Business is business; it's not kind, forgiving, or even fair sometimes. That being said, there are some businesspeople out there who are so shrewd, so sharply focused on making that extra buck, they're willing to put their very integrity on the line to make it happen - even if it means bending a few laws. The good people of Reddit were recently asked what shady business tactics they've seen used, and the answers they gave may shock and disturb you. Whether you're in business yourself and have seen it all, or you're a regular customer who's curious about where your money is going, you need to be aware of these dirty tricks in order to avoid them. Scroll down to see them all, and let us know which ones you've seen go down under the table in the comments.
I worked in the collections department of Discover Card for a while. One thing they did (maybe still do), to lure customers to them is offer 0% APR for the first year. People would jump on this and transfer all their debt onto their new Discover Card, and then the company would "conveniently" not send the first month's bill. In the fine print of the agreement, it states that if you miss even one payment in that first year, your APR will jump to 29.95%. Half of my calls were to these new customers who would then proceed to throw a fit, because they didn't ever get the bill, and I had to explain to them that it was their job to know when the bill was due, and sending one was just a courtesy extended by the company. I hated hated hated that job. It ate away at my soul.
TL;DR: Planned obsolescence and all the different types, with examples.
Planned obsolescence. Basically, products are designed by manufacturers to "wear out" after a certain period of time or amount of use. This is done to force consumers to re-purchase products or purchase new versions of products.
There are a few types of planned obsolescence. First is contrived durability, which means a product is designed to deteriorate quickly. A great example is how disposable razor blades wear out so quickly.
The second type is prevention of repairs, which means a product is designed in such a way that it is either made to be a single-use item (like disposable cameras), or in a way that uses proprietary hardware to prevent repairs and even damage the products if repairs are attempted. Apple is guilty of this with the majority of their product line-up, even seeking legislation to make it illegal to provide the difficult repairs.
The third is perceived obsolescence, which means a manufacturer frequently releases new "versions" of a product to make consumers feel as if the old product is far inferior. This is incredibly common, and in the grand scheme of things, fairly harmless. This type of planned obsolescence doesn't force a consumer to purchase a new product, but rather coerces them to, as do many other marketing campaigns. Common examples include new cars, phones, televisions, apparel, etc. for which new versions are released frequently.
Fourth is systemic obsolescence, which is when a manufacturer deliberately attempts to make a product obsolete by altering the system to make regular use difficult. Many people, including myself, accuse Apple of this when they release a new iPhone. Many people find that their old iPhone begins to run slowly after the latest iOS update following the release of the new iPhone model.
Last is programmed obsolescence, which is when a product contains a mechanical or electrical system that limits the amount of uses the product has. One notable example is printer cartiriges which use software to limit the amount of pages they will print, regardless of the actual ink level. Hewlett Packard was sued on allegations that their ink cartridges would "expire" on a certain date.
Altogether, these practices create an abundance of waste and unethically force consumers to buy more "stuff". This is a great way to make money hand-over-fist, and it is far more common than most people may think. People often complain that "things just don't last as long as they used to," which, excluding survivorship bias, is true because they are built not to.
If you're buying a used car - or any car for that matter, the check engine light should temporarily come on when you start the vehicle. If it doesn't, the dash has been tampered with to mask a potential issue
"Every month" and "every 4 weeks" sound similar, but are different. Paying every month gets you 12 payments, every 4 weeks gets you 13
Not sure if this fits, but if you are offered a raise for taking on new responsibilities, get it in writing. Just learned that the hard way.
I waited tables in a restaurant and one time I decided to pour a cup of soup into an empty bowl (a bowl of soup costs a good bit more than a cup of soup at the restaurant). The cup filled up the bowl to the top.
I was a waitress at a family-owned restaurant that paid me $0.10 more than the minimum wage. They were able to require me to turn over all tips that I never saw again because they paid me over minimum wage. I think this is technically legal, but sleazy nonetheless. I made really great tips and it was hard turning the money over. It's also pretty deceptive to the customer, who thinks their money is going to the wait staff, not the restaurant.
Mattress stores that have the "find it anywhere else for cheaper, you get your money back!" deal contract with the manufacturer to make the exact same model of bed, but with a model name specific to that store, so nobody can ever cash in on that deal.
