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The 9 Biggest Rip-Offs Ever

The 9 Biggest Rip-Offs Ever

Unlike the rest of the personal finance blogosphere, I’m willing to admit I’m cheap. Every time I crack out some cash to pay for something, it pains me.

Yeah, I realize I have to eat, and I need shelter and so forth, but it still makes me cringe every single time. It doesn’t matter if it ends up as a charge on my credit card or if I pay in actual cash, paying for stuff just plain sucks. The only reason I do it is because the alternative sucks even more.

Most things, however, are a pretty good value. I pay a reasonable price every month for housing, at least in my own mind. I think the same way about the cost of owning my car, as well as the price of food, and a full 99% of the things I buy. Saying that, there are a few things that are just absolute rip-offs. The companies that sell these things are making great profits, off of our hard earned cash! I say we boycott all these items and really show these companies who’s boss! That’ll show em!

On second thought, nah. They’re just too awesome to not buy, no matter what the price is.

1. Movie Theatre Popcorn

Oh man, do I love movie theatre popcorn. Apparently it packs in a whole bunch of calories, so you’re not going to want to eat it too often. Considering how much it costs, you can’t afford to eat it that often anyway. A decent sized container costs north of $5 these days. The cost of the popcorn kernels probably checks in at a quarter. Add a little extra for the butter, and what do you get? A great money maker for the theatre.

2. Text Messaging

How many of you have signed up for the unlimited text messaging on your cell phone plan, at a cost of $15 per month, even though you send like 94 texts a month and receive 96? I’m guilty of it. I read that each text sent costs the phone company between a fifth and a third of a cent. Good thing I have shares in Telus.

3. Expensive Coffee

Admittedly, I’m not a coffee drinker. I have no idea how all you people manage to choke that stuff down. Most of you are hooked on the stuff, and some of you are hooked on fancy $4 coffees from Starbucks. There’s like 38 cents worth of coffee in there. While I avoid the expensive coffee, I have to admit that the fancy hot chocolate is pretty tasty. What? It has whipped cream.

4. Hotel Movies

After a hard day of being on holidays, you retire to your hotel room. The kids are being annoying, so you hope to shut them up with a movie. Congratulations, you just spent like $12. Hotels sure are smart when it comes to taking advantage of your laziness. Hotel minibars are just as bad. Next time, pick the hotel close to a convenience store.

5. Bottled Water

You do realize water from the sink is basically free, right? Even if you buy one of those fancy Brita filters, your cost jumps to like a penny and a half per glass. Bottled water is a rip-off.

6. ATM Surcharges

Ever been somewhere and needed cash, but the only ATM had a gigantic surcharge on it? I know, we should all plan ahead so this doesn’t happen, but it does. When I was in Vegas a few weeks ago, I paid $3.50 for the privilege of withdrawing $40. Believe me, I would have withdrawn more, except I was going home the next day and had no need for extra American cash. I paid almost a 10% surcharge to withdraw my own money from my own account.

7. Fountain Soda

So let me get this straight. You’re going to charge me $2-$3 for a pop, and in just about every fast food restaurant out there, I have to pour it myself? At least I get free refills… most of the time. How much does the soda and the cup cost the restaurant? A quarter?

8. Cables

Have you ever bought a Monster brand HDMI cable? That’ll set you back like $40. Even USB cables these days will set you back $10-$15 dollars if you buy them in the electronic section of the store. Both the store and the companies that make the cables are banking on the fact the cable is an impulse buy after the big TV or home theatre system. After dropping $500 on a TV, a $40 HDMI cable doesn’t seem so bad. Buy these online for a fraction of the cost.

9. Glasses and Contacts

I sometimes think that if I had my life to do over again, I’d become an optometrist. Glasses frames probably cost $5, maybe the glass costs $10. And then they sell the whole package to you for $250. The margin on contacts isn’t quite as bad, but is still pretty high. Buying contacts online is a pretty straightforward process, but it’s still dicey to buy your glasses online.

Readers, what do you think are the biggest rip-offs out there?

