also the average markup of bottled water is 4000%, which is outrageous, bc water is literally free most places
12. Definitely should be widely available.
Scientific journal memberships.
Where academics pay journals to publish their papers which are than peer reviewed by volunteers and the journals themselves are then sold by subscription?
Not to mention that a huge part of scientific research, breakthroughs, and discoveries are often subsidized by the tax payer. So even though I helped indirectly fund their research through the NIH, I can’t read the results without a $200 monthly subscription.
I’m sure some academic ethicist could probably speak to this issue in more detail that I can, but that’s always bothered the fuck out of me.
13. Just say no.
I used to work as a debt collector for a payday loan company in the UK… I was not a very good debt collector… people used to find out about the various loopholes that stopped interest being added really easily…
I worked there just before christmas… it is the job that made me go back into education… because.. my soul
14. Make print stores the new normal.
Ink cartridges. printer company’s make barely any profit off of actual printers, they’re just vessels to make you buy unreasonably priced cartridges
“Hey please print this document in black and white” “F*ck you give magenta”
15. Smartphones are the future.
Back to base security system monitoring
My smart home security system alerts me faster than ADT ever did (biggest offenders) When you don’t answer the call, they will send out someone and will charge you a fee
And every-time your system messes up, it will send false error codes to the monitoring station, which they will charge you a huge fee to fix
And oh if you want to disconnect it, they guy i spoke to from ADT was going to charge me $250 call out + $50 for every 15 minutes he was at my house, and the job would of taken at least an hour he they said, they may need to go into the roof
no i just called a security installation electrician and he said $50 call out and $30 for every 30 minutes he was there but that was depending on the type of job
He was at my house for 5 minutes
Power off Remove power wires from control box* Protect the wires so its safe Replace cover on control box Done
He only charged $50. Compared to ADTs service which would of cost about $450
(ADT Hardwired it into our power system… without telling us what circuit they plugged into, basically one flip of a switch outside and the system turns off)
16. If stuff doesn’t happen…shouldn’t we get our money back?
“Sorry, we’re not selling new policies in Your Area right now because Thing just happened” where Thing = earthquake, wildfire, flood, and other things you might … want to insure against?
“We don’t cover That Sort of Problem.” where That Sort of Problem = anything that actually happens to your house, due to weasel-wording loopholes
“You submitted a claim? We’re going to triple your rates FOREVER after this.”
17. Your money should work for you.
ATM fees and low interest savings accounts.
I know times are tough y’all but as someone who works in the financial industry if you don’t already have a high yield savings account for your liquid funds I strongly recommend it. Ally, Cap One, Amex all offer decent rates for what it is.
Earning a few dollars in interest is way better than the pennies your big national bank is paying you.
As far as stocks: it’s a great idea for funds you’re not going to be expecting to use for the next six months to a year. Time in the market is essential, you don’t want to attempt to become a day trader. Index funds and mutual funds are your friends.
hose portfolios typically track a certain aspect of the market and average out your returns; it’s fun to pick individual shares of companies you know but that’s something you really have to sit down and weigh the pros and cons on.
Always do your own due diligence, and this is not even considering taxes. I’m definitely not a CPA.
18. This is hilarious.
Idk if anyone remembers Power Balance bracelets from the early 2000s. A lot of celebrities and athletes advertised for them and they claimed to improve your balance and overall health.
Well being a rubber bracelet made in a factory, it was all nonsense but they still sold millions of units before shutting down. A new company owns them now and you can still buy them though
19. It’s a romantic gesture?
Those registries that people pay money to “name a star.”
20. We’re slowly figuring this one out.
Paying for cable tv. The whole idea of paying was to create a revenue stream separate from that of marketing. There are a few out there (HBO, I think) but generally we pay to access the content and still have to spend 20% of the time sitting through commercials.
Then streaming comes in and were free of advertisements again, for a bit. Now YouTube has tons of ads and other streaming services are talking about adding ads as well.
21. It’s just business.
The games at fairs/carnivals.
Theres a Mark Rober video about carnival games – surprisingly interesting for a video about statistics
22. Totally worthless.
Idk if it’s normalized but McAfee security service. In my own experience with the service, it’s done literally nothing for me except pop up every time I open my computer or nearly every 4 hours or so.
I remember my ex gf’s grandma who fell victim for the service. I tried to talk them down from it and not to pay the service but I was much too late for any semantics. So I just took it to memory that every computer already comes with security software and any outside security software, if not installed properly, checked with 100% concentrated power of will, you’re going to have a bad time.