When I was in the process of moving into my current home I transferred the title of my old home and land to my sister because she was buying it and moving in when I left. Within the next few weeks she started getting all the "welcome to the neighborhood" coupons and flyers. She didn't even change her address, so I assume companies track title changes with the register of deeds. The sketchiest was a pest control company claiming to have an existing account on the property and recommending she continue to use their services. They detailed dates and changes; referenced termites. It was all lies. All the dates shown were while I owned the property and I never even heard of this company before she received that letter.
I know a guy who does pest control who specializes in raccoon removal. He takes the raccoons from one house in one neighborhood, then takes and releases it in another neighborhood then waits for the people there to reach out to him to remove the raccoon from their home.
When I was working in sales this is what they taught me to psychologically trick people into buying whatever shit we were selling. Strap in, this could be long.
First up, everything I learnt in sales worked through what they called 'impulse' selling, which means playing on people's tendencies to make a decision based on their current state of emotion. Salesmen will build your level of 'impulse', and then 'close' you. The 'close' is the point at which they seal the deal, and you give them your money in exchange for whatever they have convinced you that you need.
There are five basic ways that salesmen will 'impulse' you. The acronym they taught us was G.I.F.T.S.
The first was 'Greed'. People are naturally greedy. By which I mean they want more for their money. They want a good deal. If people think they can make or save money, they are more inclined to buy. An example of this is basic 'half price' or 'buy X, get Y free' sales.
I stands for 'Indifference'. People can smell desperation. If they sense that you have a motive for wanting them to do something (like buy) they will be more wary, and want to know your reasons. Therefore, a salesman will try to make it seem as though they do not care whether or not you buy (even if they are on commission). After all, they are only offering you this amazing deal for your own benefit.. They have nothing to gain..
Third was 'Fear of Loss'. Causing people to worry that they will miss out if they don't buy. This can be exploited by making people think that this is their one and only opportunity to purchase at a 'reduced rate', or used in conjunction with 'Greed', for example 'buy in the next 60 minutes and get X free!'.
T, 'The Jones' Theory'. If your community is getting on-board with an idea, there is no reason that you shouldn't too. It's safe. 'It's all the rage'. 'Everybody's doing it'. 'Don't miss out'. This also ties in with 'Fear of Loss'.
The last one is 'Sense of Urgency'. Can be used in similar ways as 'Fear of Loss', i.e. 'buy in the next 60 minutes or else X', or as subtly as a salesman saying that they have other appointments and won't be able to come back and offer you this deal for a too-long period of time. A sense of urgency causes people to buy more impulsively, especially when coupled with a fear of loss.
Once salesmen have 'impulsed' you enough, they will try to 'close' you. I was also taught a number techniques to 'close'.
The first was the 'assumptive close'. This is basically assuming that the person will buy and filling out the paperwork. A common example of this is a salesman simply asking for your your name, and the proceeding with the sale. They will fill out an entire form and then just ask you to sign at the end.
This is often assisted by the 'trial close', where a salesman will slowly push you over the line, while at the same time testing you to see if you are 'impulsed' enough to buy. They will do this by asking you closed questions, aimed at steering you down a conversational track which leads to a sale. Charity workers do this a lot when they ask 'Do you like dolphins?' (yes), 'Do you think dolphin's habitats should be protected?' (yes), 'How much do you spend on beer / tea / coffee a week?' ($5-$50), 'Do think you could put $X towards saving the dolphins?' (umm, well, I guess you got me there..)
Another powerful close is the 'alternative close', where salesmen will offer you one of two choices, both of which result in a sale. 'So would you like the regular option or the slique-deluxe?'. Often presented assumptively (see 'assumptive close').
The last was the 'silent close'. Harder to use, but effective with indecisive buyers or people that pull back when pressured. Basically presenting the overwhelming positives with the easily countered negatives, and then shifting control of the conversation to the buyer, and forcing them to say 'yes' or 'no'. Obviously, the salesman has presented the information in such a way that you would be stupid to say 'no'. After building tension and excitement for the product, they let you come to the decision themselves.
Almost every person who sells goods or services has been taught something along these lines, and the most successful salesmen have this information at the forefront of their minds when they are selling to you. Never forget it. These people just want your money, they honestly do not generally care what you get out of it.
I bought a swimming pool several years ago. The slime-ball sales guy was using all the tactics. Last few days of sale, need to put money down today. Yada, yada. This was a major purchase and it irked me the way he was trying to pressure the sale.
I ended up going to another branch of the same pool store and buying the pool. It came out to a few hundred dollars difference.
