April 2, 2020 | Maria Cruz

People Share Some Huge Middle Fingers From Companies To Customers 

You know, when we enter into business with a company, we expect some hidden fees here and there. But it doesn’t take long before things spiral out of control. As much as we appreciate our loyalty, some companies don’t see it that way.  From selling information to charging you for your own money, these are some of the biggest injustices companies get away with.


#1 No Discount for You

I think one of the worst things companies can do is only offer discounts and stuff to new customers. For example, giving discounted rates to new customers only none to long term subscribers or members is nuts. Cable companies do this a lot. They often don't care about their loyal customers as much as new customers.


#2 Up in Flames

I'd say the award for worst company move has to go to the phone company that throttled the data of firefighters in California and requested they pay more to receive the same quality that they should've been receiving all along. They knew full well that they had no choice but to pay so they could continue trying to stop the entire west coast from going up in smoke. Classy.


#3 Oh Yeah? Prove It

In 1994, Intel's Pentium chip had a flaw that led to some math errors. They first denied it outright (even though it was super easy to demonstrate). They then agreed to replace chips for customers who could "demonstrate that it affected them." They finally relented after a media storm and government threats of investigation caused their stock to plummet.


#4 A Stocking Horse

A 24-hour supermarket I used to service would do all their stocking between one and four in the morning. Every day, during that time, this group of old biddies would do their shopping, and constantly complain about the employees being in the way, doing their jobs. Well, the old women started actively complaining about the employees' stocking and began calling management every day. After a week or so, the store's solution was to tell the old women, “Well I guess you’re going to stop coming in that early” and now they shut their doors from midnight to 5:00 a.m., to allow the workers to stock in peace.


#5 New Coffee in Town

A Brazilian company bought a coffee company and immediately changed all the products to ones they use for other businesses they own or their food distributors. They then threw out the original coffee supplier. Another chain smartly picked up the coffee supplier and have been having success with their coffee. 


#6 New Features

Subscription-based software. Like, I need programs to edit photos every so often. I don't use it so much that I feel the need to pay every month. I don't need the newest features. I just need some features that have been there for a while and I'm perfectly content with that feature set for a long while. Why should I pay a recurring fee when I could just pay $200-ish and use it whenever I want in my life? 


#7 Fees on Fees

Ticket companies are horrible. They charge convenience fees when you buy tickets yourself, input your own information, print tickets out with your own printer with your own ink. "Oh, we have to charge you for that convenience." Back when I actually bought tickets online, I went to a music store (when those existed) and there was another fee. The next time, I picked them up at Will Call at the stadium. Another fee.


#8 Capitalizing on Data

Data caps are major nonsense, it doesn't cost the ISP anything. They pay for bandwidth and most fiber optic cables are nowhere near their capacity. As a matter of fact, most (in my city) are less than one percent of their maximum. Extra data doesn't cost them anything but they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for it.


#9 How Much?

I was volunteering at a hospital and saw something pretty upsetting. A nurse was about to give a patient his medication and he wanted to know how much it would cost. This guy was so sick and he used all the energy he had to ask this. I hated health care so much at that point. It shouldn't have to be like that.


#10 Greedy Activation Fee

About 10 years ago, I was working for a behemoth in the telecom industry. They decided to change their policy on business discounts being extended to employees by adding an "activation fee." This fee of $36 was added to the next bill. It was really a slap in the face for small business employees who wouldn't see a return on this initial investment for over a year. The campaign lasted all of three months before a board member was presumably bombarded with hate mail and threats and the greedy "activation fee" was dropped.


#11 Sorry, We’re Closed

I used to work at a mom and pop restaurant that would be open until 9:00 p.m. The kitchen would close at 8.30, though. But on Saturdays, it'd be open until 10 and the kitchen until 9:30. Every other Saturday, a gigantic family came in at 9:15 and demanded to be seated. They were really terrible people, a rich family. Some of them wouldn't even look at me when ordering or asking for something. They’d always stay well past 10:00 p.m. so staff would often have to go home at midnight.

But they tipped very well and left the tables easy to clean so we didn't bother. However, one day, the boss and staff closed to shop early to celebrate a long time co-worker’s birthday. But this family came in and started yelling at the birthday girl and the staff for not cooking for them . My boss straight up threatened to call the police if they didn't leave immediately. From then on, Saturdays closed at the same time as other days.


#12 Powerful Potato Bugs

These big companies that just keep on selling our personal data and then basically being like, “Yeah. I sell all your data. What are you gonna do about it?” when everybody found out. They’ll then continue to sell our data for the next 10 years because we’re about as powerful as a potato bug with a rocket launcher.