Comments

  1. Money Infant

    I have to agree with you on all except for #5. Here in Thailand bottled water is what everyone drinks and it is just $0.24/bottle in the 7-11’s. If you buy it by the case it is an even more affordable $0.12/bottle. And as for the big water cooler size jugs, we get those for $2 a piece.

    • Ruj

      Yes, but there is no quality control. The ??. (Or Yor) number (essentially the Food and Drug Administration) the water company gets is given once. They can produce water forever on that. No follow-up inspections, no reviews, no nothing. Basically, the machine has to be clean on the first day, but after that, who knows? I know of water companies who got their Or Yor 10 years ago and who have never been inspected since. Good luck….

    • Sarah

      WASTE of plastic, shipping, storage!

      • Dave

        @Ruj,

        tap water is undrinkable in Thailand whereas the water in the large containers is. You pay a comparatively big deposit on the containers so most everyone returns them when they are empty.

  2. Money Beagle

    I agree with you on these. There is something about movie popcorn that is so darn good though, so every once in a while we’ll splurge.

    • Alan

      It is the coconut oil that maes movie popcorn so good. You can buy coconut oil at most stores.

  3. Daisy

    I’m totally willing to admit I’m cheap. One time, I sat in my car for an hour and a half between meetings because I didnt want to drive home and back and waste the gas. Home was less than 7 minutes away.

    • Emma Barr

      Why didn’t you just walk home??!! Two feet and an heart beat! It’s free and healthy!

  4. Tam Le

    You forgot anything-that-they-sell-at-an-airport. The upcharge on basic necessities (food for example) is ridiculous.

    Oh and cable TV. But perhaps that’s not a ripoff and more a waste of money.

  5. Kim

    How about the extended warranties that sales people are constantly pushing, whether you’re buying a TV or a dining table. What a waste of money.

    • Cooper

      Kim – you have it absolutely right. Biggest Consumer rip off that exists, it trumps all 9 on the list. I’d also add Wi-Fi charges in hotels – especially luxury hotels where it should be included.

  6. Nicki

    As a student of optometry, I have to point out that glasses cost a lot more that $10-15 for us to produce. Sure there are cheap glasses out there, but that’s not what we generally carry in our clinics. Our dispensaries usually carry designer brands and lenses, which are much more expensive than $5-10. Of course optometrists make a profit on glasses, but it’s not even close to as much as this blog entry implies.

    • Phil. S

      Whilst EVERYONE is happy to complain about the “Rip Off” costs of glasses – NO ONE thinks about the “hidden costs” to Optometry and Ophthalmology. ALL the equipment / instrumentation is jaw-droppingly costly (as are the “must Have” textbooks . . .), and consumables / operating expenses are similarly high. The VERY significant (and recurring) capital outlay alone must be recouped, and that will only be via sales – Governments pay the very least they can get away with for “Free Eye Testing” services, and claims are always at the expense of added paperwork even in today’s electronic age.

      Next time you have your eyes tested, and a new prescription provided, just note all the equipment needed to provide you with a reliable and safe exam. Then have a peep at the equally costly grinding and polishing equipment needed to cut the lens blanks to fit your chosen frames. ALL these items are specialist, i.e. ‘niche market’ items, with an inflated niche market pricetag (and that applies to maintenance costs too!)

      I used to work in this business, left to find a better career in Pharmacy. The reality is that the General Public really have NO idea of the costs of this business type, and if Optometry charged the same profit margins as some Clinicians do, you’d be looking at $2000 per pair for glasses – and non-bifocal ones at that.

      • Clint

        I know nothing about optometry but must agree with prices being out of control.. My local optomertrist sells designer frames starting at $260.00 My lenses have to be high index plastic because of my high perscription so there’s another $550.00 Bought the same frames and lenses online for $180.00 including shiping.. Difference… $630.00!!!
        Easy choice for me….