I had an occasion to stop in the first store as the install was happening. Needed some sort of part or chemical. The original sales guy recognises me and ask about the pending sale. I said "I bought it off the other store because you said the sale was ending. I figured maybe they where running the sale longer" His eyes about blew out of his head. The girl at the register was giggling the whole time. As he stormed off she said" Now that was funny" I just smiled back and walked out the door.
When finding a home for your elderly parents, set up an appointment but come in a few minutes early and say (don't ask) if you can walk around for a quick look. The receptionist likely wont refuse you, and the sales person won't be ready for you. These places like to show you only the stuff they want you to see when being led around by a sales person. Chat with a resident or a staff member, they'll be the most honest with you.
Many companies claim to be environmentally friendly by putting made up certifications on their products. Like a frog in a circle that says "rainforest friendly." There are very few legitimate environmental certifications. It's called "green washing."
If you're buying a used car and it's parked over a puddle - they don't want you to look underneath.
The "You won a TV / $5,000 / bass boat!" scams at car dealerships.
Generally, you get a flyer in the mail that says "scratch off x to see if you won!"
You always "win" the biggest prize but when you read the fine print, you actually only win the right to spin some wheel or put your name in a box for a drawing.
The employees' friends and family always actually get the boat / TV / cash. Your "win" is just a tactic to get you into the dealership.
A fun thing to do is waste the manager's time.
Go to the dealership, "prize" flyer in hand. Find an nice car. One with all of the options. Ask for every dealer add on they offer and tell them you don't want to waste time negotiating, you have cash. Talk to the manager, and keep going back to him/her. Insist on a test drive with the manager. Convince them you want to buy the car, and get to the paperwork phase.
Then, just before you sign, inform them that they haven't sold you a car. They've sold you on the idea of buying a car. Get the manager's card and tell them you'll be dropping their card in a hat with other dealership manager's cards. A card will be selected at random and that dealership manager will be notified by mail in 4 to 6 weeks. Let them know that the actual car you buy may not be the one used in your "promotion."
The higher priced items like prime rib and seafood is typically at the end of the buffet line and cheaper more filling options like bread and mashed potatoes are at the front. They hope you fill up your plate space/stomach space by the time you get to the high ticket items.
Take pics of any existing damage to a rental as soon as you move in and email it to the landlord/leasing office. I did this after a landlord told us he took the last tenant's entire security deposit for damage (to be fair, it sounded like the tenant really messed shit up). I took that as a flag, and sent him a very detailed email of every hint of damage I could find. 12 months later, after we moved out he emailed me to say he was going to deduct $100 from our security for damage. I reminded him of the email I sent him, and never heard from the f*cker again.
Some stores increase the price of a product and then put it "on sale" by a percentage of the fake higher price.
Made "from" or "with" 100% something
Just because something is made with 100% of something doesn't mean that the thing itself is 100% that thing.
Worked in a family owned pharmacy for a few years. Find yourself a family owned pharmacy if you a) don't want to go through your insurance b) don't have insurance or c) you'd like to support the working class and not walmart or CVS. People would call us and ask for a cash price for their medication. We would be hundreds of dollars cheaper than walmart on almost every prescription. I remember quoting someone a 90 day medication at $20 and they said walmart was going to charge $250. The reason I said the things about not going through insurance is because insurance companies tell the pharmacy how much to charge you and tell the pharmacy how much the medications cost. Shit, add insurance companies to this list. Family owned pharmacies are losing so much money because of the way insurance companies work.
Making you pay more for printing your own damn tickets at home.
StubHub, ticketmaster etc.
The "closing down" sale in the shop that never closes down. It's just in closing down sale mode continuously.
I'm amazed shops are allowed to get away with this.
In France it's hard to fire or lay off people, so when big companies need to clean house a bit, they move the office to a new location quite distant from the current one. In the process they reduce the office size from 50,000 seats to 30,000 because they've estimated that amount of people will resign rather than endure a 4 hours commute... But officially "totally you still have your job if you want, we are not laying you off, but I need you in the office everyday... Or you could resign if you don't like the new location..."
"We have many more clients interested in this limited offer."
It's not dirty as it's legal but there is a reason that stores ask you to donate some amount to a charity or fund. They can use your donation to help them get a tax write off.
Add to that labelling things like "0% cholesterol!" or "Free from saturated fats!" on foods that would never normally contain or be expected to contain those things. Bonus points if it's something really unhealthy like boiled sweets.
Offering insurance on anything that does not have the potential to be financially debilitating. "Want to insure your DVD rental?" Fuck off.
