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18 People Reveal Tricks That Companies Don’t Want You To Know

May 19, 2015 | No Comments » | Topics: Hacks

1. Airlines sometimes have cheaper flights to distant destinations that change planes in your intended destination city. So if you are flying to Chicago, you might book a flight to LA, knowing it stops in Chicago, and simply get off and not board the second leg. There is a web site called that is being sued by United for informing people how to take advantage of it.

2. I used to work at a PC repair shop and had to call HP warranty support in India almost every day. Talking with someone using a script + language barrier = aggravating and time consuming. I learned that if you select the option for Spanish you get transferred to a call center in Texas. From there you can just speak English.

3. Mobile videogames are literally designed to be frustrating instead of fun.

A great many mobile titles make use of mechanics that are put together with the intention of nurturing habitual behavior, frustrating a user, and then offering a slightly more enjoyable experience after money has been spent. This tactic has proven to be a more profitable model than actually offering entertainment, to the point where some companies take very careful steps to ensure that their games don’t accidentally end up being fun.

That sounds like satire, I know, but it’s actually true.

Let’s suppose you had a game like Galaga, for instance. A mobile game version monetized with in-application microtransactions would probably give you the option to upgrade your ship and your weapons, purchase additional lives, and other such things. You’d be able to earn “soft” (or “grind”) currency by killing enemy units, with small amounts of “hard” (or “premium”) currency being awarded when you advanced in level or something.

Now, that sounds like it would be alright, doesn’t it? Here’s where the manipulative part comes in, though: In this hypothetical game, it’s virtually impossible to make it beyond the third level without spending money, because there’s a “recommended” item of some kind that can only be purchased with hard currency… and it’s impossible to earn enough of it from within the game. This is called a “pay wall,” and a great many mobile games take advantage of the concept, albeit to varying degrees.

There’s only one small problem with the game concept I just outlined: It might actually be kind of fun to play. As I mentioned previously, it’s a far better idea to frustrate a user, and then give them a marginally better experience after they’ve converted to a paying player. So, maybe what we’d do with our hypothetical title is have all of the enemies slowly become more and more difficult over the course of five levels or so. Then, when a user inevitably died, we’d show them some kind of pop-up message:

“The aliens are advancing!” it might say. “Spend 15 SPACE CREDITS to revive?”

You’d be given the option to spend 15 hard currency for a single life… or to buy a pack of lives for only 50! Either way, immediately after you made the purchase, the game would become easier and more satisfying. If there were random items dropped by destroyed enemies, you’d see slightly more of them. Your score would increase more quickly, and there would be more explosions (or in the case of a game like Candy Crush, more flashing lights and noises).

After the level was done, you’d get bumped back into the typical difficulty and the same frustrating experience… until you spent more money, of course.

4. A lot of TV ads, but especially toothpaste and shampoo, show the customer using way, way more than needed.

5. If the only reason you are buying something is because it is on sale, you still aren’t saving money.

Me: Mom, why did you buy that machete? Mom: Because it was on sale! Me: You know what is cheaper than a machete that is on sale? Not buying the machete.

6. If you want to cancel a hotel reservation, but you’re within the penalty period, call up/go online and move the reservation forward by a couple of weeks, a month, whatever. Just enough to get you out of the cancellation penalty period. Then call up/go online the next day and cancel the reservation.

7. Bed Bath & Beyond coupons never expire.

8. If you make a “good faith effort to pay” medical bills they can’t be sent to collections. Offer to pay 20 bucks a month till its paid and the hospital or doc will offen be willing to settle for half payment and closing the bill. Just get it in writing.

9. There are lots of companies that if you order from them online and stop at the last step and leave…within a couple of days you’ll get an email offering you a substantial discount on what you were about to buy at full price

10. Buy cheap HDMI cables – they are just as good as the expensive ones.

11. You can get free cups of water anywhere that sells food. At Disney this saved so much money.

12. I’ve worked retail for six years.

Tip one: Things are always on sale and they’re never full price. The “original price” sticker should be illegal since the product is literally never that price. Don’t get caught up in the “how much I saved mentality”. Always look at how much you are spending.

Tip two: When you get a coupon sent to you for let’s say 10 dollars off, on that exact day (usually Sunday) all the prices change for that week. They’ll raise the price on an item 10 dollars and then send out a 10 dollar coupon for it. People are conditioned to buy a 40 dollar item with a 10 dollar coupon to drop the price to 30 instead of buying it the week before when it was 30 dollars with no coupon. Don’t let coupons fool you.

Tip three: NEVER get a store credit card unless you pay it off in full immediately after your purchase. Interest rates are close to 30%.

Tip four: Be nice to the cashier/sales associate and you’re more likely to get a good deal. I know everyone has the Wal-Mart mentality of complaining to get your way, but in any other smaller chain, being respectful will give you great deals. We regularly take 20% off of someone’s purchase if they’re respectful while we are helping them.

Tip five: Aside from some major items (TV, basketball hoop, etc.), Black Friday is a huge scam. People just think they’re getting great deals. Prices on other items are the same as they always are. Companies depend on you coming in for that great deal on a TV or whatever and buying a bunch of other stuff too.

13. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but my econ. teacher once told me that if you take a loan from a bank, you can ask to make payments on a bi-monthly basis as opposed to a monthly basis and that should reduce the amount of interest you pay.

14. Used to work at a rental car place. Yhe upgrade prices are made up by the counter person. They offer whatever they think you’ll pay. Reserve a economy and haggle over the upgrade price. You’ll save a ton over booking the higher class.

15. The name-brand products you buy at Wal-mart are of inferior quality to the same product at regular stores. Learned this in a business course, specifically in reference to name-brand shampoo and toothbrush but applicable to many products. Wal-mart demands lower prices, so manufacturers lower quality.

16. I’ve NEVER paid full-price for Sirius XM radio. I received a free year with the purchase of my car. After that year was up they called me up to renew at something like $20/mo. “Why would I pay you $20/mo to listen to whatever you send me, when I could pay $10/mo to Spotify and listen to whatever I want?”

“Sir, we can offer you 6 months of Sirius XM for $20. Would you be interested in that?” “Yep – I don’t want to be autobilled, invoice me.”

I’ve performed this dance every 6 months for the past 3 years.

17. Baby wipes and make up remover have the same effect as far as removing make up. Don’t spend $6 on a pack of 20 make up remover wipes. Spend $6 on a pack of 100 baby wipes instead.

18. Disposable razor blades can be sharpened by using jeans. Take a pair of jeans and run the blade up a few times, then down a few times. It cleans the rust off the blades and adds many more shaves onto the life of those expensive blades.


(via AskReddit)

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