        • Samuel Joseph

          I track how prices are staged and set in Canada – a Duracel calculator battery costs about 10 cents at the Montreal port. The mark up goes from 10 cents to 50 cents, to $1.99 to $3.99 and up as it makes its way through the distributorship. if you do the math, the price jumps by between 40 to 60 time by the time you buy that battery – wow Canada, wow. I would like to jog consumer into going online and boycotting these unscrupulous “Canadian” retailers who are not Canadian, apart from having a branch office here.

          Glasses – found an optician at young and Shepard who got me $600+ glasses for less than $200, year after year. he showed me his costs and mark up – guess what he lives very well.

          This brings me to believe that we have very stupid Canadian consumers and equally gougy and unscrupulous retailers. I say, blow the boarders and lets do all of our shopping on the net and the US for a bit…you will see the change quickly.

    • Alan

      Nahh, I can buy glasses online for $17 and they work great. Heck I don’t even bother to see an optometrist anymore just keep buying stronger glasses as I get old.

  7. krantcents

    Bank fees, late charges, service charges are rip offs because they are avoidable! I hate paying for nothing. Credit card interest is another worthless expense.

    • Frugal Berliner

      It is nice to have a choice about these costs. I have an account with the credit union. Pay the credit card balance every month – hence no rip off !

  8. passiveincome

    I was working in cinema when I was younger. I know for a fact that their cost of making pop corn is close to nothing. I think text message should be free nowadays. When I travel to US, I pay $2 per day for unlimited voice, text, and DATA! What happen to canada?

  9. Shilpan

    These are rip-offs, but we can avoid it as we are free to choose in free society.

  10. Liquid Independence

    Concession stands in amusement parks. The margin on cotton candy and a bag of chips is really high. But I suppose they can afford to charge that much because their customer’s choices are limited.

  11. Dave Hilton

    Pay-Per-View movies & events are a HUGE rip-off!

    Replacement cell phone batteries cost more than a new phone in many cases.

    And because I’m not a sports fan, I think all of the sports channel packages on cable or satellite are a complete rip off, too.

    • comeoncomeon

      Should be 20 stations (no premiums) for $20.00 CDN per month. Then I could get rid of having to pay for the ones that don’t have enough paying support for themselves.

  12. Bryan

    Both #2 and #6 really chap my hide. Like you said, I also hate having to pay anything to access my OWN money.

  13. Fountain pop costs about $0.05 cents per fill, maybe more for the diabetic sizes.

    I think designer brands are a huge rip off. I often wonder how people can justify spending $300 on a pair of jeans. They must think it’s their old jeans that made their ass look fat and not the other way around.

    • Samuel Joseph

      Gosh – there is someone else who knows the price of a cup at the soda fountain!!!!!!!!! There is a God!!!!

      • comeoncomeon

        And beer costs about a quarter a bottle to produce in Canada — most of the remainder is tax.

  14. Savvy Scot

    Great Post and some good highlights! Too easy to fall into the trap of ‘accepting’ things at face value and not stopping to challenge if we are being ripped off. ESPECIALLY coffee! 🙂

  15. Marc Novakowski

    I agree about the cables. The best place I’ve found to get cheap cables online is Monoprice. They even deliver to Canada for very reasonable prices. Need a 6′ HDMI cable? $3.50. You will never buy cables (of any kind) from a retailer again!

    • cathie

      Try finding cables, cords, cell phone chargers and the like, at 2nd hand stores, usually for a buck a piece.
      New clothes are a rip too, I get gorgeous stuff 2nd hand. Goes for kitchen equipment too….old fashioned utensils that are well made and last forever.
      People give away something you might need everyday.

  16. Frugal Berliner

    I thought everyone knew this already.
    How about taking a bicycle to go shorter distances. No waiting for the bus, and parking is easy.

  17. Mares090

    How about making a telephone call from your hotel room? Some charge up to $1.50 + tax just for connection fees even though you use a 1-800 calling card. That doesn’t include LD charges of course. So it’s either use the cell fone or have your convesation in public using the phones in the lobby.

    Then there’s the internet connexion fees…10 quid a day? Oh please.

    Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate expenses. A recent stay in Halifax was made that much cheaper as the hotel was situated next to a mall. Joining a hotel points program helps to keep expenses down (no call charges, 1 free bottle of water, morning paper, free internet, etc.)

  18. urban daddy

    Saw your post on the Globe and Mail site. nice.

    As a Canadian tax professional, to me, the greatest rip off is government late filing and late remitting penalties and the subsequent interest they charge. It’s crazy.

    Even if you’re filing an incorrect return, you save the $400.00 or $800.00 penalty and you can amend them for free once it’s filed.

    As with most late charges – libraries (does anyone even use these anymore?) or movie rentals, or interest on credit card bills, it’s lazyness and should never, ever be incurred. It’s like walking outside and throwing money in the air. You’re giving it away.

    Just my two-cents worth!

    • Nicole

      Also here from the Globe and Mail link. Speaking of Canadian taxes, why does the public have to pay for tax filing software? Should the government not have developed this software and provided it for free to all Canadian citizens? They are no longer sending out those thick tax packages, and there is literally *no* labour processing fees when Canadians file online.

      • E. Tarshis

        Absolutely! Every year it is the same thing. We’re asked to pay for a program so we can file our taxes and without which we have to rely on snail mail for our refund. That’s wrong on so many levels.

      • just me

        try studio tax. they ask for a donation and you can carry forward last years return info.

    • Erick

      Public libraries in Kitchener are 10 cents per day late charge. At that rate you can afford a few days of lateness without breaking the bank.

  19. Brenda McConnell

    Glasses for $250?!!!! That’s a steal….my last glasses cost $750.00 They say its the lens cause I need bifocals. I even shopped around and short of going to Walmart and buying a really ugly pair I couldn’t find anything cheaper. I agree We should all have become optometrists. I feel ripped off at these prices.

    • Samuel Joseph

      Go and find United Optical @ Young and Shepard

      • just me

        buy your frames and take them to walmart for the lenses. I just had bifocal lenses replaced at walmart for $32 each.

    • Ltuplin

      Buy them online. Great service & Price at http://www.clearlycontacts.ca/ I don’t work there, but I do shop there 🙂

  20. Northern Witness

    You are way off the mark with your comments on bottled water. That free tap water contains dissolved recreational and prescription drugs excreted in urine. Municipalities do not have the money to install the equipment to remove dissolved materials. Filters do not remove dissolved materials. So, every time you drink tap water you are taking drugs. Over time this cause you build up a tolerance for the prescription drugs so that when you actually do require them they will not be effective. A couple of dollars for a case of uncontaminated spring water seems like a good investment in one’s future health.

    http://ag.arizona.edu/azwater/awr/july00/feature1.htm

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/inre-nwri/default.asp?lang=En&n=C00A589F-1&offset=10&toc=show

  21. WatchSmart

    Using my Canadian ATM card outside of North America:

    Scotiabank charges me a twenty dollar fee to get money from a foreign ATM. Twenty bucks!

    My credit card is a bit better. They charge only seven dollars, though they do start charging interest on that immediately. I save money by putting extra cash on the credit card before going abroad so I can take money out without being charged that interest.

  22. Veronica Beacher

    Car dealer fees. $200-$300 for ‘window etching’ which is presented as a normal security feature. It’s virtually useless, and you can buy a kit to etch your VIN on your windows for $20 if you really want to. It’s not complicated. Dealer Admin Fees. These can range up to $1500. My last dealer wanted $500 even though I was paying cash. What kind of admin did they need to do? A clerk typing a bill of sale and another lowly paid employee taking the vehicle transfer to the ministry? For what they wanted their employees must have been paid about $200 an hour! Also, almost any extra feature you want has enormous overcosts. Want a nicer radio? They’ll charge an extra $1500. Want a GPS (available at most electronic stores for $100) thats another $1000.