When my grandmother was in the hospital, her landscaper and handyman both contacted me to tell me she hadn't paid them and they'd been trying to to reach her and on and on. I'd already paid both bills from her account and when I questioned them, they remembered real quick.
Real estate gurus who sell their courses online in downloadable digital format and say that we must buy now since they "only have a few courses remaining and when they're gone, they're gone!". How the f*ck do they run out of digital, downloadable courses? Do their computers run out of binary 1's and 0's after so many downloads? Sounds stupid but people fall for this ploy regularly.
Some companies on Amazon will offer to refund your purchase of their item on paypal if you give them a good review. That way it still looks like a varified purchase through Amazon.
Stop pre-ordering unfinished games that stay in beta indefinitely
When my friends and I rented our first house in college, the landlord told us that he had three different groups of people walking through the house the next couple of days, essentially getting us to sign the lease as quickly as we could. We were excited, so we didn't think much about it.
Fast forward to two years later. A group of college guys were walking through the rental with the landlord. I pulled one aside and chatted with him a bit about the downsides of the property that I felt I couldn't say in front of the landlord. It came up in conversation that there were 'three other groups walking through in the next couple of days'. There weren't (the landlord was obligated to tell us about people walking through).
The bastard tried to take advantage of them the same way that he did with us two years prior.
My grandfather used to keep doves in his balcony and then sell them on Sunday market. Later the same doves would fly back to him.
Receipts with "disappearing ink". You know, the ones that scribe with heat, and then completely fade away in a couple of months.
Any receipt of significant value gets scanned as soon as i bring it home. (This includes warranties and other long-term documentation. )
I worked in the Oil and Gas industry for a brand marketing internship in college. This company owned a franchised brand and an in-house brand. They would target "New Americans" which were mostly pakistanis or people who smoke limited english and sell them on the idea of owning their own business. Franchising for the company was much cheaper than investing in building their in-house brand. A benefit in the in house brand however was since they had more control over the costs via vertical integration they were able to undercut competitors on gasoline prices.
So the brand marketers would target new Americans and have them invest their own money in opening up a gas station. If the gas station did well this would be a "market test" for the viability of the in house brand. The in house brand would then find a spot typically across the street from the franchise and build their own station. If the franchise didn't do what the in-house brand wanted they would begin undercutting the station on gasoline prices until they were run out of business due to not being able to shoulder the burden of cost like the in-house brand could.
Once the station was gone, prices would rise again and the in-house brand would benefit from not splitting traffic like before.
I figured this out about half way through my internship and essentially just checked out, I was paid well but it was the worst I've ever felt as an employee.
Saturation competition. A way for bigger, richer Corps to kill smaller local businesses.
Open so many Starbucks (or whatever store) in the area that noone can make money, since there's just way too few customers to go around.
Soak up the loses for a few years with your deep pockets until all the local stores have gone out of business.
Shut down excess stores once you're the only player in town.
A car dealership (this list exists for them) is advertising an old truck for $2,500. I go there to check it out and hear a looooong story about...
How perfect it is, how much the previous owner hated to trade it in after so many years of faithful service, how he's loved it and taken such great care of it, how well it has always run for the owner and the dealership (they've only had to change the oil filter on it and it still runs perfectly!) and how it's just taking up space in their parking lot and they need to get rid of it.
Great! We take it for a test drive, no problems. Great! We'll have it!
So we sit down to make the purchase...It's over $5,000, doubled in price! On top of the $2,500 car, there's...
$850 in tax, tag and title fees
(Actual state tax + state fees are around $300)
$650 in maintenance and repairs
"I thought it didn't need any work...you only had to change the oil filter?"
"Yeah....well, uh.......we have to wash it, too!"
$600 shipping/delivery charge
"This was a trade in! It literally landed on your doorstep! "
$500 dealership fee
"It's just been sitting in the parking lot. Since this is separate from the maintenance fee, I assume this is just paying you and the sales people directly, but you're only making this transaction harder for me."
At the end, I paid $2,500 because they know the rest of the charges are more lies than the truck can haul.
Giving someone a promotion just to get them back on a probationary period so they can be fired without cause or repercussion.
Happened to my wife recently. They were able to twist some information to make her look bad enough to can, and with no risk of legal recourse because she was on probation with her new position. Wife said they did the exact same thing to someone within the past year; guy won employee or the year, was promoted and promptly fired.
Pet stores will lie to convince you that their pets come from responsible breeders. They never do, a responsible breeder will always want to screen potential buyers themselves. They would NEVER trust a petstore to find a suitable home for their puppies.