#13 Hard of Hearing

Removing the headphone jack from phones was a garbage move. I ended up buying a $250 dollar wireless headphones. While it's a massive upgrade to wired headphones, it also cost $250 to do what a $30 pair of headphones would do. Plus, it's one more thing I need to charge and since they’re so expensive, I have to baby them all the time. Does it work? Yup. Is it worth the massive cost increase? Nope.


#14 Your Call is Important

I know I know DMV complaints are so blah but I'm convinced my state DMV doesn't actually have anyone who answers phones. But, they also don't let you do most transactions online and they advertise that there is a number to call for questions and to do certain transactions. I tried calling so many times that I started to experiment with it.

Over the span of three months, I'd called them at least once every single hour they were open. I also called at least four separate times each day of the week they were open. Every time it would ring once, give a "we're experiencing an unusually high call volume" message, and hang up on me. I mean, just don't have a number listed. Don't tell people they have to call. Or make your recorded message say that you have to go to a DMV office in person, or give an email or web address or something. What good does this do anyone?


#15 Pay to Play

Free game apps that force you to spend mega bucks if you want to get anywhere in the game. Also, these same apps made it insanely easy to do so. It’s bad enough, but they also knew full well that kids were going to be spending their parents' money without their immediate knowledge. But, I guess they don’t care.


#16 Bigger Airlines

Within the past five or so years, airlines moved from bad to horrible. I know the whole set up used to be that discount airlines would upcharge for bags and seat selection, but it was okay because their tickets were just so much cheaper. Meanwhile, the bigger airlines would just have all that stuff included because it was so expensive and you get what you pay for. But all the other nicer airlines realized that they could make money putting in tier systems for types of seating and charging more for a bag than the cheaper flights ever did.


#17 Lining Their Pockets

Every single company that has funded the anti-climate change movement. How can there be a bigger middle finger than to try and literally condemn the customers and their children to live in a dying world, just to line their pockets with more money than they will ever spend? I am not religious, but I wish there was an underworld so that I know those worthless companies would be burning.


#18 Every Opportunity

Banks that take homes from elderly folks with paid off mortgages. Some have literally illegally repossessed military member's cars while deployed. They've committed fraud at every opportunity. I really need to switch banks, but boy is it a pain with 20+ bills, taxes, mortgage, etc. They’re all linked to the account I've had for over 20 years.


#19 Durable Fabric

In the last 10 years, it seems the fabric has become so thin that they start falling apart in months. And this is not clothes from cheaper stores but from mid to higher-priced clothes from so-called superior stores. Then if you do want clothes with some durability, the prices are crazy high. But, even the high priced items can be quality.


#20 Smackdown With Fees

I wanted to go to a WWE event that comes by every now and then on TV. It was always advertised as "Tickets start at $25.00!" So, we thought we'd just get two cheaper seats. After fees, it would cost $98.00 for print-at-home tickets. That's not exactly terrible but that is a lot to tack on. Those fees can really get you, especially with concerts.


#21 Better Prices

This one cable company called me with a spiel about how they could lower my monthly bill while giving me faster internet and more channels if I would recommit to their company for an "x" amount of time. For 20 minutes that guy had me on the phone, originally having stated my bill would be $40/month less. Then he sent me a confirmation link to approve and guess what? My bill was suddenly $40 more than we currently pay. I hate that company so much, but there's no alternative for the internet.


#22 Driving Up Prices

Insurance companies are a huge part of the problem. They would rather pay discounted prices than low prices, which drives prices up for everything else. As a pharma company, if you charge everyone $10 for your medication, without exception, insurance companies won't cover it. But if you charge $100 list price, and discount the insurance company to $20, they'll eat that up.


#23 Come Back Soon

Oh, here's a phone that can only take photos. Six months later comes another phone where you can take videos! The fact that you could take videos on one if you jailbroke it makes this planned obsolescence. Like, you literally used restrictive code to block hardware capabilities so I would spend another $500 in six months.


#24 Selling Overseas

Back in the ‘80s, this one pharmaceutical company accidentally sold infected clotting agents to people. When they found out their medicine was actually making their patients sicker, they just started selling the medicine overseas instead because they "didn't want to lose any money“ on the stock they already had.


#25 Unofficial Parts

Some tractor dealerships basically force the people who "own" the tractors to get them serviced at a dealer via the software not allowing the tractor to work. So, if it detects an unofficial part, which are only available from the dealers, you’ll run into issues. I could be a bit wrong on the details, but that’s pretty much the gist.


