Most of us like to think the world is a fair place. We rent-to-own appliances to repair the kitchen, pay to set up a router, and pack on ink cartridges for our printers that seem to have an insatiable appetite for these overpriced refills.
And there’s nothing wrong about it until you pause and think for a moment. Are we all just normalizing the ways companies make a profit off us without even realizing it?
When someone posted the question “What is clearly a scam but is so normalized people don’t notice?” on r/AskReddit it surely resonated with many. Amassing 85.7k upvotes and 47.1k comments, we have some of the most interesting and insightful responses that will make you go “wait a moment!”
Most mega churches... I remember an interview with Kenneth Copeland talking about how he needed a private jet to spread religion
Minimum wages staying the same, while the price of virtually everything else rises
Funerals and everything to do with them. The funeral industry has insane pricing. Some of the funeral homes and vendors are even predatory, getting grieving families to pay upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, because “that’s what the deceased would have wanted”.
Planned obsolescence, where products are deliberatly designed to have a defect or worse performance shortly after the warranty has expired.
''The customer is always right"
Biggest scam of all- the customer is usually an idiot and looking to get free stuff.
The US tax system. “We know how much money you owe, but it’s up to you to figure it out and if it’s not right, we’re going to penalize you for not understanding the convoluted code.”
The fact that so many products require you to create an account and register it just to use it. This is starting to become so widespread. Even CAMERAS are doing that [things] now. Pisses me off so much. I don't want to be tied to some stupid cloud BS I just want to use the damn thing.
Phones themselves are terrible for this too. I should not need an apple or google account to have a phone I should be able to use it as a standalone device with just the cell service and that's it. All this sort of BS is only so they can spy on you.
College textbook prices.
It's crazy how ridiculous expensive they are putting even more of a financial burden on students
Unpaid internships. F*ck anyone who gives unpaid internships! People get exploited like sh*t in that and for what? Most times they don't even count. For what purpose?
I get so irritated when someone posts "unpaid but you'll be given a certificate". Shut the f*ck up and do the work by yourself you lazy ass.
Mobile game ads that show gameplay of a Call of Duty or Skyrim style game but in reality are just a spin-off of Candy Crush
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
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.
Health Insurance in the US. Costs a small fortune, never covers sh*t, and you still end up bankrupt if you're not rich and get sick or hurt.
Apple's headphone jack removal.
Supposedly was to make the phone thinner, but everyone puts a case on anyways. Samsung galaxy S10 was 7.8 mm thick with a headphone jack. Apple removed the jack with iPhone 7, which was 7.1 mm thick. That's great, but every iphone since has been thicker.
And very convenient to remove that, wait till the annoyance died down, then release airpods.
The whole thing was clearly a scam to artificially make bluetooth a borderline necessity right before releasing Apple bluetooth earbuds.
And everyone ate it up.
Gerrymandering. In most representative democracies, voters choose their elected officials. In the US, elected officials choose their voters.
Cat food. Look at the cat food at a random store, and see how the design brags about all the healthy vegetables they've crammed into your obligate carnivore's diet. Then check out the ingredients and see how corn, rice, etc. are often the first ingredients. Pet foods market toward humans by trying to appeal to human sensibilities, not genuine desire to provide your cat with the best diet.
Members of Senate, Congress, and Presidential candidates, collecting money from corporations, big donors, and hiding it in campaign accounts, Pac's and Super Pac's, and then doling it out as they like. They no longer act as a government of the people and for the people.
Giving credit card details for a "free trial" and auto renewal fine print.
Heck, stop it after my trial ends. If I really liked it, I'll pay for it.
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
The school picture industry. $80 for an awkward picture of my baby? Nah, thanks
Lol ask them for an itemized bill (like everything they gave you and how much it costs) and they'll cut the bill down by like 50%.
Weddings. My wife and I got married in a post office and could not have asked for a better ceremony. It cost us the price of notary services and that’s it.
Fashion, but also just clothing in general. No pockets on female clothes? More purses get sold. Thinner layers for women? Have to buy more layers. It gets marketed as being fashionable, but the clothing industry could roll out a marketing campaign for baggy rugged clothing tomorrow and get it trending if they wanted to.
Also, the clothing industry is a cesspool of child labor, human trafficking, and it has some of the highest carbon emissions and water waste of any industry on the planet, way worse than flying. One cotton t-shirt takes thousands of gallons of water to produce. Almost any synthetic fabric is a type of plastic, and you release microplastics upon washing.
On top of all that, we have repressive cultural norms and laws regarding the necessity of wearing clothing that come from Puritans and Victorians who thought table legs had to be covered and ankles were sexy. The idea that you should be embarrassed to be naked in front of other people is a cultural phenomenon, not instinct, and you can look at pretty much any tropical tribe to verify this fact that humans are actually generally normal around other naked humans.
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
Reducing a price by 1 cent to trick our brains into thinking a product costs less than it actually is.
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.
"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."
Doing your own taxes, and paying to use a privately-owned software (or a service) when the government could totally do it for you, send you the details, and ask if it’s correct.
Annual college tuition increases. Why aren’t they held to a competitive pricing model as opposed to having to take out a mortgage to go to school? Everyone wants to talk about government paying for college education, but there is no conversation on why is it that expensive anyway? Especially when some unis have endowments in the billions that just the interest on those funds could literally pay the tuition for everyone that goes through the door.
Social media looks like free, harmless fun, but is more like selling your soul (and data), makes you addicted and sad. Most people notice, probably, but don't care enough.
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 commericals.
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
Most modern manufactured goods. Designed to not last, so you keep buying more.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the Internet that sells some sort of „millionaire education“ .
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.
Toothpaste commercial were actors filled their toothbrush with toothpaste too much which is unnecessary