Also their prices are usually more expensive than a purebred dog from a reputable breeder who does health tests to insure the genetic health and physical health of the dog (even if its invisible to a naked eye). A vet check is NOT a health check, theyre more advanced, including xrays of parents, having the parents seen by board certified opthamologists etc.
In Nova Scotia Canada severance pay is paid on the average of your last 30 days of pay. This means that some companies will actually reduce your hours to minimum your last month with them if they are going to lay you off. Happened to me wife. She worked for this company for 5 years, worked 35+ hours per week, suddenly she wasn't getting shifts. BOOM, layoff notice. Happened to other folks too.
If you're in the UK, working for an agency or temp work for a company, you will accrue holiday pay. However, the company or agency is not obliged to tell you that.
After a certain period, if you haven't claimed it, the agency gets to keep it so often they'll 'forget' to tell you about it.
They are obliged to payout if you've requested it in writing, though.
Watch the ever changing price of pre-packaged food goods at most grocery stores. One day the price 'may' seem to go down, but if you checked the weight, it has also gone down. Snack foods do this constantly.
When I worked at H&M we used to do some sneaky stuff with setting up the mannequins/displays. Whenever we had a supply of shirts that were really ugly, and weren't selling well. We'd put the ugly item on the mannequin, and it would sell out very quickly.
This isn't necessarily the dirtiest trick, but it worked pretty well for pushing really ugly clothes.
Literally anything a corporation does that they can be fined for is taken into account as a business expense. If it's cheaper to pay an illegal dumping fine than it is to change the way they process waste nothing will be done to stop the illegal dumping.
My good friends job at a Medical insurance company was to evaluate existing accounts and do risk assessments and cost analysis. Take over the cost sucking accounts and find a way to eliminate them.
He cut a costly account off and argued for a month with the primary holder because he found some weird rule in their terms the family Violated. My friend got a bigger monthly bonus and he got a call two months later from the dad thanking him because his 10 year old son died.
In restaurants, the daily special or the 'chef's choice' option for things like cheese plates and desserts means 'the stuff that will expire tonight.'
In the US food laws are stringent, and most of those things won't hurt you, but you will not get the best the restaurant has to offer.
some telemarketers will ask if you can hear or understand them. if you say yes, they'll call back and say that you ordered their product with a recording of you saying yes.
A company having a business model that relies on charging fees for breaking its own rules without justification for them.
Looking at you CreditOne.
*Has a late payment fee but refuses to add any kind of auto-payment. In 2017.
*Takes 5 days to clear a normal payment. Pay 4 days before your bill is due? That's a late payment fee. Want your payment to clear earlier to avoid that fee? Pay an express payment fee! Its the same fee amount? Lordy! What a coincidence!
An older fellow I know had a bodega and he'd put a can of cream corn on the counter by the register. This was some time ago so the van had a price tag of $.17. He sold that can of cream corn to everyone who bought anything there. If they realized they were paying to much he'd just say he thought that was their can of corn. Most people didn't notice though and he sold that same can of cream corn maybe twenty times a day.
Placing the most profitable items at eye level (worst deal for you) and the best value for money items in hard to reach places
Making you walk past all the items in the store due to design
Whole Wheat Breads. Double check the ingredients list. If bleached flour is listed at all, put it the f*ck back.
Sara-Lee is noturious for this. Most of their Whole Wheat products are actually just molasses make the bread darker.
I worked at a Nissan dealership as a car salesman and it was made abundantly clear to us that all of the advertised prices and sticker prices where 100% bull shit. I even remember one of the managers telling us a new commercial went out and referred to it as "a bunch of lies that are going to get people in the door".
Yelp and their blocking off web reviews and photos if you're browsing from a phone. Oh, you want to read this review? DOWNLOAD OUR APP. F*ck that.
Know the difference between a gigabit and a gigabyte. One gigabit/megabit/kilobit is only equal to 0.125 gigabyte/megabyte/kilobytes. A lot of services (like Verizon) advertise their data caps and data speeds in gigabits so as to confuse customers who don't know the difference. If your plan has a 8 gigabit data cap, then you can only really use 1 gigabyte of data. Likewise, your 100mbit/s internet speed only has a peak download of 12.5 megabytes per second.
Many nursing home communities require a massive deposit to move in, mid-6-figures. They earn interest on that deposit, but that's not the dirty part. The dirty part is in the fine print:
Marketing staff will tell you that the deposit is returned once the leased unit is relinquished. And that's technically true. But what they don't tell you is that the contract defines "relinquishment" as "whenever the marketing staff fills that unit again."