  23. P.shing

    Another big rip off ever. Investing in GIC at 1% or 1.5% (Investing $2000 at 1.5%. interest earned $30). Then at maturity when you move your funds to another bank, you are charged $50 in bank charges (Interest of $30 less $50 bank charges is equal to a loss of $20). Can our MP’s legislate to protect people who are investing for their retirement. That’s why these banks are making billions in profit.

  24. Spencer

    Hotels do not make money on the mini bar EVER! no matter what they charge, it still costs more for the hotel to stock and staff this service. Also the movie system prices are determined by the movie supplier (lodgenet etc) the hotel only gets a tiny percentage of this revenue, over 80% of movie sales are made from movies that are shall we say not family orientated?

    • Mark

      Nonsense. Minibars are a great money-maker. In one hour, an employee making less than $20/hr can restock a dozen rooms. Are you saying hotels make less than $20/day on the minibars of a dozen rooms? Crazy.

  25. james miller

    9 biggest ripoffs ever ?
    None of the 9 you proposed ranks up there with fees that high schools charge students for locker and lock usage. We taxpayers already paid for the lockers when the schools were built. Furthermore Dudley combination locks (the industry standard) cost less than $5 each. So how can schools charge students (i.e., their parents) $5 to $10 per year for the use of locks and lockers? Where does this money go?

    • comeoncomeon

      End of the year pissup for the Teachers Union.

      • Nanabush

        What a stupid comment !!

  26. Mike Sullivan

    Hotel movies are actually a good deal. For $12, a family of four can watch a movie in the comfort of their hotel room, eating take-out. This is far cheaper than the $10+ per person ($40+ total) bill for going to a movie theatre. Then there’s that popcorn thing… don’t get me started on that.

  27. LUIS

    The biggest rip-off of all is… being cheap.

    One chooses lower quality products and then have to buy them again much sooner.

    Or goes to a fast-food instead of a good restaurant – doesn’t save much, has much less fun, eats more calories and still leaves dissatisfied.

    Or buys an old used car instead of a new one… “Oh my, new cars lose so much value in the first year”… But forgets that one can keep a new car for 10, 15 years, if one cares properly, while a used car will need much more maintenance, consume more gas and will need to be replaced much sooner.

    And the list goes… one-dollar stores, couponing, outlet store, are all rip-offs because the products cost less, just because they are worthless.

    Now, I admit these are good ways for an occasional savings. But most of the time, if you look in the long-run, all this is just a way to waste money in “small” quantities, so you don’t realize it…

    • NoBoots Calgarian

      Luis- Being cheap doesn’t necessarily mean choosing lower quality. With planning, and some common sense, you can get the brands you want at reasonable prices. Even dollar stores carry brand names, not for every product, but many everyday things.
      Couponing is not a ripoff, because you are buying something you always buy (at least I do) and getting a discount on the price.
      Outlet stores, especially the designer labels, are a mixed result, because their products are usually good quality, but you are only offered last year’s styles. If you don’t have to be leading-edge in your wardrobe, you can save a bunch. Not to say that most ‘fashion’ goods are ridiculously overpriced.
      Keeping your car for ten or more years is a good idea, but you can save even more if you buy a late-model, say two or three years old. Find a reputable dealer or a good mechanic who can inspect your choice, and you can find a car with a chunk of the depreciation taken off the price, yet will give you years of service. I drive a 2000 Camry (12 years old) with many years left in it; it was purchased used six years ago.
      I can’t argue about fast-food joints, but high menu prices doesn’t guarantee quality food or service. On the other hand, there are many places in every city which offer good, wholesome food, not fancy, but not expensive. You have to ask around in a strange place and pay attention to food reviewers in your own town.

  28. Coach

    Surprised no one mentioned cost of mailing a parcel in Canada and then the time it takes to arrive at destination. I mailed a small item to a company 25 km away and cost was $14.50 and took three days to arrive???

  29. Mark

    US roaming charges by cell phone carriers. These are insane, and represent next to no cost to the carrier. They could easily partner up with US carriers to assign a reasonable cost to this sharing, in both directions, but they don’t because it brings in huge money and terrible cost in dollars and convenience (and even safety) to consumers.