#26 You Cover It

Health insurance companies are honestly some of the worst places to ever exist. I work at a physical therapy clinic and even if a person still needs it, they deny that patient for approved appointments. This causes that person to pay for themselves if they want to. The thing is a lot of them need therapy still.


#27 To Name a Few

I have several that bug me. Subscription-based software that forced auto updates in software. Video purchases infected with DRM that requires Big Brother studio's permission to use on a different player. Windows 8/10 not including ethernet jacks on streaming devices, removing non-HDMI connectors from video devices.


#28 They Don’t Care

I have to remind my mom a lot that companies don’t care about loyalty. She’s with a certain internet provider and pays $250 a month for cable and internet. She called to try and get a reduced rate and they said no. She tried the “I've been a customer with you guys for 30 years and that obviously means nothing.” No mom, they don’t care. You need to cancel and pick someone else. Or cancel and then have dad call and create a new customer account and get the discounted rate.


#29 Pay for the Privilege

There’s a freelance site out which already charges clients to post jobs and takes a 20% cut of all money that freelancers earn on the site. However, they recently announced that there will be an additional fee for every job you apply to as a freelancer. Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little crazy, especially for freelancers?


#30 Trash Company

Our trash collectors were bought out by some global company and they weren't even trying to keep people's business. We thought the change was great since they came by with new bigger cans for us. However, they wouldn't take trash that was in a different can that wasn't their company's and we produced a lot of trash since we're a family of six. 

We called the company multiple times to ask for a second can, but they never delivered. One day, they missed our trash altogether. After we called them, they just shrugged it off saying, "Oh, I guess they missed your house." My father replies, "Are they going to come back to pick it up?" and they put the final nail in the coffin with, "Oh, you have to wait till the next trash day. There are no other pickups." We dropped that company and got a more local one.


#31 They’ll Find Out Eventually

I used to work in a bank. They raised the debit card annual charges by doubling it, without notifying the customers. They charge for each SMS sent, even for promotional messages. They debit froze thousands of accounts, without warning, so that the customers would update the KYC documents (which the bank failed to procure when the accounts were opened) without warning the customers because the regulatory body was going to fine them. Customers found out their accounts were frozen when they attempted transactions in basic places.


#32 Vulnerable Information

These credit score companies. You don't have a choice but to be their customer and they don't care about protecting your personal information, like name, addresses, SSN, credit history. After the massive breach that exposed the information of basically every American adult, plus some Canadian and British, they offered discounted credit monitoring. They couldn't protect our information in the first place, so they want you to have them monitor it. Plus, an executive waited to announce the breach so he could dump his stock before it tanked.


#33 Structure Decks

A mobile game that used to be F2P friendly until they started rolling out “structure decks,” which are things only available through money. As expected, game balance is in favor of these decks. That is among the cutbacks they implemented. Even worse was the community started rationalizing it as the best since cheating in any competitive environment is okay.


#34 Buying Their Seat

The constant devaluation of customer loyalty programs, especially with airlines. When you fly, most of the people sitting in the nice first class seats are not wealthy. They're tired, working business travelers who get free upgrades to those seats because their companies show the airlines so much business. That and because they're flying many times a week or month.

Lately, airlines have been more eager to simply sell the seat upgrades for a couple of bucks right before departure to more "leisure" travelers. I'm all for making a buck, and I understand the business case. Just the same, it sucks when you give the airline tens of thousands of dollars over a year, hope to occasionally enjoy the reward of a nice seat and better service, only to see it sold out from under you to whoever walks up to the gate and offers them a couple hundred bucks.


#35 Rising Premiums

For me, it’s 100% insurance companies. They do whatever they can to make your life hard. My dad's premiums are rising again. I'm able to stay on my parents' insurance until I'm 26, but if they keep it up, I won't have that long. I finally got a hearing in SSI court a few days ago, so only now do I have any hope for a safety net.


#36 Used Against You

Too many large companies ask, “I’m speaking to you on a recorded line, is that okay?” If you say no, they hang up without helping you. If you say yes, they can or will use the call as evidence against you at a later date. If you reply that you’re also recording the conversation, they hang up on you. The accountability privilege only goes one way. There is no protection for the consumer. That’s a gigantic middle finger.


#37 Pride Month

It’s not one particular company that bugs me, but they all do it. Whenever companies put out rainbow or pride stuff during Pride Month just to earn money, they don’t really care about the LGBTQ+ community. They all seem to cash in on the attention and it really does bother me because it’s obvious they don’t care.