So if Grandma dies or moves out, and her apartment is vacated, marketing staff will intentionally not fill that unit again for years at a time, to keep earning interest on the deposit. This results in countless retirees and their surviving families becoming financially destitute as they wait for some leasing agent to feel like giving them back their money.
Before moving in you should take pictures of areas that show existing damage and note that in their form during your walk-thru. Even though they signed off on the form which I stated the existing damage, they still tried to charge for things like water damage to window sills and cupboards that were already there. Also it'd be wise to take a black light through the place before move-in. They tried to charge me for a urine stain they missed from a previous owner who had pets. And lastly, they tried to charge for cleaning the oven.. Except I cleaned the oven. But I forgot to take out the aluminum foil I put in the bottom to catch drips, and they wanted $50, the price of a full cleaning, to remove it.
Dish Network's door-to-door salesmen will tell you that's it's fine to use your parent's name and Social Security Number for your account if your credit prevents you from getting service. This is not ok, it's identity theft.
Buying a car from a "buy here, pay here" dealership. You put $500 or $1000 down they say you are approved and you drive the car home. Two days later the dealership calls and says that they couldn't get you financed at that down payment and interest rate so we need an additional $2500 down and your interest rate doubles. If you don't have the extra money they take the car and your original down payment. This is in AZ.
People give no f*cks about your luggage or parcel, they get dropped, thrown around everyday behind the close door, especially heavy items.
I worked for a startup that had a sleezy CEO and got most, if not all, of their business by fake Yelp, Google, Glassdoor and other review sites in our industry. CEO was a compulsive liar and had no morals.
It is easy to see fake reviews now since they are usually a bit more eccentric and polished and I have lost all faith in them.
Try to make it seem like you're going to get some form of extra special deal out of it.
E.g "2 for £10!!" offers on products that are £5 each anyway.
Bottled water. Much of the water is from public sources and is marked up hundreds of times over. I just bought some after a flight and paid more for a liter than I would for a gallon of gas.
If you ever get a demonstration of a service from a company they will always use their very best, most experienced staff but once you've signed up you might find you've got the dregs that they couldn't foist on anyone else working for you.
Signing people up for shit as addons to an existing bill and hoping they don't notice the extra charges.
Maybe not dirty, but incompetent contractors will often way underbid jobs. So if you request a bunch of quotes, and all the bids are relatively close except for one that's way lower, there's roughly a 100% chance that guy will screw it up and you'll have a nightmare on your hands. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
Online shopping: Don't trust product reviews and things like amazon best sellers.
Companies have started to put a lot of marketing effort to get their products good reviews and on top of best seller lists.
A local lawn maintenance business takes advantage of unsuspecting customers in 3 ways:
On monthly bills, they double the state tax (instead of being, say, 6%, it'll actually be 12%, if you check the math).
Without discussing it with homeowners, they charge double for "double-cuts" when the grass is a little taller in areas than usual. So, if you had agreed to pay $50 per mowing, the monthly bill says $100 for each visit. They never ask - they just do it and charge double (in most cases, it's just a small "patch" of the yard that has taller grass, not the entire thing).
They're supposed to mow once per week. But without telling customers first, they start mowing every 5 days - which means they get to charge for more mowing visits per month than necessary.
Nominal weights and measures that don't match actual weights and measures. My company sells by the each but each item has a nominal weight. We intentionally produce our product approximately 10% light to save raw material costs.
Try, try, try to stay sober enough to successfully challenge any erroneous charges on your drink tab. Sometimes if a bartender or server is dealing with a drunk/heavily buzzed customer, they'll charge them for more drinks than they actually consumed. Unfortunately, few people excel at doing math when they're drunk/heavily buzzed.
I work with a lot of different body shops, and in my area the big thing to do is to enhance the damage to customers cars. I don't mean they try and negotiate harder, I mean they actively create more damage to previously undamaged panels, usually in ways that don't affect the function and are hidden to the customer, in order to get the insurance company to pay them more money. In my area, while not every shop does this, I would say the honest ones are the minority.
And it screws the customer over in the long run. The shop might promise that they will "save you your deductible", but in the end you end up with a car that has unrepaired damage or you have to pay out of pocket if the insurance company catches the shop enhancing. And the sad thing is there is almost no way to know which shops do this when you pick a shop.