    • Ltuplin

      Better to buy a phone & plan in the US from Wally World & donate it to charity when you leave. Much cheaper!

  30. mari

    Any processed, prepared food, but especially those in packages such as prepared rice, side dishes, etc. Not only is there pennies of food in there and more chemicals than the periodic table, but the salt and fat delivers a double whammy after your pocket has been thumped

  31. Laura

    You know what else is a rip-off? Designer cosmetics. 9 times out of 10 a $40 lipstick is exactly the same as the $10 lipstick, just fancier packaging and a big-name celebrity on the marketing campaign.

    And ‘designer’ throw cushions, table cloths and curtains. They are outrageously expensive, when you consider that you can buy your own fabric and sew them yourself in an hour or two for about 30% of the price… and then they are custom-made and unique! Sewing is sadly becoming a lost art. I did all the curtains in my home for a few hundred bucks and they look gorgeous, when it would have cost thousands from even just a mid-priced department store.

  32. Dinsdale

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned inkjet printer cartridges. Judging by their prices, and even taking into account the actual cartridge itself, the ink contained therein must be among the most valuable liquids on earth! On lower end printers, especially when they are on sale, you’re almost better off just buying a new printer than replacing the cartridges!

    • Adam

      Yes, printer ink is the most expensive liquid in the world. A survey months ago showed it be $800.00 a gallon. Try and match that.

  33. Shondell

    Parking in down town Toronto is a rip off, especially during a sports event, or a concert.

    • Mia

      I think parking is a huge issue!
      What about paying for parking at hospitals. I find that one curious.

    • NoBoots Calgarian

      You obviously haven’t been to Calgary, where parking costs rank with the highest in North America – even higher than New York!

  34. CincinnatiWarren

    PRINTER INK CARTRIDGES!!!!

    Dinsdale is so right!!!

    Living in the US….health insurance is a huge ripoff, especially when the carriers are making record profits while so many go without.

    Also, housing in Toronto…glad I said goodbye to all that!

  35. joanne

    You ever had to make a long distance phone call on a pay phone at an airport? I was meeting someone and forgot my blackberry at home. Called them from a payphone, billing it to my Credit card. The first call didn’t make it through, had a $25 fee, the second call was over $40.

    • Keith

      This is a BIG one. I had a similar experience using a pay phone at Dublin airport using my credit card. 30 seconds cost about $20. Call charged to some billing company in California. When i looked them up there were hundreds of complaints lodged with the local Better Business Bureau.

      They are smart. Charge you sub $100 charges – not enough to go to court for, but enough to make a criminal-level profit.

  36. Johntren

    Another bad rip-off is booze (although I suppose some might consider it a luxury). Why is it that Whiskey, of any type, is generally aged in oak barrels for 10 years; and yet Vodka, which is ready the same day, sells for the same price? Also, why can’t you buy your whiskey in one of those water cooler-sized jugs for a wee discount?

  37. Caesar Partypants

    The Federal Reserve and Central Banking. Number one RIP-OFF in my opinion. Prove me wrong?

  38. Bank Ripoffs

    Bank Account “Fees” have to be one of the biggest ripoffs being currently abused by Canadian Banks.

    In Japan, taking monthly administration fees for savings and chequing accounts as they are called in Canada are called “NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES”.

    Forget Bank of Canada low interest or bond rates. Your local Big Bank is subtracting your deposit amounts in a typical daily savings or chequing account and in exchange offering you a negative return.

    These are not really fee-based accounts… They are accounts that offer the holder NEGATIVE INTEREST RATE returns.

  39. Norma

    Use a ‘phone card’ for long distance at home or away.

  40. Rob in Madrid

    surprised no one mentioned this yet but Apple accessories. Love the iphone and ipad (not too big on Macs) but the accessories, ouch, 39€ for an hdmi adaptor!!!