At least, I’m convinced that the McAfee service is just a virus that makes you pay similar to some of those other viruses that get your photo via your personal webcam, lock your computer and show you a copy pasted photo of a “legal document” urging you to pay a ransom, what was it, ransomware.
So my belief is that Even though most people may use McAfee as a computer firewall security service, it’s more than likely a scam. Downvote me to hell, but at least convince me otherwise first.
23. They’re there…but not on the internet.
Hot milfs in your area.
It is my understanding that they are interesting in meeting me TONIGHT.
24. It’s all psychology.
Reducing a price by 1 cent to trick our brains into thinking a product costs less than it actually is.
25. This one, for sure.
Manufacturers refusing documentation to private repair enterprises and requiring you to get your products fixed by the dealer.
Basically, the reason for the “Right-to-repair” movement.
I used to work with John Deere and they were terrible about it. Farmers are looking for older equipment because they don’t have those software lockouts.
26. I miss the happy beginnings.
Social media. From their happy beginnings they are now mostly a funnel used to ram as many advertisements into your mind as inhumanly possible. “Sponsored Posts” every third or fourth item – I see you, IG/FB/Red/etc. And that’s not even mentioning the extensive filtering network that “curates” the information you get to see when you are looking for something. “Curated information” is just a nice expression for you being conditioned to form certain opinions / buy more stuff. Social media groom minds.
. . EDIT: Wow, over 11k upvotes! If we may assume that 1 in 10 people bother to vote at all, this means that my post has been seen by over 100,000 people! This illustrates the amazing power of the internet. The irony is not lost on me that my most popular post ever should be about how social media have become overly commercialized to the point of being a scam =)
Things I learned from the comments & some light research:
Many of you quoted the old saying “when the product is free, YOU are the product”. The earliest attribution that I could find was to an artist named Richard Serra in 1973. To this I could add, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.
Building and running the internet is not free. In fact, several sources state that the internet consumes over 10% of the global electricity supply. Let that sink in for a bit… Using 10% of the global electricity supply is equivalent to running about half the USA (or Germany + Canada + South Korea + France + UK + Italy). Put another way, 10% of global CO2 emissions from electricity generation are due to running the Internet.
If we estimate that 50% of internet activity consists of sending around advertising and spam, we have to ask ourselves: is that really worth spending 5% of the world’s entire electricity supply on? Or would it not be better to dial that fluff wayyy back and start charging users a fair fee? Speaking for myself, I believe that the internet is an invaluable addition to our lives and I would be willing to pay a fair & transparent fee for an ad-free, tracker-free, spam-free, bot-free internet experience, certainly if that means that we will also save 5% of the world’s global electricity. Note that I am not saying the Internet should be censored, far from it!
Of course, designing and implementing something like that will be very difficult; I think we will need to look to the EU for innovations in this space.
I also learned that my ad blocking settings were overdue a refresh. I found that on my iOS (iPhone, iPad) in particular it is hard to find effective ad blockers. This is due to the fact (TIL) that Apple does not allow browsers other than Safari on iOS; the Firefoxes and Chromes you download on those devices are simply copies of Safari with a different jacket slapped on to it (for which Mozilla and Google pay Apple a pretty penny no doubt). This means that spectacularly effective open source ad blockers that should work on Firefox and Chrome and the like, won’t work on your iPhone and iPad. With some digging in the app store I did find something that seems to work, but let me not advertise here. Suffice to say, it is useful to periodically update your ad blocking system and it seems that (free) open source blockers are the best of the bunch.
Am I contradicting myself by saying that: (1) I am willing to pay a fair price for my internet use but (2) at the same time I am installing ad blockers? Yes a bit – but I install the ad blockers mainly out of a concern for my privacy, which I believe is under heavy attack. Also, I believe the internet media have crossed a line – I mean I can put up with some (clearly identified) advertising here and there, but who would enjoy a newspaper if at least 25% of it would be overt advertising and maybe half of the rest cleverly disguised highly personalized paid content? If I can take a pair of automated scissors to such a rag, I believe I should.
27. Apple is the king of the monopolies.
iPhones disabling themselves if you put in 3rd party parts. I can understand shutting off a certain aspect, but not bricking the whole phone
28. There are always more coming.
Listen up. Everything is a scam. Everything.
But if you send me $19.99 I can show you how to turn the tables on the scammer and get HIS money.
Limited time offer, send money now!
I don’t want to say humans are basically sheep, but…we definitely prefer the roads with less resistance, don’t you think?
If you can think of more examples, drop them in the comments!