Sellers targetting retired people. To them, retirement means "old" so potentially easy to trick. They send offer for "retired only" by mail or phone. You're supposed to have win a coffee machin or toaster. You come to the shop to take your prize and thay make you try couch, wine or else, using all their technics to make you think it is a good deal, proposing staggering plan with high interest rate to people would answer them they can affort to buy their stuff. And that shop disappears after few weeks before too many kids come to complain that their parents got swindle.
At theatres the price of medium cup of popcorn is usually very close to the price of the large popcorn making people more likely to buy the larger one.
When you go to buy a used car some dealers will have unrealistically low prices for some of their cars that's lower than their actual value. This is to attract you in, and then once they have you in and you're considering buying the car, they'll add what is called a "dealer prep fee" that will range around 500 dollars. This is just a fake fee they will use in order to make up for lost profit for putting the attention grabbing low sticker price.
Not sure if this counts but at my local store they have packets of candy that's often on sale as 2 for $4, but they always make sure to cover up the original price... which is $2 each
When moving out of a rental apartment/house make sure to take lots of pictures and ask the owner/landlord to do a walkthrough with you. Video the walk through. That way if they do not give you all your deposit back you have something to take to court VS a he said he said which you generally lose.
When you turn in cable/internet equipment make sure to get a FULL receipt showing what they took in and the date it was received. Scan this and e-mail to a couple different e-mail accounts. Comcast and others are bad about "losing" the equipment a couple years later, after you forget, and then billing you. CYA!!!
Jacking google business pages. Basically if a google business listing isn't claimed and controlled by a company, a competing company can weasel their way in and direct people to their business by, say, changing the phone number.
There was an article recently about how drug counselors in the Philadelphia area had it happen to them. Their listing phone number was changed to an 800 number, which directed callers to an inpatient rehab facility in Florida. It was discovered when one of these counselors started noticing his patients suddenly not showing up. He called one of them and found out he was at this facility in florida.
Offering a great deal over the phone to get you to buy or upgrade, then refusing to acknowledge the deal later on because there's nothing in writing.
Customer wants Product X from a European Manufacturer.
But Product X from Europe is too expensive. Profit margins will be low.
So we just buy Product X from some no name Chinese Manufacturer and switch labels.
These are high volume products that contractors send out tenders for. It's an open secret anyways. The contractor person in charge knows all the shit. Everyone vying for the order are ready to hand the person a cut (a bribe basically) for the order. So ultimately the client is the one getting screwed, but even he knows what shit goes around, because he ends up saving big time by paying Chinese prices for "European" products, which he goes on to sell to individual customers.
And honestly, every European manufacturer has a factory in China. Even if you get a legit European product, it's from China.
Whatever your employer says is not true if you can't prove it.
My employer started putting random clauses into my contract verbally. They didn't exist in writing.
Debt collectors will have "detectives" call you from a number that appears to be a legitimate law enforcement agency when you Google it. It's actually a spoofed caller ID using a legitimate agency's fax number. The "detective" will threaten arrest and throw around names of local judges. The debt collector will claim to not know the "detective" who left the message, but will be willing to take care of your debt.
Selling a customer a wireless phone package that you claim is "unlimited," then throttling their speed when they surpass some arbitrary limit of data used.
Getting solar panels on your house by lease or "power purchase agreement" is a horrible deal for a homeowner. You save a small amount on your bill, but are tied to the agreement for 20+ years while the company that actually owns them retains all of the tax benefits.
Mechanics and other car servicing places will often put many additional tasks/replacements on your bill or imply that you should do things immediately. While many of their recommendations are things to keep in mind, often the tasks they are talking about are not immediately necessary and can be put off for a while before there is an issue. (This in no means is me saying that you shouldn't regularly take your car for servicing)
Rental companies, specifically for vacation. They will say a certain condo/house is available on their website but then when you call, they'll say it is now unavailable or just got booked very recently. Then they'll try and show you a different place which is like $50 more a night, banking on the desperation of the tourists to just say "f*ck it" and rent it.
I've seen many videos of cops pull drivers over, put them in handcuffs and sit them on the curb "for their safety," and then ask for their keys so they can get their registration. You know, to get the stop over with so they can get out of the handcuffs and go on their way.
This is how cops legally obtain permission to search your vehicle. Any time you are compelled out of your car, lock the car, put the keys in your pocket, and don't hand them over under any circumstances.
If political campaigns are calling you, they never actually remove you from the list when you get asked to be removed. Most of the time the refused option needs to be selected multiple times in your database profile to actually be removed.