  41. Go'r'd

    I do not buy bottled water(I drink tap water filtered through a Breta filter), I do not drink pop (I drink beer-wine-scotch-rhum-milk-smoothies), I do not buy popcorn in a theatre or anything else there and I only go to the theatre about once or twice per year(I have a surround sound theatre at home), I do not buy coffee at Starbucks nor at any other place–too expensive (I make my own coffee in a French press for .26 for three mugs and Great Value coffee whitener), I do not use mini-bar in a hotel, I do net surf the net in a hotel, nor watch hotel movies, I do not use an ATM other than at my own bank branch otherwise I use my credit card, I buy large $3.59 dark chocolate bars at Wal*Mart or Superstore for a chocolate dessert at home which lasts for weeks. I hate being ripped off!!!

    • Go'r'd

      …forgot to mention, I do not buy food or ‘stuff’ related to a hockey team when I go watch an NHL hockey game–way over-priced…a beer and a hot dog $20.00…are you nutts!!!

  42. Dave

    Ever notice the diminishing sizes of packaged products at the supermarket? Instead of risking raising the prices they just make the package smaller. The size of cereal boxes have been decreasing for a long time. Lately I noticed a nice large box like the way they used to make them. It seemed like a great buy until I noticed it was only about an inch thick. After you get used to the new smaller size THEN they raise the price on it.

    I heard Sears is dropping the price on 5,000 items. Instead of exorbitantly priced they will only be wildly over-priced.

    A good strategy might be to buy shares in all the rip-off companies. Then their profits become your profits.

  43. MOM2

    Watch your netflix movies for same monthly fee 7.99 on laptop in hotel room.

  44. Sama

    Biggest ripoff?? … has got to be taxes based on fictitious property assessments by MPAC.

    Other taxes such as income tax, hst, property transfer taxes, etc. all are based on real numbers like your income, the price of goods or services purchased or the price paid for property. But MPAC assessments are fundamentally wrong because they are not real numbers.

    Any system based on actual sales amounts would be better than this fictitious system that can translate into hundreds or even thousands of dollars in taxes. Not to mention the savings that the Ontario government could save by replacing MPAC megalith with a streamlined tax assessment based on the sale price of a property augmented with a maximum incremental increase or ceiling. This would avoid people being forced to sell their property because of ridiculous assessment increases. There already is a land registry that could be used to built a much more equitable system for taxing property owners.

    • Sari

      Can’t agree more. MPAC is the biggest ripoff of them all.

  45. Mike Forsey

    So you cringe when you spend money on anything? For what reason do you go to work and earn it? Everything has a price and everything has a cost so get over it. I wonder if your boss cringes when he or she has to pay you for this drivel.

  46. A Student Investor

    I can totally agree with you because that’s how life works. People needs to learn how to spend their money wisely but that’s not happening. Being cheap is a good thing because you know the real value of something and avoid those high profit margin goods.

  47. Dirtyolecrow

    Having bottled water makes sense in many geographical locations due to disaster risks. Fresh water supplies are continually depleating.

    Import/export outfits overcharge their fees and profits, some items Between a dime to $3-$4 cost, sells for $30-$90.00.

    Parking charges, unless it is intended as a revenue property should be cut in nearly half.

  48. daniel

    solutions:
    1. download (all movies can be download in high res, within 3 months)
    2. I dont use it. my buddies can find me when they need (also the wife)
    3. coffe. i buy quality beans and make it my self (and plz skip the big co-op and get your coffee/beans in more indie/neighborhoody cafe)
    4. goto 1 (who watch movie in hotels?!, you in vacation? go out)
    5. Tap water works great for me
    6. f*&#$ the banks
    7. skip soda better for u and the srounding
    8. goto 1, again you can download all series with no ads
    9. try them in store, order on line

    I know. I abuse the system. Proudly !

