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18 Companies That Are Constantly Exploiting Their Customers

18 Companies That Are Constantly Exploiting Their Customers

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In today’s world, where consumers have unlimited choices and access to information within a few clicks, it is important for companies to provide honest and transparent services. Yet, plenty of companies still choose to shamelessly exploit their customers instead of earning their trust and loyalty- illustrating their bottom line is more about money than quality service.

Why aren’t people calling them out on these sketchy practices? It might be due to brand awareness, marketing schemes, or lack of competitors. Some companies just think they can get away with it, and somehow do.

Sadly, many companies rip their customers off right under their noses, yet they continue to stay in business for various reasons.

1. Funeral services

sad couple in black at a funeral cemetary
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Funeral service providers are notorious for charging exorbitant prices during times of grief. They take advantage of the fact that people often do not have the energy or time to shop around for better deals, making it easy for them to inflate prices on items like coffins, flowers, and memorial services.

2. US Health insurance

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Particularly in the US, the rising cost of healthcare has made it difficult for individuals and families to afford health insurance. In response, insurance companies have been known to increase premiums and deductibles while also denying coverage for necessary procedures or medications.

European countries with universal healthcare are always shocked at the prices Americans have to pay each month for a plan that literally doesn’t even cover their basic care. Paying hundreds a month only to have a deductible and services denied is definitely a unique American experience.

3. Cell phone providers

old man on the phone texting
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Cell phone providers are notorious for locking customers into long-term contracts with hidden fees and charges. They often lure in customers with attractive promotional rates, only to increase prices once the contract is up. In addition, they make it difficult for customers to switch providers by charging hefty cancellation fees.

4. Car Mechanics

car mechanics under the hood
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While some car shops have been known to take advantage of uneducated customers, oil change companies like Jiffy Lube have come under fire for being caught charging customers for services that weren’t even done. They also often recommend unnecessary repairs, leading to customers paying more than they should.

5. Airlines

airplane seats
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Airlines are notorious for all kinds of frustrating practices that leave a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. From price hiking with the use of brower history (cookies), to overbooking flights and then asking for volunteers to give up their seats. And let’s not forget the constant delays, lost luggage, and poor customer service. It seems like there is no end to the ways airlines can rip off their customers.

6. Unaccredited “for profit” schools

frustrated woman at her computer
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Unfortunately, many students fall prey to the promises of unaccredited “for-profit” schools that charge exorbitant tuition fees and provide subpar education. These institutions often make false claims about job placement rates and fail to offer degrees or certifications that have any actual value for starting a career.

According to Wikipedia, the list of unaccredited schools in the US is shockingly high. Many of them are Christian colleges. Another famous university scandal is Trump University.

7. MLMs

woman with money flying out of her wallet
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Multi-level marketing companies, also known as MLMs or pyramid schemes, often target vulnerable individuals looking for a way to earn extra income. They require members to pay for expensive startup kits and products to sell, but the real money is made through recruiting others into the scheme. As a result, many people end up losing more money than they make.

Sadly, companies like Amway and Herbalife have been called out on this, but they continue to thrive.

8. Computer Repair Shops

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Photo Credit: Depositphotos.com.

Similar to car mechanics, computer repair shops have been known to charge exorbitant prices for simple fixes or even recommend unnecessary repairs. For example, popular companies like the Geek Squad at Best Buy have been accused of taking advantage of customers who are not tech-savvy and rely on their expertise, leaving them vulnerable to high charges.

9. Diet products

fat man wanting to lose weight
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Weight loss and diet products have become a booming industry, with companies targeting vulnerable individuals who are desperate to lose weight. These products often make false claims about their effectiveness and can be harmful to one’s health. The worst part is that these companies continue to profit off of people’s insecurities who are looking for a magic pill.

10. Cable and Internet Providers

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Photo Credit: AndrewLozovyi with Depositphotos.com.

Cable and internet providers are notorious for providing subpar services while charging high prices. They often require customers to sign long-term contracts and have hidden fees that are not disclosed upfront. Customers need to pay close attention to their monthly bills to make sure prices aren’t suddenly rising.

11. Taxis

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Taxis have long been known for overcharging customers, especially tourists. They often take longer routes or add additional charges to the fare without any justification. With the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, consumers now have more affordable and transparent options.

12. Car dealerships

buying a car
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Car dealerships often lure in customers with attractive promotional deals, only to tack on hidden fees and charges once the deal is finalized. They also have been known to take advantage of customers who may not be well-informed about cars and their true market value.

Without an idea of what you want before buying a car, you might also find yourself being convinced to upgrade to some of the latest shiny models.

13. Diamonds

beautiful woman with diamond earrings rich
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Diamonds are infamous for their inflated prices and unethical business practices (exposed as blood diamonds). Many diamond companies have been accused of exploiting workers in developing countries and artificially controlling the supply to maintain high prices.

14. Extended warranties

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Coined as “legal scams,” extended warranties are often pushed onto customers when purchasing expensive electronics or appliances. However, they usually end up being a waste of money as most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty and rarely break down within the extended warranty period.

15. Car rental companies

traveling couple renting a car
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Car rental companies are notorious for upselling unnecessary insurance and charging hidden fees. Many customers have experienced unexpected charges on their credit card long after returning the car, leading to disputes and frustration.

16. Brand name medications

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Pharmaceutical companies often charge exorbitant prices for brand-name medications, even though there are more affordable generic versions available. This puts a strain on unaware individuals who require certain medications but cannot afford the high costs. Consumers can always ask for alternative options when they are struggling to afford them or want to have a price comparison explained to them. 

17. Wedding anything

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The wedding industry is a billion-dollar business that preys on the pressures and emotions of couples planning their special day. From expensive venues to overpriced wedding dresses, photographers, and catering services, there seems to be no end to how much people are willing to pay for their dream wedding.

If you are planning a wedding but want to avoid the exorbitant prices, people often will order “generic” flowers, cake, and decorations without revealing the true reason for them.

18. College textbooks

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Many students end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars per semester on books that they may never use again. Then, they resell them for pennies before they’re sold again for their original price (or they can’t even resell them because a new edition is released every year). Fortunately, there are now more affordable options, such as renting or buying digital versions of textbooks.

Professors are sometimes called out since they promote certain books, or even their own, for their own financial gains.

14 Companies Known for Their Greed and Exploitation That Are Somehow Still in Business

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Let’s talk about corporations. We rely on them for everything from groceries to gasoline, often without examining their practices too closely. Yet, some companies have track records so littered with controversies, it’s shocking they haven’t faced more consumer backlash.

14 Companies Known for Their Greed and Exploitation That Are Somehow Still in Business

20 Things Poor People Waste Money on, According to Suze Orman

money guru Suze Orman
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If you’ve ever watched her show, you know Suze Orman pulls no punches. She’s all about calling out bad money choices, urging people to take control of their financial destinies and ditch those pesky spending habits that derail progress. While her advice can be blunt, she aims to empower folks to build wealth and protect their financial futures.

It’s important to note, Suze Orman gets flak sometimes for being too harsh. She’s not shaming people, but highlighting how certain expenses can sabotage big goals like homeownership or a comfortable retirement.

20 Things Poor People Waste Money on, According to Suze Orman

12 Culturally Acceptable Habits That Leave Americans Drowning in Debt

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The average American household carries over $103,000 in debt, including mortgages, credit cards, and car loans. While various factors contribute to this staggering number, certain culturally acceptable habits have played a major role in leaving America drowning in debt.

12 Culturally Acceptable Habits That Leave Americans Drowning in Debt

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