Petco will sell you non-aquatic plants specifically for your aquarium that will poison everything in the tank.
At home depot and lowes there are cacti with plastic flowers glued on to them.
Offering people in debt credit cards with incredibly low initial interest rates for the first year and then raising the rate dramatically to keep them paying off new interest debt forever
I recently paid for a riverboat dinner cruise, the cruise was cancelled cuz the boat broke and they wouldn't refund my money citing "they told me so" when I paid for them. There is a clause that if they have to cancel they'll do the event in the dock...
In high end IT, vendors will often "go dark" in the months before a service contract renewal or infrastructure refresh is needed. The idea behind this is that the customer is forced to come to them, or they can come to the customer with little enough time to complete the refresh that they are either forced to make a purchase on bad footing for price negotiations or renew service agreements for an additional year at a higher rate while migrating to new gear.
Places that change your oil put a sticker on your wind shield to remind you to get it changed again after 3000 miles. In reality you could go at least double that distance and it will probably be fine
Best Buy: With an HDTV like this you're going to want these gold plated HDMI cables which are rated for 720Hz ($80) and you'll want a router that can take advantage of full 360° panoramic WiFi too.
Automatic renewal/evergreen clauses in equipment leases where the service/maintenance payment is bundled in with the equipment payment. Terms are normally 90-day advance notice with annual renewal. Lessor has to enforce the annual renewal - to amortize the residual cost of the equipment, and give sales leverage to the servicing dealer. Usually by this time in a five-year lease the service portion has increased incrementally due to automatic increase clauses in the lease contract. Lessee: I want to return my equipment. Lessor: You cannot, unless you pay 12 months of rental+service, and then ship back the gear at your own expense. But the dealer can sell you a new machine that we can finance for a much lower payment! Total fucking scam and I was responsible for enforcing those terms for many years. Left with an indelible stain on my soul.
If you go anywhere to get your oil changed, check what your interval is first. Some will insist on an oil change every time you go in, which you do not always need. Toyotas are a good example. They have a 10k synthetic oil and need to be changed every other service appointment (5k service intervals).
Delaying pay day because the "big boss" is not around and we "need his/her signature". Rinse and repeat, until the employees get used to it or forget and the delay is so big that it reaches the next pay day and they can completely skip a month's pay.
Roadside assistance through your car insurance can be reported as a claim. You have no way to argue against it.
When dealing with a salesperson, they will wait for a third "Hard no" before ending their sales pitch
Data caps on mobile internet plans.
If you work at a place that sells lottery tickets--scratch offs--you can grab a roll, scratch off as many as you want until you find a winner, then buy all the ones you've scratched, including the winner, of course, and maybe a few beyond that. Anyway, there's no way to prove you didn't buy them first, so cash in!
I've read a couple of news accounts where convenience store employees won big doing this.
Extreme markup for quick, shitty quality.
Worked here for six years but not anymore so f*ck it.
Getting a large job done at Kinkos (FedEx Office)? Don't need it for a few days to a week? Don't be a shithead and say, "I need this done now/ASAP". If you do that, it gets produced "in-house" and you'll pay up the ASS. Instead, ask for a bid.
If your bid is over $250, say no. They WILL drop your price by 10%. It's called "10 to win" as in they drop your bid by 10% to win your business.
If your bid is over $750, say HELL NO. Tell them you wish to speak directly with their National Bid Center. You will get a call within 24 hours and your price will be dropped DRAMATICALLY. I've literally seen a $5k order get dropped to $750.
They then send your order off either to their CPC (Central Production Center), OR they literally call another local company and they do it. Either way, the quality of work will be a million times better than if they ran it on their shitty Canon machines that break down constantly.
One last thing: NEVER print from their computers. If you need something small done quickly, AT LEAST have your file(s) on a USB stick or in your email as attachments so that you may use their (hit & miss) cloud service. You're looking at minimum $0.99/page for color plus computer time charged per minute v. around $0.50/page for color and no computer charges.
Better yet, befriend an employee and find out what company they send shit out to locally. Look up their web page, call them for a quote, and be amazed as your price literally drops 50% (100% markup when they outsource).
Edit: Forgot to add that the employee you want to befriend will need to be at minimum an LPC, or lead project coordinator, and even then they might have no clue where it gets sent to. You want the one you see behind the printing counter that seems to ignore you until someone else helps you.
Making an "expansion pass" and only including 2 of your 4 DLC in it.
Wage theft. That shit is way too common.