#38 Taking Second Jobs

I suppose the biggest middle finger these big chain stores give is to small businesses and their own employees. People deserve a living wage! Some chain stores are huge employers and still, a decent amount of their employees also have second full-time jobs or live on some form of welfare. All so a wealthy few can line their caskets in gold.


#39 Attention Seekers

Social media makes it simple to gain a big following in the early days and then change the algorithm so that only a fraction of your followers see your content unless you pay for advertisements. Some sites have gotten everybody addicted to attention by allowing people to build a following and then cut it off abruptly because they know companies and influencers will pay to continue getting attention. They’ve tricked us all.


#40 Closed on the Weekend

Not having my student loan servicer open on a Saturday after they tell me that they’ve successfully cancelled my auto payment and accepted my deferment. They then overdrew my checking account by a total of six hundred dollars two days after they cancelled my auto payment. And yet, I can’t talk to anyone about it.


#41 It’s In The Fine Print

Sneaking in the “buy one, get ___% off,” but they make some of the font bigger than the rest, making people instantly think it's buy one get one free. Poor cashiers will get the people who understand and put the item back or go ahead and buy it. But, there's always someone who will insist they're wrong or think it's the employee's fault for it being designed that way, creating a scene when they're just trying to do their job.


#42 Biggest Scam There Is

Homeopathy. For those who don't know what it is, it's diluting the medicine so much that it holds a microscopic amount of the actual component and then presenting it as a medicine against pretty much anything. Companies then sell it in pharmacies as a diet supplement or actual medicine. Biggest scam there is.


#43 No Way Out

I work at a banking company. We just changed our policy so no credit card holders can ever participate in a lawsuit with the bank, even class action. The notification was inconspicuously added to everyone's account at the bottom of standard terms and conditions, presumably so fewer people would notice. The only way to opt out is to write and mail them a letter saying you opt out.


#44 Cut Out the Middleman

Honestly, health insurance. When I pay $12,000 in premiums and $3,500 in deductible before they start doing anything. Then they try to say your treatment isn't covered or your provider is out of network. Just let me pay my provider the price the insurance pays. I don't need this middleman nonsense getting in the way.


#45 Now Get Out

Self-checkout. I used to think it was an interesting idea and sometimes it can be faster, but for the most part, I stand back and watch old people fumbling to put their stuff they just bought in a bag or struggling to scan items. People who can't read the screen, people who have trouble lifting, people snapping at each other for being too slow, etc. Half the time, you need assistance anyway.

It ends up taking forever and it's embarrassing that a company already designs every aspect of its store and products to make you buy and then doesn't even provide customer service. At the end of the night when they don't want to pay someone to stand around and monitor the self-checkout, it gets closed and they have two staff people ringing up 34 customers because they're understaffed. It’s basically like, “Come buy this for too much money, hurry up and ring yourself out and don't even think about stealing. Cool, now get out.”


#46 Racking Up Charges

When my old bank first introduced their online banking site back in the late ‘90s, they tried to charge for clicking on the transaction history link. Their logic was at the branch, they charged $1.50 to provide an account history, so customers who self-serve online should also pay the same exact charge. I had about $30 in charges when I found out this was a thing.


#47 That’ll Cost You

I went to Vegas recently and all of their hotels have “amenity fees” of $40 a night. Amenities are considered to be the pool, the TV, the little hotel soaps all hotels have, etc. If you’re at a really nice hotel, maybe breakfast (probably not though). It’s the kind of stuff that almost all hotels have for free. And there’s no way around it, so why not just raise the price of the room listing? The best part, though? No one mentions it until you check-in.


#48 I’ll Drive, Thanks

The entire airline industry is constantly working to see who can hurt their customers more. The latest that I’ve encountered is some airlines are now charging to make even basic seat reservations. Don’t pay and you’re guaranteed to get stuck in a middle seat. Recently, I was looking to book a round trip flight to Colorado. The conditions included being charged for carry on bags, being the last to board, and a bunch of other things like that. I canceled the reservation and drove two days each way instead.


#49 Pay for Your Money

I’d have to say that my biggest headache is bank service fees. The banking model was “you give me your money and I pay you to lend it to others. I make money by charging borrowers slightly more than I pay you.” Now, they charge you for the privilege of using your money to make more money. It’s just ridiculous.


#50 Mother Nature Loves Oil

If you think about it, oil companies have known about the impact of burning fossil fuels on the earth's atmosphere since the ‘70s. Their reaction was simply to start a publicity campaign of misinformation to the public saying that extra carbon in the atmosphere was somehow good for nature. They’re absolute monsters.




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