  49. Kenneth Dobbie

    Hotel Long Distance Charges. I was in Scotland and staying at the Ramada at Glasgow Airport. I had a problem with my credit card and on the back it said to make a collect call by dialing the number provided. I spoke for nine minutes. Imagine my total horror when checking out the next morning for my flight to Canada and being charged 65 pounds. Long and short of it, was the Ramada chain like most hotel chains have an external agreement with telephone providers and there was nothing that Ramada could do. Even though the call was paid for by my credit card company to fix the problem. The use of the line for nine minutes was SIXTY FIVE POUNDS…BEWARE MAKING CALLS FROM HOTELS INTERNATIONALLY EVEN IF GUARANTEED TO BE A COLLECT CALL

  50. K L

    Nothing on this list is a rip-off. As long as consumers know what they are paying, and they willingly pay for something, they are not being ripped off. This is how markets work.

    How little something costs a business vs. the price they charge is no indication that they are ripping anyone off. If they charge too much, customers won’t buy. If customers are willing to pay the price, then the business is providing value-added.

  51. caroll

    if you need to buy popcorn at the movies buy the refillable/all you can eat bag. if you save the bag and bring it to the next movie you can eat all the popcorn for free

    • ZOly

      Share with others and refill again ! :))

  52. adam wetstein

    You forgot the number 1 and 2 Direct Energy electric contracts and furannce maintence plans for new furances.

  53. Darren Dyck

    Diamonds are a rip off.

  54. Norm

    Never, ever, ever buy a lobster club sandwich in Perce Quebec. At $17 it’s virtually criminal!!!

  55. Jerry

    1. Prepaying your gas on a rental car.
    2. Not filling up before you return the car.

  56. al

    House vent cleaning, furnace cleaning,deoreizing your home, dryer vent cleaning all fit into the rip off category— much too expensive and a major goldmine for those in these businesses.

  57. Swelldame

    Cosmetics, especially department store brands.

  58. Gerry

    Like if you used the word “like” in your dopey like list. I was going to say this was like the biggest waste of like time in the world.

  59. Keith

    I understand furniture has about the highest markup of all retail products. Even the cheaper stores like the brick are a total hose job. And then there is the automobile, holy rip off batman!

  60. JDL

    Always buy cables off ebay–best price.

  61. Wester

    The biggest rip-off, huh?

    I’d have to say that would be “Trickle-Down Economics”

    Very few of us have escaped THAT scam, I’ll wager…

  62. Beaver

    The mutual fund fees in your RRSP. 2.5% per year is typical for an equity fund in Canada. On a $500,000 account, that is $12,500 per year. The cost of bottled water is trivial by comparison.

  63. Funny about Money

    Appliances (and computers) engineered with planned obsolescence.

    Useta be you expected a refrigerator, dishwasher, or stove to last 15 or 18 years…or longer. No more! A Sears repairman told me that clothes washers, clothes dryers, and dishwashers are designed to die in 7 years. Consumer Reports even has a chart showing when it’s worth fixing a large appliance and when not. Most of the time, it appears “not.”

  64. alex

    Clothes made in 3rd world countries.

    • Mia

      You need to acknowledge with this one however, that the company gets exactly what they ask for, and pay for, when clothes, or any other, item, are made in a “third world country”. They get the quality they ask for. This argument usually shifts the blame for low quality to the low paid workforce in the third world country. That US company is here in order to reduce costs; that’s it. Less for your money. Happy them that you blame the third world country they are now operating in instead of the rampant, unconscionable Capitalism of the company. If the company wanted higher quality, they would get it.

  65. dan

    I generally agree with your points, but for most of the Rip-offs you pointed out, there aren’t any alternative solutions. Pop corn, for instance, just because it is expensive in the movie theater, you don’t want to bring it from your house. Also, with text messaging, given that lots of people are using smart phones, people can send sms via 3G for free. Lastly with the bottled waters, don’t you think it will be more of rip-off if you happen to get disease by drinking a tap-water?

  66. Mary

    Howdy fantastic blog! Does running a blog like this require a large amount of work?

    I have very little expertise in computer programming however
    I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyways, if
    you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to
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  67. diet

    This is a topic that is near to my heart…
    Best wishes! Exactly where are your conyact details though?

  68. Lydia S

    coffee and bottled water create waste as well!

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